Cover Image: The Burial Hour

The Burial Hour

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Member Reviews

Great to read another Rhyme book - always my favorite character. An interesting story, nice to have it set outside the US and taking in some modern issues. Really it's just great to enjoy Sachs & Rhyme do their thing!
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I really enjoyed this book, I liked the fact that it was a different setting than normal so added interest.
The ending was interesting, leaving it open for more changes.
thank you to NetGalley and the publishers Hodder & Stoughton for letting me read this in exchange for an honest review, I am leaving this review on Amazon and Goodreads.
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I was so excited to start this book as the Lincoln Rhyme team are the best and most well-rounded group of characters of any detective thriller I've ever read. And this was a good story with the same clever and intriguing clues I have come to expect from this very accomplished author. But, allora! - I really could have done without all the Italian. Being set in Italy added nothing to the storyline and, sadly, slowed the pace. The author clearly did an awful lot of research, which is good, but put most of it in the book, which isn't. There were times when it felt like I was reading an Italian guide book, rather than a crime story. And all the politics and terrorism stuff bored me. As a positive - I just loved the character Ercole, he's a gem. I was hoping he'd join Lincoln's team.
Jeffery Deaver has the perfect set up with Lincoln and his team, sorting out the bad guys in America. The stories are so clever, interesting and always gripping. I just want more of the same - it's what we love him for - without any foreign distractions.
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In broad daylight, a man is snatched from the New York streets, with the only witness being a nine-year-old girl. All that is left behind is some cello string, formed into the shape of a noose. This is followed by a video uploaded to the internet, threatening that the victim will be hanged. The video is signed “The Composer”. Forensic investigators Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are immediately called in but soon the Composer is out of their reach.

Pursuing the kidnapper to Italy, Rhyme and Sachs need to join forces with an antagonistic local police force as another man – a refugee from Libya – is taken from the street. But as Rhyme’s attention becomes divided by a different crime, and the Composer strikes again seemingly at random, is there something darker going on behind the scenes? When events take a startling turn, Rhyme and Sachs find themselves in a desperate race against time to prevent a disaster.


I’ve enjoyed Jeffrey Deaver for a long time. I picked up The Bone Collector once upon a time in an airport – I know that because it’s the US edition – and with that, and in particular, the second Lincoln Rhyme book, The Coffin Dancer, I was hooked. He’s written over thirty five novels, all of them twisty-turny thrillers, as well as a large collection of top notch short stories. So it’s a real privilege to be asked to kick off the UK leg of the Blog Tour for The Burial Hour.

There are so many things that are impressive about the Lincoln Rhyme books. First off, the compelling central characters, Rhyme and Sachs. After Deaver played a very nasty trick in the last book, The Steel Kiss, things are changing for our heroes, and while we get a few of the usual “fish out of water” tropes as we head to Italy, the author never forgets that these are two ultra-competent investigators. While it’s a bit of a disappointment that a number of the usual support characters (apart from Rhyme’s carer, Thom) are mostly missing, the Italian police, especially Ercole Benelli, the Forestry Police Officer thrust into the hunt for the Composer, are excellent substitutes. The end of Benelli’s tale is particularly effective.

One of the other charms of the series is the range of antagonists never seems to repeat itself. Each new antagonist introduces a new spin on the serial killer thriller, both in motivation and in investigation styles. Needless to say, it would spoil things to explain how things are different this time, as the plot takes a few ninety degree turns in the final third, but here Rhyme finds himself up against something he hasn’t encountered before, and at the end of the day, there is a hint at something of a new direction for the series which certainly has me waiting for the next book – although, to be honest, I’m always waiting for the next one.

Anyway, needless to say, this is another winner from Deaver – fans of the series are going to need to check it out. Highly Recommended.
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This is the 13th book in the 'Lincoln Rhyme' series by author Jeffery Deaver. I have long been a fan of both Jeffery Deaver and this series in particular so didn't hesitate to read this one. I found this one rather slow at the start which is surprising due to how familiar I am with the characters, but once I connected it got better and better.

A kidnap takes place in broad daylight and the only leads come from the account of an eight-year-old girl, some nearly invisible trace evidence and the calling card: a miniature noose left lying on the street. Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are called into investigate the case and the case takes a strange turn when a recording surfaces of the victim being slowly hanged, his desperate gasps the backdrop to an eerie piece of music. The video is marked as the work of The Composer...

The second half of the book is certainly better than the first as Jeffery Deaver makes the story twist and turn to an excellent climax.

I would like to thank Net Galley and Hodder & Stoughton for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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I requested this book as our Waterstones book shop was hosting an event with this author. Sadly, due to ill health, the author was unable to appear. We all wish him a speedy recovery.

This is not my usual fare, I only dip into the odd crime book sporadically so I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy it.

I hadn't realised that Lincoln Rhyme was quadriplegic, and this gave it an interesting angle as he had to negotiate certain obstacles to being able to investigate once the focus moved to Italy.

The action started in America with a killer known as "The Composer" with a weird obsession - making a victim's dying breaths fit in with a piece of music. 

Rhyme and his colleague /fiancee Amelia are in a race against time to save the kidnapped man. The Composer escapes to Italy and kidnaps his next victim, Libyan  refugee Ali Maziq.. Can they find him in the maze of the city of Naples?

Ercole Benelli from the Italian Police's Forestry department makes the crucial link between the cases. He is endearing in being a naive , "out of his depth" officer who still has importan t contributions to make even though his department is looked down upon by the Questura.

Deaver seems to have contemporary issues in mind such as the plight of refugees/ the suspicion caused by terrorism. He also portrays the clashes between the different ranks within the Italian Police and the "clash" between the ways of working by the American and Italian forces. He seems to heavily biased towards American procedure.

I can imagine the way Rhyme and Amelia put together the clues in such a rapid way to find Ali in Naples as being great on TV/Film  (like the recent Sherlock Holmes TV series) Yes this was gripping, but also struck me as somewhat unlikely.

The book has a fast moving almost breathless plot, but I felt there wasn't anything that made it stand out from your standard thriller.
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I've been a fan of Deaver's since the killer, The Bone Collector, was hunted down in 1997.  Can you believe how long ago that is? Here are my thoughts on his latest Lincoln Rhyme novel, no. 13, The Burial Hour: 

^^ The Composer is snatching people off the street, seemingly at random, leaving criminalist Lincoln Rhyme, Amelia Sachs and team nothing but a minitature hangman's noose as a clue. 

^^ As the story develops we're transported to Italy, where they join forces with the Italian investigation team. We meet the young and enthusiastic Ecole Benelli , Forestry Officer,  and the not so friendly Prosecutor, Dante Spiro, who's not keen on having the Americans interfering.

^^ From here the story takes us on a high-speed pursuit to catch the killer, but things are not as simple as at first it would appear and Deaver cleverly intertwines a rapid narrative with current affairs to produce explosive results and a terrifying twist I did not see coming.  Of course, playing back in my mind, the hints were there, I just didn't see them straight away. I must also add, I love how one antagonist comes back into play. 

^^ It's interesting to see how Deavers' work has changed, one could say moved with the times, incorporating some of our greatest fears of current affairs. This is a political thriller, like The Kill Room, but possibly even more politically oriented.  Not something I was not expecting, but fun, nevertheless. 

^^ If there is one thing I have always admired about Deaver's work, it's his ability to blend interesting characters and detailed descriptions with against the clock suspense, rich in storyline.  Hmm. Maybe that's more than one thing? 

Overall:   I'd say this is the perfect blend of music and death, with a surprising Deaver terror twist in the grand finale of The Burial Hour. And romance. (Yep!) Now I want to go out and buy the paperback version to add to my Deaver collection which takes pride and place on my Deaver shelf in my living room. See, I told you I was a fan.
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I became a Jeffery Deaver fan by total happenstance, which isn’t something you can say about most authors. Back around 2007, when I was a student at Edinburgh University, I wandered into my local Waterstones and happened to hit the very tail end of a signing for The Sleeping Doll - the first in Deaver’s Kathryn Dance series. Deaver couldn’t have been more charming - happy to pose for photos and answer questions - and I went away with the beginnings of a new obsession tucked under my arm.



The Burial Hour is the thirteenth in Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme series, about a forensic consultant with quadriplegia, and his NYPD detective partner Amelia Sachs. This novel follows them from New York to Italy, in search of a criminal who records his victims dying breaths’ as part of a sinister murder symphony.

Taking beloved characters away from their home turf is always a risky endeavor, but here it entirely pays off. Deaver introduces a new cast of supporting characters within Italian law enforcement - none more central nor more endearing than Forestry Corps officer Ercole Benelli. Although the lowest ranked official on the case, Ercole has enthusiasm and earnestness in droves. As our window into this new world, he’s an appealing entry-point, and keeps the absence of regular recurring characters from feeling alienating.

The plot - as usual with Deaver - is fiendishly clever. Alongside the audiophile kidnapper, the novel encompasses immigration, espionage, rape allegations, and a dastardly truffle smuggler. The description of Naples (particularly the food) is sublime, and while this is hardly your usual holiday book, it definitely took me far and away from chilly, overcast England.

Twists and turns come thick and fast toward the final stretch, which is always the point of a Deaver book I enjoy most. However smugly I tell myself that this time I’ve seen through the subterfuge and know exactly what is going on - lo and behold, I never do. And I love the satisfaction of being well and truly caught out.

The only thing really missing here is interaction between Lincoln and Amelia. They were apart for much of the previous novel, The Steel Kiss , and while The Burial Hour does take them closer towards their impending marriage, almost all of their dialogue focuses exclusively on the case. I know I’m in it for the crime thriller and not the romance, but sheesh, throw a girl a kiss from time to time.

Overall, The Burial Hour is a highly enjoyable read - as excellent a thriller as it is a piece of escapism. And if that isn’t enough of an incentive, there’s even a Spotify soundtrack to read along to. Just imagine the classical tracks accompanied by the breathless gasps of victims and prepare to be thoroughly creeped out.

My sincere thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley. I'm honoured to be part of the blog tour for The Burial Hour: be sure to check out the reviews from my fellow bloggers!
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Camminando sulla griglia – that's 'walking the grid' in Italian!

Personally, I am always ready for a new Lincoln Rhyme thriller, and this one doesn't disappoint on any level.  There are all the usual features; Rhyme is irascible, Sachs is beautiful, Thom is ever-patient, it is just that this story takes place mostly in Italy; Naples to be precise.

We begin with a kidnapping where the unsub uploads a video of the victim being slowly strangled by a noose; his gasps are set to music and form part of a waltz!  Because of the music element, the unsub is soon dubbed 'The Composer'.  After his first foray in New York he disappears but soon turns up in Southern Italy where he continues to kidnap victims, leaving behind him a miniature noose fashioned from a cello string!  The first attack is attended by Officer Ercole Benelli of the Forestry Police, previously investigating the trade in Chinese truffles.

What could be more natural than for Rhyme and Sachs, together with Thom, to travel to Naples to continue their investigation. There they encounter a welcome from Inspector Rossi, but not from the Prosecutor, Dante Spiro, who leaves them in no doubt that he wants them back in New York as soon as possible.  This summary exile is prevented by contact from the American Embassy on behalf of a young man, Garry Soames, accused of a serious sexual assault on a young woman at a party.  Now they have two cases!

As if things weren't complicated enough, the plot thickens as the kidnapper seems to be targeting Syrian immigrants at a refugee camp.

Deaver adds so many sub-plots and misdirections that the reader almost becomes dizzy trying to follow all of the twists and turns.  But follow we do, hardly bearing to put down the book for the normal offices of daily life.

This is an excellent read; well up to the author's past standards and with the extra fillip of being based in Europe.  The characters jump off the page almost into our lap. There is then the usual Deaver dry humour, especially where Sachs' driving is concerned, but yet there is warmth, trust and friendship.

If you are a Deaver fan YOU MUST read this – if you aren't, SO MUST YOU! 

Pashtpaws

Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review.
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Reading a Deaver novel, for me, is like slipping on a comfy, much-loved jumper that I haven’t worn since last winter.   Within pages I feel cocooned in a world with my favourite characters, and whilst that world is generally one of murder, torture and intrigue, Deaver’s style in undeniably unique and always submerges me in another world. 
The novel begins in New York, home to Rhyme and his partner Amelia Sachs.  Their apartment serves as both home and criminal laboratory for the duo, as Rhyme, a quadriplegic, prefers to work the high-profile cases he assists with from home. Rhyme is an abrupt and often sardonic protagonist that you can't help but warm to.  His observational eye and vast forensic knowledge allows him to have the upper hand in any given situation, making him comparable to the much-loved Sherlock Holmes.  
However, as the case swiftly moves across the ocean to Italy, die-hard Rhyme fans are introduced to some new characters.  Whilst this shift made me dream of sunshine as Naples and Milan were explored, it was refreshing to have Rhyme take a slight backseat as these Italian investigators were thrown into the mix and Sachs was given more of the limelight.  The often bumbling and generally inexperienced Ercole Benelli was the underdog you desperately wanted to succeed, whilst his superior, the harsh and antagonistic Prosecutor Spiro was his antithesis – think pantomime villain.  Whilst I have grown fond of the familiar New York team who work alongside Rhyme, it was particularly engaging to have this new mix of characters. 
The story delivers all the twists, turns and red-herrings I have come to expect from Deaver, and whilst I know never to take things at face-value and to expect the unexpected, I'm always surprised by the way the plot unfolds. 
I read my first Jeffery Deaver novel 17 years ago and have eagerly anticipated each publication since.  If 'The Burial Hour' is to be the first Deaver novel you pick up, please don't let the fact that it is the thirteenth Rhyme novel put you off, it will not hinder your enjoyment.  But I warn you, it may start a new addiction!
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One of Jeffery Deaver's best novels to date, full of plot twists and story arcs that are extremely relevant and current. Thoroughly entertaining and compelling reading - I'm a huge fan, one of few consistently excellent and exciting authors I look forward to reading.
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Well, I can see that this book is going to be quite controversial for some lovers of the Rhyme/Sachs duo and their cohorts. For one thing, the scene, though it starts in Manhattan as usual, with Lon and Ron, but the main thrust of the action lies in Europe as Rhyme, Sachs and Thom travel to Italy in pursuit of a killer known as ‘the Composer’.
The Composer is hard wired into sounds, recording the noises of his victims; listening hard to their breath as they wheeze and gasp under the torture to which he subjects his victims. At every scene, he leaves a small noose.
When it becomes clear that The Composer has fled the country and a noose is found on the site of an abduction near Naples, Rhyme and Sachs hot foot it to Italy.
This gives Deaver the opportunity to introduce a whole new set of characters. Ercole is the young and talented Forestry policeman who impresses with his handling of the first Italian crime scene. Spiro is the stern and unforgiving Prosecutor, whose is wily and misses very little. And Inspector Massimo Rossi, the senior investigator, treads a wary path between his Prosecutor and Rhyme/Sachs.
There is tension as the American duo work the case alongside their Italian counterparts. Suspicion abounds and the Italians are clearly expecting an extradition war once the outcome of the case is concluded.
For the most part though, they work together reasonably well in their pursuit of the Composer. But all is not what it seems. As they work a second case involving an American citizen accused of the rape of an Italian girl, they are drawn into a world of politics that has hitherto not really featured heavily in Rhyme’s cases.
When the evidence points to the Composer targeting refugees in one of the large Naples camps, we feel that Rhyme and Sachs are close to catching their killer, but then Deaver pulls a massive misdirection coup and turns the whole story on its head.
I was incredulous at first, but it appears that Deaver is seeking to move Rhyme and Sachs into a new investigative arena. This could well be a smart move, as his last few books have followed quite a similar pattern, and lacked the freshness and ingenuity of his earlier novels.
This book will not please everyone, and it is certainly not his best work, but I think Deaver is moving in a different direction which may prove to be the saving of Rhyme and Sachs.
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