Manhattan Is My Beat by Jeffrey Deaver, a review

manhattan is my beat it was written early in Jeffrey Deaver’s career in 1988 and later revised in 2000. Two other works he wrote in 1988 have not been republished and are hard to find. He was thirty-eight years old when these were written. Before that, he worked as a corporate (non-criminal) lawyer.

Best known for his serious Lincoln Rhyme books about a quadriplegic detective, this book pays homage to old movies and the whimsical thinking of the young. His main character, Rune in his twenties, sees life as magic and fairy tales and has a real passion for old movies. When he goes to retrieve a rented movie from an old man he has grown fond of, he finds him dead. She is convinced that the reason she has rented manhattan is my beat so often it is because it contains a clue to the whereabouts of the lost money. The money disappeared in the real-life bank robbery on which the film is based.

Her naivet√© is charming and gives her the courage to pursue Mr. Kelley’s death, when it seems the police and her more grounded boyfriend aren’t interested. She becomes on a hunt until the bad guys catch up with her. This is a fun game that showcases Deaver’s early talent for creating suspense. As he says himself, the plot can be wonderfully suspenseful, but if you don’t like the characters, it’s not a well written story. Rune is an attractive character, who is forced to grow up a bit in this adventure. There are two more Rune books in the trilogy, including death of a blue movie star and difficult news.

I haven’t started the series featuring Kathryn Dance, a body language expert, but I look forward to checking them out in the future. Deaver plans to do side books between the Dance and Lincoln Rhyme characters in the coming years, and recently completed the book that will be the basis for the upcoming James Bond film, White card.