Cover Image: The Watchmaker's Hand

The Watchmaker's Hand

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Member Reviews

4.5 stars, actually.

One of the most daunting aspects of writing books in a series, it seems to me, is that the characters tend to become like old friends to readers - which is great, of course - but also readers who come to expect that each new installment will be at least as good - perhaps even better - than the last. To be sure, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this, the 16th featuring consulting forensic scientist Lincoln Rhymes and his now wife, NYPD detective Amelia Sachs. And make no mistake: it is very good - I stayed up 45 minutes past my bedtime to finish it, for gosh sake. But the abundance of technical "stuff" was a bit overwhelming, and for whatever reason, I didn't feel as much of a "connection" between Lincoln and Amelia this time out.

That technical part centers around construction cranes and the horrifying repercussions when they go beserk. Now I'm very familiar (or so I thought) with cranes, but it became clear early on that I had no idea what a "tower crane" is (I finally opted for a search engine to see what they look like, and yes, I've seen them). Neither Lincoln nor Amelia seemed to have their hearts into their relationship (even Thom Reston, caregiver of Lincoln, a paraplegic, lacked his usually spicy banter with Lincoln). On the other hand, the story did bring back a couple of unsavory nemeses from past books as well as actions/interactions of much-liked colleagues like Lincoln's former partner Lon Sellitto and colleague Ron Pulaski.

This one begins as a tower crane at a project in downtown Manhattan inexplicably becomes unstable, dropping 36,000 pounds of 6 foot by 4 foot flange beams and counterweights that, thanks to quick actions by the operator, kill just one human and injure only a handful. Shortly thereafter comes a demand from the perpetrator that promises a drop of even bigger proportions if that demand is not met within 24 hours. At that point, of course, the clock starts ticking (heads up, longtime fans) and Lincoln and Amelia switch to action mode.

From that point on, the action is pretty much nonstop; needless to say, the goings-on put just about everyone in danger and few events are what they seem to be. It puts all of Lincoln's vast knowledge to the test, tests the resilience of everyone on the team showed me that I'm able to sit on the edge of my seat a lot longer than I'd have predicted. All told, another good one - and I heartily thank the publisher, via NetGalley, for allowing me to read and review it.
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The Watchmaker’s Hand By Jeffery Deaver is the penultimate police procedural. Lincoln Rhyme has a crew that is beyond professional as well as brilliant. Someone had caused a huge crane to fall off the top of a building. The operator had managed to steer it down a street and end up in a park, which had been evacuated. There had been only one death, a disappointment to the person who had caused it to topple. Lincoln and his crew were on it immediately and what they found confounded him. At this point he was relegated to reviewing videos from the job site and the neighborhood but because of this he was able to ascertain a major clue which led to many more clues and eventually the unknown suspect himself and the one who paid him. It this point it was a terror group wanting more affordable housing (odd?) and asking for something that would take weeks, if not months to accomplish. They had been given twenty-four hours. 

Lincoln Rhyme is an ex-police captain who is now a quadriplegic and has control over his head and one finger on this left hand. HIs right arm is also functional but only through surgery and technology. That has not slowed him down. His wife, Amelia is part of his team and still a police officer, and Thom, his caregiver, never a police officer, but still a huge part of the team. They are all monumental characters, well-developed through the years by Deaver. The plot is complicated and convoluted, put together by several masterminds but ripped to shreds by Rhyme. This series, this book, as well as showing the indomitability of the human spirit, also reminds us of the capability of the unleashed human mind. Kept me awake, for certain. Another great read by Jeffery Deaver. 

I was invited to read a free e-ARC of The Watchmaker’s Hand by the Penguin Group Putnam, through Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine. #Netgalley #PenguinGroupPutnam #JefferyDeaver #TheWatchmakersHand
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In New York where construction is always happening and massive cranes are everywhere, a deadly crane collapse and the threat of more in the future means Lincoln and Amelia are back on the job. And it’s not long before Lincoln realizes he’s up against his old nemesis, The Watchmaker. This is the 16th book in the Lincoln Rhyme series and I think the fourth or fifth to feature The Watchmaker. While I suppose it’s possible to read this one without having read any of the others, I definitely think you’re better off reading the previous books first, not only because it’s such a fantastic series bit also so you have a greater knowledge of the characters and of Lincoln’s previous run-ins with The Watchmaker. This is a wonderfully twisting tale that kept me glued to the book. I just love these books. Jeffery Deaver has crafted such an incredible series of thrillers and Lincoln is such an amazing character you won’t regret it. I’d like to thank PENGUIN GROUP Putnam and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review an eARC of The Watchmaker’s Hand.
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Thanks to Penguin/Putnam, NetGalley, and Jeffery Deaver for the chance to review an advance copy of this book. I have been a fan of the Lincoln Rhyme series since Bone Collector came out and with this newest release Lincoln is better than ever. Lincoln, Amelia Sachs, Ron Pulaski and the rest of their team are kept on their toes when a person starts attacking construction sites around New York. Things quickly heat up when they discover the bomber is one of Lincoln’s most dangerous enemies—the Watchmaker. He has a plan in place to get to Lincoln but only if he can eliminate certain obstacles like Amelia and Ron. The twists and turns in this book were excellent and kept me up late into the night. Definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves a good thriller.
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Lots of twists and turns in “Watchmaker’s Hand”.  I enjoy how Rhyme’s mind works and his lack of social skills when you know he is a good man. Nice return story for the Watchmaker and Rhyme’s crew. It was a little too heavy on the chemistry and mechanics do cranes for me, but didn’t stop me from reading this book
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This was an excellent, well-written book. It was very entertaining, suspenseful and action packed. I couldn't put it down. I enjoyed this book and this author is a "must read" for me.
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Book #16 in Jeffrey Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme series continues the excellent story lines we have come to expect.  Deaver has developed Rhyme into one of the most memorable characters in today's thriller genre.  He may be confined to a wheelchair, but he still manages to fight the worst criminals. As Lincoln Rhyme once again faces off against one of his worst enemies, the Watchmaker, he and his team must sift through thousands of clues to stop the continued attacks against New York City.   At the same time, a new criminal element known as the bombmaker pulls attention to his targeted sites will keep police pulled in multiple directions.  Deaver keeps the action moving at light speed while building tension to an explosive end.  Another great Lincoln Rhyme story for his many fans.
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“The Watchmaker's Hand,” by Jeffery Deaver, G.P. Putnam's Sons, Nov. 28, 2023.

Nothing is more regulated on a New York City construction site than the stability of a tower crane. 

Garry Helprin is operating the multi-million dollar piece of equipment to move an 18-ton load when warning signals sound. The Moynahan Construction crane is off-balance and collapses. Helprin tries to put the crane down between two buildings. One man is killed and six others are injured.

Lincoln Rhyme and his wife and professional forensics partner Amelia Sachs are on the case. Rhyme, the former head of NYPD forensics, was injured on the job and is now a quadriplegic. Thom Reston is his caregiver. Lon Sellitto, a senior detective in major cases, comes to tell Rhyme about the crane collapse. A political group claims responsibility for the sabotage and threatens another attack in twenty-four hours, unless its demands are met. 

The group, calling itself the Kommunalka Project, is demanding more affordable housing. Then a clue reveals to Rhyme that his nemesis, Charles Vespasian Hale, known as the Watchmaker, has come to town to fulfill his promise of murdering the criminalist. Now Rhyme and Sachs have to dodge his scheme to destroy them both, while racing to stop the construction site terrorists.

With New York City in a panic, Rhyme and his team must unravel a handful of plots as tightly wound as a timepiece—before more cranes fall, raining down death and destruction from above.

The plot is complicated, with several misdirections as to the real reason behind the sabotage. Rhyme is clearly modeled after  Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Hale is his Morarity. This can be read as a stand-alone, but it is a very good series.

In accordance with FTC guidelines, the advance reader's edition of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a review.
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Here is the link to my full review. Spoiler free as a pride all my reviews on my YouTube channel to be.
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Literary heroes are known by the enemies they make, and most great heroes usually have an almost-as-great arch-villains to battle. Sherlock Holmes had Professor Moriarty (although Moriarty only appeared in one story). James Bond had Ernst Blofeld. Harry Potter had Lord Voldemort. Although the villains in Jeffery Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme series were originally one-offs, some recent books have featured a professional assassin known as the Watchmaker. He’s Rhyme’s brilliant but sociopathic equal in many ways. In the latest Rhyme novel, “The Watchmaker’s Hand,” one of the assassin’s targets is the criminologist himself. The novel is a fitting showcase for what might be the final showdown between the two geniuses.

The Watchmaker’s ultimate target may be Rhyme, but his immediate targets in “The Watchmaker’s Hand” are the construction cranes that tower above the Manhattan cityscape. He sabotages and brings down a couple of those cranes, sending the city into a panic. Rhyme and his team have to figure out who hired the Watchmaker and their goal in bringing down the cranes.

Deaver gets the novel off to a fast start as he puts readers in the cab of a doomed crane where the operator desperately tries to avoid a disaster as he realizes something is wrong with his massive equipment. From there, the pace never lets up, as the entire book takes place over a couple of days. The story has several twists and surprises, with people and situations not being what they first seem. The author is an expert craftsman who knows how to mislead readers and then jolt them with one of several big reveals in the book. Although the suspense level remains high throughout the novel, “The Watchmaker’s Hand” is also a mystery. I kept trying to guess who the big bad was, who hired the Watchmaker, and their goal. (I didn’t do too well, as the author fooled and misled me several times.)

Lincoln Rhyme was the focus of the early novels in this series as he tried to overcome his physical injuries and resulting psychological problems. But as the series progressed, he adjusted and is now at peace with himself and his condition. Without overriding attention devoted to Rhyme’s condition in recent books, the author’s focus turned to those around Rhyme… the men and women who served as his eyes, ears, hands, and feet in the field. A significant subplot in “The Watchmaker’s Hand” involves one of the newest members of Rhyme’s team, Ron Pulaski. He has a personal crisis that gets him in hot water with Internal Affairs. Pulaski’s efforts to clear his name form a solid counterpoint to the book’s main storyline. The author also develops the Watchmaker’s personality, explaining his intricate thought processes and giving him a girlfriend. He’s still a coldly efficient monster, but more of a human being.

The Watchmaker’s hobby is clockmaking, assembling an intricate, functional timekeeping device. Jeffery Deaver is somewhat of a clockmaker as well. “The Watchmaker’s Hand” is intricately and carefully plotted with periodic plot twists and revelations. That’s Deaver’s strength as a writer, but the human touch is a bit missing here. Rhyme feels less like a real person and more like a generic brilliant detective. Rhyme’s wife, Amelia, and Ron Pulaski carry most of the emotional weight here, and the effect on readers isn’t the same as when Rhyme wrestled with his own problems. Similarly, the sequence of events in the last few chapters feels somewhat contrived. Characters don’t act as I would have expected, and the only reason for these actions is to make the story come out right.

Although “The Watchmaker’s Hand” isn’t one of the best Rhyme novels, it’s still much better than most current suspense thrillers. Jeffery Deaver hasn’t lost his touch, and he’s upped the stakes from a few potential victims of his earlier serial killers to the entire city. The collapsing cranes storyline is unique, making this book one of the most memorable Rhyme novels. It’s time for mystery and suspense fans to get a copy of “The Watchmaker’s Hand.”
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Such a thrilling read! It starts off amazing. intense and heart-pounding. Immediately. Deaver does such a good job making situations that you have no previous knowledge of easy to understand. He does such a good job making the book suspenseful while keeping good momentum in the story. Things moved along so smoothly and with enough action to keep you intrigued. Such a great way to end the watchmaker's story and begin a new one.
I have read this series from the beginning. You can read it as a stand-alone story, but you don't get the whole backstory of their relationship. It's a long cat-and-mouse situation.
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In one sense, I can say that The Watch maker's Hand by Jeffrey Deaver was completely predictable. But by predictable, I mean full of interesting surprises and clever twists that all make sense in the end, as you can expect from all of his novels. 
I've been reading Deaver for what feels like a very long time, and he is one of the few writers who always delivers when it comes to action and suspense. I've grown to care about the main characters quite a bit, and their behaviors are consistent over time. It's annoying when beloved characters act differently in a new book to push a plot, but the Lincoln Rhyme books continue to add to the story playing out in NYC.
Some reviewers were annoyed that we learned so much about chemistry and cranes, but that was fun too.
Thanks NetGalley for letting me read this
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This was exciting, full of unexpected twists and great characters, if you've been reading this series, you will not be disappointed! 
I'm not going to go into the synopsis, because if you've been reading this series, you know that the main story on the surface has nothing to do with the main underlying story. If you haven't been following this series, then go back and start it from the beginning - it's worth it! 
I really liked that the Watchmaker was back as the main bad guy, as opposed to how he's shown up in some of the recent books. It really did feel like it was time to address this rivalry, so that was really satisfying. I also loved how much depth we got out of Ron this time, he played a huge role and I loved seeing him continue to grow 
As you should expect from this series, there is so much more going on under the surface than it appears. The way this all came together felt a bit anticlimactic at first (what only 5 huge twists?? ) but the more it sits with me, the more powerful it is. 
I definitely recommend this and can't wait to continue the series!
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The Watchmaker's Hand is the 16th book in the Rhymes/Sachs series from Jeffery Deaver.

"A construction crane falls mysteriously in NYC. A group claims credit and threatens to bring down more cranes until their demands are met. Rhymes and Sachs assist the police in finding the culprit. A clue points Rhyme to an old foe - the Watchmaker. Which means there's more than just simple destruction."

Deaver has changed his style with Rhymes and Sachs over the years. Rhymes first appeared in 1997. Previous books had evidence listed at the end of chapters so the reader could detect along with Rhymes. Not any more. Deaver has also stopped overexplaining. In this book there's a lot of info early about cranes but it skirts the edge of too much. 

There are a lot of moving pieces in this book. Deaver keeps you guessing as to what's going on. He is the master of the surprise twist. There are always reveals that you will never guess. Rhymes is always a step ahead.

Like all of the Rhymes/Sachs books, this can be read as a standalone. Once I got to the second half of the book I did not want to put it down. Another entertaining read from Deaver.
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When a New York City construction crane mysteriously collapses, causing mass destruction and injury, Rhyme and Sachs are on the case. The return of the most calculating and devious archnemesis of the Lincoln Rhyme series and a tense, serpentine plot had me hooked from the start. The cliffhangers at the end of almost every chapter made it very hard to put down! One of the best in the series, this thriller proves once again that Jeffrey Deaver is a true master of suspense!
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Never miss a Rhyme/Sachs thriller.  This was a good one, a page Turner!  Keep them coming.  Didn't see this ending coming.
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Rhyme's nemesis is back in The Watchmaker's Hand by Jeffery Deaver. Hold on tight, the end will leave you on the edge of your seat!
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I love a good crime-mystery-suspense novel. I’ve heard a lot about Jeffrey Deaver but don’t believe I’ve read any of his books so jumped at the chance to gobble up his new one. 

I understand why Deaver is one of the most popular authors in this genre. The story hooks you in the beginning and doesn’t let go. Every chapter ends with a cliffhanger so you’re always wanting more, and the characters are compelling enough to empathize with. 

In this story, the Watchmaker (an international bad guy) is destroying building cranes in NYC to prove a point about homelessness. Or is he. 

That’s all the good news. 
Unfortunately there were parts of this book that I have to admit were not up to expectations. 

First, there were a lot of characters that came and went and it was hard to distinguish anything about them. Deaver doesn’t fluctuate the voices of characters and there isn’t much depth on personality - so it’s easy for everyone to blend together. 

Secondly, the story went on for a long time and there were plot lines that I really didn’t think deserved the amount of time they were there - the book could’ve been 50 pages shorter. 

Finally, this book feels like it’s just formulaic. I mean, for somebody who writes so many books, it is formulaic, but I don’t want it to feel that way. 

Is it the best suspense book I’ve read? No. Not close.
Would I read Jeffrey Deaver again? Heck yeah. I’d probably go to his earlier books when I’m going to guess there was more passion. But still, Deavers mediocrity is miles beyond most other writers peaks. 

#netgalley #thewatchmakershand
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The Watchmaker's Hand by Jeffery Deaver is the latest release in his Lincoln Rhyme series, and definitely not one to be missed. Suffice to say Charles Vespian Hale, Rhme's longtime nemesis, also known has the Watchmaker, has returned to NYC. The book captured my interest immediately, and held it until the final page. The usual cast of characters, Rhyme, Sachs, Ron Pulaski, Mel Cooper, and other members of the team work to discover who is responsible for multiple crane collapses in the City, resulting in deaths as well as immobilizing and terrorizing NYC.  Occasionally the technical information Deaver provides in the book felt a bit much to me, however I acknowledge many readers thoroughly enjoy that element in his books. The Watchmaker's Hand is an engrossing novel; I recommend it. 4 stars.
Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read an ARC, that in no way impacted my review.
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Book sixteen of the Lincoln Rhyme's series.

Lincoln Rhyme is one of the top criminalists in New York. Lincoln and his close-knit group of friends are keeping the streets of New York safe. But he may have just met his match this time as he goes up against The Watchmaker who is now holding the city of New York hostage! Threatening to topple one building crane at a time until his demands are met!

Can it be read as a stand-alone? Well, I suppose so. But unlike other long-standing series, this author doesn’t provide oodles of backstory, so you’d be learning about the characters on the fly! Truly, for the best experience, start from the beginning! You won’t be disappointed.

Come on Lincoln, the clock is ticking!😜⏱️

As a dedicated fan of this author and series I’d say this was the strongest addition in some time! I was glued to the pages and breezed through the read. Already looking forward to the next release!

Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Group Putnam
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