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Julie Sarkissian blogs about the problems facing the protagnist of her debut novel, DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy - But What?

Lucy is different – that much is clear. She speaks like a child, doesn’t recognize social boundaries, flies into rages, and treasures rotten food. Her cognition is impaired, her vocabulary is very limited and she cannot read or write. But what – precisely – is wrong with her is left up to the reader. Lucy is the protagonist of my novel, DEAR LUCY, and from the first sentence of the book I ever wrote it was obvious that Lucy was cognitively different. The way Lucy describes herself is as “missing too many words.” Her mother calls her “difficult.” Readers of early drafts of the book had a few theories as to Lucy’s condition; autism, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome. But Lucy’s mother has kept her from going to school and Lucy has never seen a doctor. So in the fictional reality of the book there is no official diagnosis. But as the novel progressed I wondered – should I have one? I was torn. If Lucy was presenting enough symptoms to point to a real condition, was I ignoring the obvious not to fold that condition into my development of her character? Was it insensitive of me to allude to aspects of certain real, life-altering conditions but not assign a specific condition to Lucy? I worried about appropriating aspects of serious conditions without treating those conditions with proper respect and acknowledgement. And though any clinical diagnosis would probably not be explicit in the novel, I wondered if I would be ignoring an opportunity to bring attention to a real disorder when people asked me about Lucy’s condition, the way The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time did for autism. On the other hand, I had concerns that if I chose a diagnosis for Lucy, I would be ascribing to her qualities that she wouldn’t have otherwise presented. Lucy had her own will over my writing and over the novel. I didn’t want to yoke Lucy’s expression by keeping her behavior and abilities consistent with a clinical condition. Accuracy would also become a critical issue if Lucy’s condition was named. Ultimately I chose not to diagnose Lucy, though I worry the artistic freedom provided by that decision comes at the price of being judged for being too liberal with my treatment of cognitive disorders. Now that publication is a few months away, I am apprehensive of how my treatment of Lucy’s cognitive limitations will be judged. I have yet to talk to a reader who has a learning different child, or works with learning different people, and that conversation is one I will be honored, and not a bit anxious, to have.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Steel Kiss

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver

Master of suspense Jeffery Deaver returns with the latest gripping thriller featuring paraplegic forensic detective Lincoln Rhyme.Technology is everywhere. It makes our lives easier, our connections faster and journeys quicker. But in the hands of someone smart enough, every piece of technology can be a murder weapon.When an escalator gives way mid-chase, Amelia Sachs is forced to let a killer escape as she helps the man trapped in the depths.Now Sachs and forensic detective Lincoln Rhyme must investigate if the collapse was a freak accident... or whether they are facing a murderer who knows exactly how fatal machines can be.(P)2016 Hodder & Stoughton

Hodder & Stoughton

The Lincoln Rhyme Collection 5-8

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver
Hodder & Stoughton

Solitude Creek

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver

The fourth electrifying thriller in the Kathryn Dance series from master of suspense Jeffery Deaver.One mistake is all it takes.Busted back to rookie after losing her gun in an interrogation gone bad, California Bureau of Investigation Agent Kathryn Dance finds herself making routine insurance checks after a roadhouse fire.But Dance is a highly trained expert in body language: her most deadly weapon is her instinct, and they can't take that away from her.And when the evidence at the club points to something more than a tragic accident, she isn't going to let protocol stop her doing everything in her power to take down the perp.Someone out there is using the panic of crowds to kill, and Dance must find out who, before he strikes again . . .

Hodder & Stoughton

The Skin Collector

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver

A new type of serial killer is stalking the streets of New York - one more devious and disturbing than ever before.They call this butcher The Skin Collector: a tattooist with a chamber of torture hidden deep underground. But instead of using ink to create each masterpiece, the artist uses a lethal poison which will render targets dead before they can even entertain the prospect of escape...Drafted in to investigate, NYPD detective Lincoln Rhyme and his associate Amelia Sachs have little to go on but a series of cryptic messages left etched into the skin of the deceased. As the pair struggle to discover the meaning behind the designs, they are led down a treacherous and twisting path where nothing is as it seems. And with the clock rapidly ticking before the killer strikes again, they must untangle the twisted web of clues before more victims - or they themselves - are next.(P)2014 Hodder & Stoughton

Hodder & Stoughton

The October List

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver
Hodder & Stoughton

The Kill Room

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver
Hodder & Stoughton

The Lincoln Rhyme Collection 1-4

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver

Four electrifying suspense novels featuring brilliant criminalist and quadriplegic Lincoln Rhyme: THE BONE COLLECTOR, THE COFFIN DANCER, THE EMPTY CHAIR and THE STONE MONKEY

Hodder & Stoughton

Carte Blanche

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver
Hodder & Stoughton

Edge

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver
Hodder & Stoughton

The Burning Wire

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver
Hodder & Stoughton

The Blue Nowhere

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver

DEAVER. DANGEROUSLY GOOD.Imagine you're in a bar. A man approaches you. He doesn't seem familiar but he knows your past, your job, your hobbies and your ex-boyfriend's name. You go for a drink. This is your first - and last - mistake. You're the latest victim of the latest killer. A man who can rip away the thin carapace protecting the secrets of your life - before ending it. Streetwise cop Frank Bishop has been charged with the job of halting the mounting body count. He enlists the help of Wyatt Gillette, a young hacker on the wrong side of the law.They must stalk this faceless criminal through both the real and the virtual universe, combining their old and new world skills to beat the mastermind. But how do you stop a man who knows your every move? You go into the blue nowhere...'One of the world's best plotters - his intricate twists and turns catch out even the hardened thriller reader' Daily Mail

Hodder & Stoughton

The Vanished Man

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver

Can Lincoln Rhyme catch a diabolical killer in a world of truth and lies? 'Deaver is the master puzzler.' - Sunday TelegraphA killer flees the scene of a homicide at a prestigious Manhattan music school and locks himself in a classroom. Within minutes, the police have him surrounded. A scream rings out, followed by a gunshot. The police break down the door. The room is empty.Perplexed, the police bring in Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs to investigate. For the ambitious Sachs, solving the case could earn her a promotion. For the quadriplegic Rhyme, it means relying on his protégé to ferret out a master illusionist. Dubbed The Conjurer, this fiendish killer baits them with murders that become more and more diabolical with every crime.As the fatalities rise and the minutes tick down, the pair must move beyond the smoke and mirrors to prevent a terrifying act of vengeance that could become the greatest vanishing act of all.

Hodder & Stoughton

Praying for Sleep

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver
Hodder & Stoughton

The Lesson of her Death

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver
Hodder & Stoughton

The Empty Chair

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver

The third of the bestselling Lincoln Rhyme series sends the detective deep into North Carolina on the trail of a desperate kidnapper... You've followed a killer into a swampHopefully you'll find him before he gets to his next victimsBut you'd better watch out - The Insect Boy doesn't need his own hands to kill...Sick of his debilitating injuries, Lincoln Rhyme has travelled to a world-famous spinal cord injuries center in North Carolina for some risky, experimental surgery. It may make him a tiny bit better; it may kill him. But before he has a chance to undergo the operation, the local police department draft Rhyme and his partner Amelia into a shocking new case. Using their forensic skills the pair desperately try to track down two women kidnapped by a psychotic young man known locally as the Insect Boy.After a cat-and-mouse game through the abandoned swamps of North Carolina, Lincoln and Amelia finally manage to find him - except suddenly Amelia, convinced of his innocence, breaks the boy out of jail. And it's left to Lincoln to find them both, while Amelia uses all the skills her mentor and lover has taught her to evade him.But her actions are to have more disastrous consequences than either of them could anticipate ...'The most creative, skilled and intriguing thriller writer in the world . . . [Deaver] has produced a stunning series of bestsellers with unique characterisation, intelligent characters, beguiling plots and double-barrelled and sometimes triple-barrelled solutions.' - Daily Telegraph

Hodder & Stoughton

The Stone Monkey

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver

The dark world of people smuggling beckons as Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs chase The Ghost, a notorious killer... 'The best psychological thriller writer around.' - The TimesInvestigators Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are recruited to track down a cargo ship carrying two dozen illegal Chinese immigrants, as well as the notorious human smuggler and killer known only as the Ghost. But when the capture goes disastrously wrong, Lincoln and Amelia find themselves in a race to stop the Ghost before he can track down and murder the two surviving families who have vanished deep into the labyrinthine world of New York City's Chinese community.Over the next forty-eight hours the Ghost ruthlessly hunts for the families while Rhyme struggles desperately to find them first. Meanwhile, Sachs pursues a very different kind of policework - forming a connection with one of the immigrants that may have far reaching consequences for her relationship with her partner and lover, Lincoln Rhyme.

Hodder & Stoughton

A Maiden's Grave

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver
Hodder & Stoughton

The Cold Moon

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver

Jeffery Deaver is the award-winning author of two collections of short stories and 29 internationally bestselling novels, including the latest James Bond novel Carte Blanche. He is best known for his Lincoln Rhyme thrillers, which include the number one bestsellers The Vanished Man, The Twelfth Card and The Cold Moon, as well as The Bone Collector which was made into a feature film starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. The first Kathryn Dance novel, The Sleeping Doll, was published in 2007 to enormous acclaim.A three-time recipient of the Ellery Queen Reader's Award for Best Short Story of the year, he has been nominated for an Anthony Award and six Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America. He won the WH Smith Thumping Good Read Award in 2001 and in 2004 won the Crime Writers' Association Steel Dagger for Best Thriller with Garden of Beasts, and their Short Story Dagger for The Weekender from Twisted.Jeffery Deaver lives in North Carolina and California.Visit his website, www.jefferydeaver.com, Facebook page, www.facebook.com/JefferyDeaver, and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JefferyDeaver.(P)2006 Hodder & Stoughton Audiobooks

Hodder Paperbacks

Mistress of Justice

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver

Taylor Lockwood spends her days working as a paralegal in one of New York's pre-eminent Wall Street law firms and her nights playing jazz piano anywhere she can. But the rhythm of her life is disrupted when attorney Mitchell Reece requests her help in locating a stolen document that could cost him not only the multimillion dollar case he's defending but his career as well. Eager to get closer to this handsome, brilliant and very private man, Taylor signs on...only to find that as she delves deeper and deeper into what goes on behind closed doors at Hubbard, White & Willis, she uncovers more than she wants to know - including a plenitude of secrets damaging enough to smash careers and dangerous enough to push someone to commit murder. Yet who is capable of going to that extreme? With her life on the line, Taylor is about to learn the lethal answer...

Hodder Paperbacks

Speaking In Tongues

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver

Words are the most dangerous weapons on earth - and Tate Collier, who has a consummate skill with them, can talk his way into anyone's heart, and get them to do whatever he wants. Tate is a lawyer who used to defend death penalty cases in Virginia's Supreme Court; now he concentrates on work for the local community. When his teenage daughter goes missing all the signs are that she's run away. But Tate and his ex-wife, Bett, feel differently, and set out in search of her. To discover that Megan is in the hands of a man with no morals and as great a gift for words as Tate himself. Megan's is not the only life in danger...