Member Reviews

A construction crane collapses at a work site in New York City. What caused the collapse? Lincoln Rhyme and his wife, Amelia Sachs, intend to find out.

I think Lincoln Rhyme and his wife, Amelia Sachs, are an interesting duo. Lincoln Rhyme is a quadriplegic forensic scientist and former head of NYPD forensics, who now consults with the NYPD. He is a quirky character with a penchant for analyzing grammar. Amelia Sachs is an NYPD detective. It is interesting to follow them on their journey to solve the case involving Lincoln Rhymes’ nemesis, The Watchmaker. Thank you, Penguin Group Putnam and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review THE WATCHMAKER’S HAND.

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It's been quite a few years since I've read a Jeffery Deaver book, but always enjoyed the Rhyme/Sachs series. This book was fantastic, great characters(always), twisted/complex plot, and a crazy ending I didn't see coming.
I want to thank Netgalley, Jeffery Deaver, and G.P. Putnam's Sons for
an ARC of the compelling novel. I highly recommend reading this book when it's available.

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3.5 stars

In this 16th book in the 'Lincoln Rhyme' series, the forensic expert is on the trail of an old enemy. The book can be read as a standalone, but familiarity with the characters is a plus.


Criminalist Lincoln Rhyme was head of the NYPD's forensic unit until an accident at a crime scene left him a quadriplegic. Rhyme can operate his 'miracle of mobility' wheelchair with his left ring finger, and thanks to advanced medical procedures, can now use his right arm. Lincoln currently has his own forensics lab and consults for the police with the help of his wife and forensic partner, NYPD Detective Amelia Sachs.

As the story opens, the alarm on a towering crane at a New York City construction site begins blaring and flashing red. The crane creaks and groans, and with an explosive snap falls twenty-two stories to the jobsite. injuring six people and killing one.

New York City Mayor Harrison gets a message from the Kommunalka Project, claiming credit for the disaster. The group demands that the city build affordable housing instead of luxury high rises, and threatens to continue the crane attacks until the city makes arrangements to comply.

Soon after the tragedy, Detective Amelia Sachs arrives at the crime scene to examine the fallen crane and the surrounding damage. In addition to smelling damp concrete, sawdust, motor oil, and diesel exhaust, Amanda detects a strong chemical odor. It turns out highly corrosive hydrofluoric acid, which can dissolve human skin in moments, was used to damage and take down the crane.

The NYPD can't find anything about the Kommunalka Project and Rhyme concludes the organization doesn't exist. Instead, evidence leads Rhyme to believe the crane incident was perpetrated by his old enemy, Charles Vespasian Hale, also known as the Watchmaker - for his fascination with timepieces. The Watchmaker's devious criminal plots have been foiled by Rhyme several times in the United States and Mexico, and Hale is back to foment more trouble.

Mayor Harrison refuses to give in to blackmail and the attacks on cranes continue, endangering lives, causing the stock market to dip, and disrupting construction in New York. In reality, the crane strikes are a diversion, and the Watchmaker has another agenda, which includes murdering Lincoln Rhyme.

Just as Rhyme is a brilliant criminalist who instinctively knows how to find evidence and follow clues, Hale is an evil genius who devises intricate plans to achieve his felonious goals. Thus Rhyme and Hale engage in a kind of strategic game, with back-and-forth tactical maneuvers, in an attempt to outwit each other.

Concurrently, Rhyme's trainee, NYPD patrolman Ron Pulaski, is on the trail of a dangerous terrorist. Pulaski finds the body of Wall Street broker Fletcher Dalton in a Manhattan warehouse, and using his own methods to search for trace evidence, discovers a dark blue fiber. This leads to the identification of a perp named Eddie Tarr, also known as the Bombmaker.

Pulaski thinks the Wall Street murder victim was in the wrong place at the wrong time, saw something he shouldn't, and was killed as a result. Pulaski learns Tarr's last attack was on a government building in California, and the Bombmaker's presence in New York is alarming.

The story is fast-moving with edge of the seat tension. and should appeal to thriller fans.

In addition, the novel includes informative snippets about diverse subjects, such as jib crane design; chemical composition of gasoline; components of soil; construction of watches; famous clocks; hourglasses; and more.

Thanks to Netgalley, Jeffery Deaver, and G.P. Putnam's Sons for a copy of the book.

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A great addition to the Lincoln Rhymes series. The plot is full of suspense, twists, and betrayals. Just when you think you know the direction the story is going it goes off on a completely different tangent. I have to say the ending came as a surprise to me, I never saw it coming. This one was hard to put down. Thank you to net galley for an advanced readers copy.

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I look forward to every new Jeffery Deaver book, especially ones in the Lincoln Rhymes series. Exceptional characters, complex plot twists, and a well paced plot kept me reading late into the night. Then I picked it up again first thing the next morning. I finished it in two days. Highly recommended

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Jeffery Deaver returns with Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs in another roller coaster suspense novel. Always a fan of his book especially his two favorite character.

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The 16th installment of the bestselling Lincoln Rhyme series, The Watchmaker’s Hand finds Rhyme and Sachs investigating the collapse of a crane at a construction site in New York City, killing several, and accompanied by a threat from a political group demanding affordable housing as opposed to luxury housing that is being constructed. As the team investigates, they discover that Charles Vespasian Hale, who is Rhyme’s nemesis and a cold-blooded criminal and killer, is actually behind the attack, and not the political group as first thought. They must work fast before more cranes are sabotaged and more people are killed.

Fans of the excellent Lincoln Rhyme series know that Jeffery Deaver is an accomplished storyteller, and Lincoln Rhyme is a fascinating and well-developed protagonist. Those who haven’t read the previous novels in the series may not quite understand what Rhyme has gone through leading up to this story, and, while some of his history is discussed, this one is a bit lacking on that front. The supporting characters are well-developed.

This is not Deaver’s best Rhyme novel, but it is still one that is worth reading. The plot is a bit complicated, and jumps from one motive to another. It isn’t as easy to follow as some of the others. However, Deaver has a way of keeping his readers on the edge, and this book is no exception. The story has ups and downs throughout, and the dénouement is certainly an unexpected surprise.

Fans of the Lincoln Rhyme series (and what thriller aficionado isn’t?) will enjoy this book. Those who are unfamiliar should probably read the previous novels before this one. All told, however, Jeffery Deaver writes amazing thrillers, and they are not to be missed.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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It has been quite a while since I have read one of the Rhyme/Sachs novels, and I had completely forgotten what I was missing. I'm going to have to go back and get the two books I'm missing!

The suspense, subterfuge, twists and turns make these books stand out; this book was no exception.

This novel has a lot of technical detail, and it detracted somewhat from my enjoyment of the story. However, the twists and turns made up for that slight detraction.

The ending was a complete surprise to me, so be sure you get there!

Happy reading!

*ARC Supplied by the publisher G.P. Putnam's Sons, and will be published November 28, 2023, by the author, and NetGalley.

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Lincoln Rhyme takes on a terrifying case in which the perpetrator sabotages construction cranes, making everyone in NYC, with its hundreds of construction sites, feel vulnerable and afraid of the next collapse. The bad guy turns out to be none other than Lincoln’s nemesis, the Watchmaker, which means that the team has to conduct its investigation while also watching out for attempts to breach the townhouse and kill Lincoln himself. The detail about cranes is fascinating for city dwellers who take them for granted as part of the scenery but don’t know much about how they work and who operates them. The story is complex and expertly put together, as befits a fine timepiece. I enjoy convoluted stories and enjoy the author’s trademark twists, though by the very end things were bordering on too contrived. This book might have been stronger with one less twist—following the advice attributed to Coco Chanel about looking in the mirror and removing one accessory before you leave the house. This is a minor issue—it can hardly be considered a serious flaw if a high-quality thriller is too twisty. It's good to see how the supporting characters from the series have given a chance to grow and shine, with Pulaski having developed his own way of doing things instead of just worshiping his mentor.

Thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Group/Putnam for a digital advance review copy.

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Don’t expect anything new in the latest adventures of Lincoln and Amelia. What you can expect is a well written and fast paced tale of evil hit men and women determined to bring an end the crime fighting adventures of the modern day Sherlock Holmes and his coterie of clever and loyal compatriots.

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This is a Rhyme and team story. I've read others, and I struggled with this one. There's overdetailing on things that seemed unnecessary (such as on crane parts and operations). The storyline never really pulled me in.

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Watch out for this thriller. Jeffery Deaver’s highly anticipated November release of his next “Lincoln Rhyme” novel is another exciting page turner complete with all the twists and turns that differentiate this compelling author. When a construction crane mysteriously collapses, a political group claims to be behind the sabotage and threatens to bring down another crane in twenty-four hours, unless their demands are met. The city immediately asks Rhyme and Sach’s to investigate the crime scene. They set aside their stalled investigation, the theft of city planning records, to gather evidence that can possibly find the culprits before disaster strikes again. At the same time, they know that Rhyme’s nemesis, the Watchmaker is determined to murder him. They are forced to deal with increased security measures to thwart another attempt.

Deaver is a masterful author because he combines consummate characterization with the hallmarks of two subgenres: the convoluted plots of a great thriller and the interesting details of a fantastic forensic procedural.
Lincoln Rhyme is a quadriplegic who acts as an independent forensic consultant to the New York police. Although he was almost completely paralyzed from the neck down, he uses his outstanding talents of observation and deduction to solve cases. Rhyme is clearly modeled after Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. He is all about the evidence. He gives no credence to witnesses, citing their unreliability and has little patience for profiling or discussion of motive. Nowhere is this comparison more noticeable than in his relationship with his nemesis “The Watchmaker”. This man is his Morarity. Since his introduction in “The Cold Moon”, when Rhymes thwarted one of his schemes, the two brilliant men have been at odds. Eventually, Rhyme has become a thorn in his side, and he tries to literally eliminate the problem. This character is analytical, cold-blooded, and dispassionate about everything but his obsession with clocks. Many thriller authors concentrate on the protagonist and populate the books with one dimensional sidekicks. Deaver fills his world with well-rounded characters. His wife Detective Amelia Sachs, protégé Ron Pulaski and friend Detective Lon Sellitto are featured in this book, but other recurring characters such as forensic examiner, Mel Cooper and his care giver Thom Reston have been explored in earlier novels.

Although thriller aficionados may get a bit impatient with all the scientific information, readers who also enjoy forensic procedurals will appreciate all the details. Although intricate plots are expected in thrillers, I get a bit impatient with the plots created by the villain in this book, so dubbed “The watchmaker” because of his obsession with clocks. The purpose of a clock or watch is to tell time, any other function be it a chime, alarm, or a calendar are all referred to as “complications”. Watchmaker creates schemes with complications of their own. His multilayered exploits have Rhyme constantly guessing at his next steps and true motives. Although the constant twists in the plot line make for interesting reading, the idea that one man would put out that much effort to change things up seems to stretch credibility. This over convoluted plot treatment is the only thing that left me less than thrilled. I recommend this novel to fans of thrillers and forensic procedurals.

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The Watchmakers Hand
By Jeffery Deaver
Pub Date: Nov.28, 2023
G.P. Putnam
Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Awesome book I will be recommending without a doubt, 400 page mystery-thriller that had me in its grips. Familiarity with the series will enrich your understanding of this book, but it could be read as a stand alone.
With its suspense, well developed characters and plot I gladly will recommend this book to others who enjoy mysteries.
4 stars

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Ahhhh - another outing for Rhyme’s nemesis, the Watchmaker. It starts with an actual *bang*, a mysterious crane collapse, and it continues with ticking-time-bomb action and intricate plot (for which Deaver is well-known), riding like a tsunami toward a thrilling conclusion.
I didn’t love all the technical details about construction, crane operators, watches, and chemicals, and I often found myself losing interest.

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Another great book from Jeffery Deaver! I have always loved his books and especially the Lincoln Rymes series. As always the author leads us on the trail of a killer and what happens as they try to catch him!

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Lincoln Rhymes is called to the collapse of a huge construction crane in NY City, where one person has been killed, and dozens injured.. Rhymes and his partner Amelia Sachs are tasked to find the parties who have caused the crane failure, before more construction sites are targeted. The Watchmaker, perennial nemesis of Rhymes, is the perpetrator.
I found this novel formulaic and the plot familiar.

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Love reading about Lincoln Rhyme and his arch nemesis the Watchmaker. As usual the story is well put together and was a quick read for me. Reading it felt like I was right there in the thick of things, a rather scary and tense thought.

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With 'The Watchmaker’s Hand,' Deaver doesn't just tell a story – he plants a mental minefield of suspense that explodes with every revelation.

Book Information

"The Watchmaker’s Hand," authored by Jeffery Deaver, is a 400-page mystery/thriller set to release on November 28, 2023. With over thirty novels and three collections of short stories under his belt, Deaver is an internationally bestselling author. His works have been translated into 25 languages, reaching readers in 150 countries. Thank you to Putnam Books for providing me with an advance reader copy of this book for review.


A sinister criminal known only as the Watchmaker has plunged New York City into a state of turmoil. With a terrifying display of power, a construction crane collapses mysteriously, leaving devastation and loss in its wake. In the face of this catastrophe, Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs emerge as the city's best line of defense.

Amidst the chaos, a cryptic political faction steps into the spotlight, brazenly claiming responsibility for the crane's destruction. Their ultimatum is as unsettling as it is succinct: comply with their demands or brace for another crane's collapse within twenty-four hours.

However, amidst the chaos and danger, a realization shakes Rhyme to his core. The Watchmaker, his long-standing nemesis, has returned to the stage, masterminding this wave of terror. As the hours tick away, Rhyme and his team must confront their adversary's intricate web of destruction and deceit before New York falls into irreversible chaos.

My Thoughts

"The Watchmaker’s Hand," the forthcoming release by Jeffery Deaver, had me brimming with anticipation. My introduction to Deaver's books dates back to my time as a bookseller. He was the first author that I connected with. His ability to craft words into a seamless flow, somehow making reading his books seem effortless made his books not only accessible but thoroughly enjoyable. Having read numerous titles from his collection, the release of a new Deaver book is always an exciting occasion.

What amplifies my enthusiasm for "The Watchmaker’s Hand" is its inclusion within the Lincoln Rhyme series. As someone actively engaged in supporting individuals with disabilities, I know how important it is that literature positively depicts people of all abilities. Deaver's choice to depict a main character with a disability in this work resonates deeply with me, contributing to the much-needed representation often missing from all forms of media.

Delving into the heart of the novel, the plot unfolds as a tapestry of complexity. It engages readers in a multifaceted puzzle where layers are methodically revealed. At its core, "The Watchmaker’s Hand" portrays a clash of wits between Rhyme and the elusive Watchmaker. This high-stakes intellectual duel infuses the novel with significant suspense, propelling the story forward. Like an intricate puzzle, “The Watchmaker’s Hand” lures you in with its enigmatic plot, daring you to unravel its secrets.

Deaver's adeptness at character development takes center stage once again in this work. Each character is distinct and well-crafted, contributing to the intricate relationships that define the story's dynamics. While Rhyme's extraordinary power of observation and deduction is showcased, the team is also highlighted as equally important.

Throughout the book, Deaver also incorporates lots of technical details, providing insights into topics from cranes to chemical compounds. There is no shortage of information on how everything works. While some readers may appreciate this depth of knowledge, others might perceive it as slightly heavy-handed.

"The Watchmaker’s Hand" can certainly stand alone, but familiarity with the series enriches the understanding of characters and their shared journey. The book's conclusion, while simultaneously satisfying and uncertain, is a notable aspect. Deaver's decision to extend the narrative beyond the expected resolution offers a fresh perspective, inviting readers to contemplate the nuances beyond the immediate climax.

As one would expect in a Deaver novel, this story is full of twists, turns, and surprises. With each unexpected turn, 'The Watchmaker’s Hand' keeps you guessing, proving once again that Deaver is a master of suspense. Each page, each revelation furthers feeds the pressure cooker of intrigue, building towards a climax that will leave you breathless.


"The Watchmaker’s Hand" is a testament to Deaver's skill in crafting suspenseful and intricately woven narratives. With its suspense, intricate plot, and well-defined characters, the novel promises to be a worthy addition to his collection of compelling works. Deaver's narrative prowess shines brighter than ever. This is a gripping novel that holds you captive till the very last word. Highly recommended.


4.5 Timely Stars

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I've read and loved all the books in the Lincoln Rhyme series and was, not so patiently, waiting for a new book to come out. I loved getting to read about Lincoln's biggest nemesis coming back to New York, and have the team race against the clock to try to solve the case and catch the watchmaker once and for all. The story had all the usual elements that make a Jeffery Deaver story so exciting and interesting and I really enjoyed the book. However, I do think there is a little too much emphasis on some of the technical aspects of the story which made me lose interest at times.

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Deaver is still good after all this time. I read this series because I started from the first and have hit them all. The characters are like friends now

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