New Year's Eve, 1999. After an early morning machine-gun attack by a madman man called the Digger leaves dozens dead in the Washington, D.C. subway, the mayor's office receives a message demanding twenty million dollars by midnight or more innocents will die. With the ransom note as the only evidence, Special Agent Margaret Lukas calls upon retired FBI agent and the nation's premiere document examiner Parker Kincaid, to join the manhunt for the Digger -- or for hundreds, the first moments of the new century will be their last on earth.
Thriller readers can always count on getting extra value from Jeffery Deaver--strong plots, fascinating research, believable characters, and plenty of surprise endings. Like in The Terminator, the bad guys in The Devil's Teardrop just won't quit, and they create enough havoc in the last 50 pages to fill a whole new book.
Although Deaver's brilliant, wheelchair-bound forensic expert Lincoln Rhyme makes a guest appearance, the muscular scientist in charge here is Parker Kincaid--an expert in document analysis who'd much rather be checking the authenticity of letters from Thomas Jefferson than figuring out when a crazed shooter known as the Digger will strike again. But it's New Year's Eve, 1999, and the Digger has begun a reign of terror--promising to shoot into crowds in Washington, D.C., every four hours until he's paid $20 million. As Kincaid searches an odd ransom note for clues (and tries to maintain a low profile so that his vindictive ex-wife won't get custody of his young kids), we get to know the Digger better. He is a frighteningly invisible character with serious brain damage, who methodically obeys a set of instructions from an unknown handler. We also learn many amazing facts about paper, ink, and handwriting analysis, and watch as a relationship slowly and reluctantly develops between Kincaid and the FBI agent in charge. All this as the devious Deaver leads us down several garden paths overflowing with dead bodies. --Dick Adler