Have you ever read a book that really picked up on things that are happening now and exaggerated them, just a bit, to create something frighteningly real? The Broken Window, the latest Lincoln Rhyme mystery by Jeffrey Deaver, picks up on very real concerns about privacy, data mining, identity theft, and electronic shadows. This book doesn’t showcase a lot of Rhyme’s criminology and forensics know-how. It’s more about demonstrating how much electronic information there is floating around out there about us, our electronic shadow.I miss the forensics, though. There’s a lot of computer wizardry in here instead.
In this book, the killer is constantly referred to as the man who knows everything. Because he knows how to mine data–gathering data from many different sources and putting together a profile of someone–he knows how to mess with people’s financial data, criminal records, medical records, all sorts of things. It’s like he can attack you without ever coming near you. This isn’t exactly new territory for Deaver; he wrote about a criminal with similar access in The Blue Nowhere. But in this book, Deaver takes the idea farther. Not only can the baddie get near his victims, but he can use his knowledge to frame other people.
The Broken Window is a cracking read. I whipped through it in about six hours. I was completely hooked by this one. Deaver peppers this book with his trademark (well, I consider them trademark) cliffhangers and plot twists, so you never really get to relax until the end. Which is exactly how I like my mysteries and theories.