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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 Burial Hour

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver
Hodder Paperbacks

The Steel Kiss

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver

The twelfth chilling Lincoln Rhyme thriller which will leave you looking over your shoulder. How do you catch a killer who can reach you anywhere - without going near you? Detective Amelia Sachs is in pursuit when she hears the scream.Stopping to help a man trapped in a horrific accident, Sachs has to let a suspected murderer get away.But was it really coincidence? Did the killer make it happen?Sachs and Lincoln Rhyme are facing a new kind of opponent:Someone who can kill by remote control.Someone watching every move they make... 'A tightly plotted masterpiece' Sun 'Flawlessly constructed and paced' The Sunday Times 'The king of suspense is back and he's done it again' Glasgow Herald

Hodder Paperbacks

Edge

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver

DEAVER. DANGEROUSLY GOOD.Henry Loving is a 'lifter', hired to extract information from his victims. He is very, very good at it.His next target is a Washington, D.C. detective, whose family are immediately put under government protection. The man assigned to their case is protection officer Corte: uncompromising, relentlessly devoted to protecting those in his care and a brilliant game strategist. He knows just how brutal the lifter can be - six years earlier, Loving killed someone close to him.As tension increases inside the family, the situation escalates into a deadly contest between the hunter and his prey. As the lifter closes in, Corte must decide whether to protect his charges, or use them as bait in the name of personal revenge...'The twists and turns from devilish Deaver will have you burning the midnight oil, then using it to set fire to the candle you'll be burning at both ends until you finish this.' Sun

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 Paperbacks

The Skin Collector

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver
Hodder & Stoughton

Trouble in Mind

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver
Hodder Paperbacks

The Bone Collector

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver

Their first case, their worst killer...New York City has been thrown into chaos by the assaults of the Bone Collector, a serial kidnapper and killer who gives the police a chance to save his victims from death by leaving obscure clues. Baffled, the cops turn to the one man with a chance of solving them - Lincoln Rhyme.Left paralysed by a debilitating accident, ex NYPD cop Rhyme has to dig deep into the only world he has left - his astonishing mind - to have any hope of solving the case. With the help of a young police officer, Amelia Sachs, he starts to close in on the killer. But as he edges closer to the truth, the Bone Collector is closing in on Lincoln Rhyme himself.'This is a novel that will chill your blood on the warmest day of any summer holiday. Keep looking over your shoulder . . .' - Independent on SundayThe inspiration behind the 1999 film starring Angelina Jolie.

Hodder Paperbacks

The Kill Room

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver

Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs will do anything to uncover the truth, so they must enter The Kill Room. 'THE KILL ROOM is full of his trademark twists, breathless suspense and ironic humour. It is a thriller of 'bits, scraps, observations (and) 180 degree changes in direction' which never cheats the reader, so that the only response can be sighs of satisfaction and admiration.' - The Evening StandardA sniper shot from a near-impossible distance. Evidence that the order came from the highest levels of US government. A New York DA who won't let it go.Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs will risk everything to uncover the truth. But there is no crime scene investigation, no evidence, and no co-operation from the local Bahamian police.No strangers to controversy, their reputation for seeing what others miss is unparalleled, and ambitious attorney Nance Laurel knows they will risk everything - even their lives - to seek the truth . . .But first, they must enter The Kill Room.

Hodder & Stoughton

The October List

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver

You wait, desperately, for news of your daughter.At last, the door opens.But it is not the negotiators, or the FBI.It is her kidnapper.And he has a gun . . .Two days ago, life was normal.How did it end like this?Every crime scene begins at the end. To know what happened, you must work backwards, piecing together the events that came before. The ultimate thriller writer, Jeffery Deaver puts your brain - and your nerves - to the ultimate test with THE OCTOBER LIST, in a masterful mystery that unfolds from the end back to the beginning with many a breath-taking twist along the way.

Hodder & Stoughton

Carte Blanche

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver
Hodder & Stoughton

The Bodies Left Behind

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver

DEAVER. DANGEROUSLY GOOD.A spring night in a small town in Wisconsin. A call to police emergency from a distant lake house is cut short. Is it a phone glitch or something more sinister? Off-duty deputy Brynn McKenzie leaves her family's dinner table to find out......And stumbles onto the scene of a heinous murder. Before she can call for backup she finds herself the next potential victim. Deprived of her phone, weapon and car, Brynn flees, along with the only survivor of the crime.These unlikely allies can survive only by escaping into the dense, deserted woods, on a desperate trek to safety. And ultimately to a life or death choice. Flight. Or fight?'Confirms his status as one of the finest crime writers in the world . . . grabs the reader by the throat from the beginning. Superb.' Independent on Sunday

Hodder & Stoughton

The Blue Nowhere

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver
Hodder & Stoughton

The Vanished Man

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver
Hodder & Stoughton

Praying for Sleep

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver

DEAVER. DANGEROUSLY GOOD.Michael Hrubek, a young schizophrenic, has escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane. And he's making his way towards Lis Atcheson, the teacher who testified at his trial.Four people are racing to intercept him before he finds her. His psychiatrist; the hospital director; a professional tracker. And Lis's husband, who plans to stop Hrubek before the madman reaches his wife.But Michael's mind - with its delusions of murder and betrayal - is crystal clear about one thing. He knows Lis better than she knows herself. And he carries with him a monstrous secret that will tear apart many lives in the course of one horrifying night...'Seldom have more twists and turns, or more harrowing suspense, been packed into a single day - or between the covers of a single book...Superior' James Patterson

Hodder & Stoughton

Speaking In Tongues

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 Paperbacks

Mistress of Justice

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver
Hodder & Stoughton

The Devil's Teardrop

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver

DEAVER. DANGEROUSLY GOOD. 9am, 31st December. A man gets onto the packed escalator of a metro station and fires a silenced machine gun through a paper bag. He escapes without being spotted in the chaos that follows. A note is delivered to the mayor of Washington, D.C., demanding $20 million, or the writer will instruct the gunman to strike again, at 4 pm, 8 pm and midnight. The mayor decides to pay up. But then a man is killed in a hit and run accident - and his fingerprints match the ones on the note.With the brains behind the operation dead, there's no way of stopping the gunman killing again, and again, and again... The only evidence the FBI have is the note. And Parker Kincaid, forensic document expert, is the only man who can stop the killer. But he's running out of time... 'Deaver is a terrific storyteller, and he takes the reader on a rollercoaster of suspense, violence and mystery' Daily Telegraph

Hodder Paperbacks

The Lesson of her Death

Jeffery Deaver
Authors:
Jeffery Deaver