This is another Lincoln Rhyme novel by the master. It can stand alone. However, for the uninitiated, Lincoln Rhyme is a quadraplegic CSI master who consults with the NYPD after his career was ended in an accident at a crime scene. He has a protege in the lovely (and love interest) Amelia Sachs who acts as his eyes at crime scenes. He also has a kick-butt crime lab in his Manhattan brownstone and a cadre of associates who help him solve the crimes. If you like the CSI series on TV, you will love this series.
The best part of the series, however, is that in every one, Mr. Deaver gives the reader an education. Books have given in-depth lessons in people smuggling, bones, magic, clock-making and the like. Electricity is this book's topic. Mr. Deaver weaves these specialties into intricate murder plots that keeps the perpetrator ahead until the last minute. There is constant action and reaction from start to finish.
BURNING WIRE combines two plots at the outset. The "Watchmaker", Rhyme's nemesis from a few novels ago, has been spotted in Mexico. He is asked by the Mexican authorities to assist in the criminal mastermind's apprehension. At the same time, someone has ingeniously infiltrated the power grid of Manhattan. He is able to cause an arc that decimates a signpost, killing an innocent bystander. By the next day, he is causing other electrocutions around Manhattan and Rhyme has to work both cases at once.
Rhyme and his supporting cast are well-established characters. Even if this is the first Rhyme book for you, you will find they have depth and unique personalities. Deaver does enough to introduce them without being tedious to devoted readers.
There is one criticism of this book that is fair. It is the same formula that Mr. Deaver has used successfully in the past - a series of murders with Amelia "walking the grids" of the crime scene for Lincoln Rhyme. That being said, the formula works and the murders here are so different from prior workds that it makes the formula secondary to the plot.
This is highly recommended for those who know Lincoln Rhyme and those who have not yet read him. One warning for the uninitiated - you'll be going back to the old ones in order.