By Jeffery Deaver

Formats and Prices




$2.99 CAD



  1. ebook (Digital original) $1.99 $2.99 CAD
  2. Audiobook Download

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around April 2, 2013. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

From Jeffery Deaver — the New York Times bestselling author of the upcoming Lincoln Rhyme novel The Kill Room — comes an original short story featuring Rhyme.

When a young woman is found brutally murdered in a parking garage, with a veritable mountain of potential evidence to sift through, it may be the most challenging case former NYPD detective Lincoln Rhyme has ever taken on.


Begin Reading

An Excerpt from The Kill Room

Also by Jeffery Deaver

Table of Contents


Copyright Page

In accordance with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, the scanning, uploading, and electronic sharing of any part of this book without the permission of the publisher constitute unlawful piracy and theft of the author's intellectual property. If you would like to use material from the book (other than for review purposes), prior written permission must be obtained by contacting the publisher at permissions@hbgusa.com. Thank you for your support of the author's rights.


"The worst I've ever seen," he whispered.

She listened to the young man's words and decided that was a bit ironic, since he couldn't have been more than mid-twenties. How many crime scenes could he have run?

But she noted, too, that his round, handsome face, crested by a crew-cut scalp, was genuinely troubled. He had a military air about him and didn't seem the sort to get flustered.

Something particularly troubling was down there—in the pit of the underground garage they stood in front of, delineated by yellow fluttering tape, the pit where the woman had been murdered early that morning.

Amelia Sachs was gearing up at the staging area outside the bland apartment building in this equally style-challenged neighborhood of Manhattan, East Twenty-sixth Street. Here were residential low rises from the 1950s and '60s, some brownstones, restaurants that had been born Italian twenty years ago and had converted to Middle Eastern. For greenery, short, anemic trees, striving grass, tiny shrubs in huge concrete planters.

Sachs ripped open the plastic bag containing the disposable scene suit: white Tyvek coveralls, booties, head cap, cuffed nitrile gloves.

"You'll want the Ninety-five, too," the young officer told her. His name was Marko, maybe first, probably last. Sachs hadn't bothered to find out.

"Chemical problem? Bio?" Nodding toward the pit.

The N95 was a particulate respirator that filtered out a lot of the bad crap you found at some crime scenes. The dangerous ones.

"Just, you'll want it."

She didn't like the respirators and usually wore a simple surgical mask. But if Marko told her there was a problem inside, she'd go with it.

Worst I've ever seen…

Sachs continued to pull on the protective gear. She was claustrophobic and didn't like the layers of swaddling that crime scene searchers had to put up with, but were necessary to protect them from dangerous substances at the scene but more important protect the scene from contaminants police might throw off—their hairs, fibers, flecks of skin and other assorted trace they might cart about with them. (One man had nearly been arrested because a tomato seed had linked him to a murder—until it was discovered that the seed came from the shoe of a crime scene officer, who'd neglected to wear booties… and who was soon, thanks to Lincoln Rhyme, a former crime scene officer.)

Several other cars arrived, including that of the Major Cases detective lieutenant, Lon Sellitto, an unmarked Crown Victoria. The car was spotless and still dripping from the car wash. Sellitto, on the other hand, was typically disheveled. He wore an unpressed white shirt, skewed tie and a rumpled suit, though fortunately in wrinkle-concealing navy blue (Sachs recalled that he'd worn seersucker once and never again; even he had thought he looked like tousled bed sheets). Sachs had given up trying to guess Sellitto's age. He was in that timeless mid-fifties that all detectives first class on the NYPD seem to fall into.

He was also an institution and he caught a few awed looks from the uniforms now as he pushed his way through the crowd of gawkers and with some difficulty, considering his weight, ducked under the yellow tape.

He joined Sachs and Marko, who wasn't particularly awed but clearly respectful.


Sellitto didn't have any idea who he was but nodded back. He said to Sachs, "How is he?"

Which would mean only one "he."

"Fine. Been back for two days. Actually wanted to come to the scene."

Lincoln Rhyme, the former head of the NYPD crime scene operation and now a forensic consultant, had been undergoing a series of medical procedures to improve his condition—he was a quadriplegic, largely paralyzed from the neck down because of an accident while searching a scene years ago.

Sellitto said a sincere "No shit. Wanted to come. God bless him."

Sachs gave the man a wry look. She was considerably younger and a more junior detective. But she didn't let a lot pass—from anyone. Sellitto caught the glance. "Did that sound condescending?"

She lifted an eyebrow, meaning, "Yep. And if Rhyme heard you say it, the reply would not be pretty."

"Well, fuck. Good for him anyway." He focused on the off-white apartment, the water stains on the walls, the mismatched windows, the dented air conditioners underneath them, the sad grass, sick or dying from city dogs more than from the cool air. Still, even an air-shaft studio would cost two thousand and change. When Sachs was not staying with Rhyme she was at her place in Brooklyn. Big. And it had a garden. The month was September and she'd just harvested the last crop of veggies, beating the frost by twenty-four hours.

Sachs tucked her abundant red hair up under the Tyvek cap and Velcroed closed the coveralls over her jeans and tight wool sweater. The suit fit snugly. Marko watched, somewhat discreetly. Sachs had been a fashion model before joining the NYPD. She got followed by a lot of eyes.

"Chance of the scene being hot?" she asked Marko.

It was rare for perps to stick around a murder scene and target investigators, but not unheard of.

"Doubt it," the young officer responded. "But…"

Made sense for him to hedge when it came to a scene that was apparently so horrific.

Before suiting up, Sachs had drawn and set her Glock pistol aside. She now wiped it down with an alcohol swab to remove trace and slipped it into the pocket of the coveralls. If she needed the weapon, she could get to it quickly, even fire through the cloth, if need be. That was good about Glocks. No external safeties, double action. You pointed and pulled.

Any chance of it being hot?…

And what the hell was so bad about the scene? How had the poor woman died? And what had happened to her before… or after?

She guessed it was a sado-sexual killing.

Sellitto said to Marko, "What's the story, Officer?"

He looked back and forth from the older detective to Sachs as he gave the story. "I'm assigned to crime scene in Queens, HQ, sir. I had some advanced training at the academy this morning so I was heading there, when I heard the call."

The NYPD academy on Twentieth Street at Second Avenue.

"Dispatch said any available. I was two blocks away so I responded. I had gear with me and I suited up before I went in." Marko, too, was dressed in a Tyvek crime scene outfit, minus the head covering.

"Good thinking."

"I wouldn't have waited but the dispatch said the report was a body, not an injured victim."

Crime scenes were always a compromise. Contamination with outside trace and obliterating important evidence could hamper or even ruin an investigation but first responders' priority is saving lives or collaring perps who were still present. Marko had acted right.

"I looked at the scene fast then called in."

Two other crime scene people from the Queens headquarters had just arrived in the RRV—rapid response vehicle—containing evidence collection gear. The man and woman climbed out, she Asian, he Latino. He opened the back and they, too, got their gear. "Hey, Marko," he called, "how'd you beat us? Take a chopper over here?"

The young officer gave a faint smile. But it was clear he was still troubled, presumably by what he'd seen inside.

Sellitto asked Marko, "You know any of the players yet?"

"Just, her boyfriend called it in. That's all I know."

The older detective said, "I'll talk to him and get a canvass team going. You handle the scene, Amelia. We'll rendezvous back at Lincoln's."


"Detective Rhyme's going to be on the case?" Marko asked.


  • "In Mr. Deaver's kaleidoscope world, the odds seem to change with each turn of the page."—The Wall Street Journal
  • "Deaver's infernal puzzle mysteries invariably inspire words like devious, diabolical, and devilish."—The New York Times
  • "Deaver is the grand master of the plot twist."—Booklist
  • "The Rhyme novels are among the cleverest of contemporary detective fiction."—Booklist

On Sale
Apr 2, 2013
Page Count
45 pages

Jeffery Deaver

About the Author

Jeffery Deaver is the #1 international bestselling author of over thirty novels and three collections of short stories. His books are sold in 150 countries and translated into 25 languages. His first novel featuring Lincoln Rhyme, The Bone Collector, was made into a major motion picture starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. He’s received or been shortlisted for a number of awards around the world. He lives in North Carolina.

Learn more about this author