Well after a kick butt book #7, I had high hopes for book #8, instead this one floundered a lot IMHO. We also have Sachs in my opinion being a total nitwit for how she handles an inappropriate relationship with someone she is close to. And I have to say that this book was highly repetitive from beginning to end. I think that Deaver was trying to tell three stories in this one, and they all get pretty lost. The ending I found to be off and just setting things up for the next book in the series. At least I got off my butt and place a hold on that book.
In "The Broken Window" we have Rhyme focused on a mysterious case in London. No you will have no idea at all what that is about until the end of the book so feel free to skim any references to that, I know I did. Of course I guessed at the reveal though of why Rhyme was so interested in this case, I just don't know why Deaver hid it (badly) from readers.
When Ryhme's cousin's wife (his cousin's name is Arthur) comes to visit him though, Sachs and Rhyme agree to look into Rhyme's cousin's arrest for a rape and murder he claims that he is innocent of. Within a few short chapters readers are then made hip to that fact as well. Though of course, Rhyme reveals something about his cousin that calls that all into question (not for readers though since we all get a POV of the guilty party in this one). This is what I mean by the book floundering.
It would have been cool to not reveal the POV of the killer in this one. It would have been nice if Deaver had the book segue back from the team investigating (Rhyme, Sachs, Pulaski) and Rhyme's cousin Arthur who is in detention and is pretty close to a nervous breakdown. Then readers can wonder about Arthur once we have Rhyme revealing something to Sachs about why Rhyme has not been in contact with his cousin in 10 years. The rush to show that Arthur is clearly being set up and Rhyme and Sachs just trying to catch the bad guy made the book boring to me.
We get the killer's POV in this one, and honestly I had a hard time with it. Besides being a murder and rapist he seems off the reservation entirely. I don't know how a person like this is able to do what he does in this book without anyone being able to stop him. I know that "The Broken Window" is a cautionary tale by Deaver about how everything is being digitized and if someone wanted to they could ruin your life, but this was way too much like "The Net" for me, but somehow more terrible....and yep, going to lower the star rating on this one again as I sit and think about that.
We also have the POV of the character of Pam in this one (and please let this be the last time). This is the teen that Rhyme and Sachs have a connection to due to the events in "The Bone Collector." Sachs has taken the girl under her wing and even though Pam has a foster family, she practically lives with Rhyme and Sachs at both of their places and Sachs looks on her like a daughter (a daughter that badly needs a lot of therapy). The story-line could have been okay, but when we find out that Pam is involved with a 40 year old man she loves and Sachs doesn't have the fool arrested I just shook my head. Readers definitely understand Pam's past, but I had a hard time with her telling this grown man that she would see him if he got divorced from his wife. He has two kids younger than Pam and ugh, I just maybe banged my head there and I have to move on. This whole story-line ticked me off and wrecked the flow of the book.
The writing got way too repetitive for me while reading. You will read a lot of references to Kathryn Dance in this one. I started to want her to make an appearance since I was sick of Rhyme talking about how Dance has shown him how to look at people to tell if they are lying. Also Pulaski is a fav or mine, but I am getting really tired of reading about how his ears burn when he gets upset or embarrassed. I really want to see some growth with this character. We get echoes of it here and there, but his POV's ultimately started getting on my nerves.
The ending just kind of happens and then of course jumps back to the case that Rhyme was interested in going on in London. I hope the next book brings things back up a notch.