Lincoln Rhyme, Deaver&s popular paraplegic detective, returns (after The Vanished Man) in a robust thriller that demonstrates Deaver&s unflagging ability to entertain. But even great entertainers have high and lows, and this novel, while steadily absorbing, doesn&t match the author&s best. Geneva Settle, who&s 16 and black, is attacked in a Manhattan library while researching an ancestor, a former slave who harbored a serious secret (not revealed until book&s end). Amelia Sachs, Rhyme&s lover/assistant, and then Rhyme are pulled into the case, which quickly turns bloody. After Geneva are a lethally cool white hit man and a black ex-con but even when they&re identified, their motive remains unclear: why does someone want this feisty, hardworking Harlem schoolgirl dead? To find out, Rhyme primarily relies, as usual, on his and Sachs&s strength, forensic analysis the book&s tour de force opening sequence consists mostly of a lengthy depiction of their painstaking dissection of evidence left during the initial attack on Geneva, and every few chapters there&s an extensive recap of all evidence collected in the case.