Archiv für Februar 2012

Electrifrying: Jeffery Deaver – The Burning Wire

Foto des BuchesBeing a regular reader of Deavers physically challenged crime novels around the cripple Lincoln Rhyme I have to warn you. “The Burning Wire” is not one of his masterpieces.

Deaver is usually a master of suspense and not shy of describing pain, brutality and extreme suffering. But it seems that in this book he got overwhelmed by the theme he choose for the story: Murder with Electricity.

It is a very interesting and quite original idea that someone might start terrifying New Yorks inhabitants with introducing some of them to several thousand volts. Also using the issue of our dependency on (or maybe: addiction to) electric power and the discussion about renewable energy as a background theme holds quite some promise.

And you know that Deaver studied the matter  intensely – her shares many of his insights into physics and explains them better than most physics teachers. But somehow he just got stuck with the technology and fails to extend the fascination into his subjects, his story, or society in general. How our own body works with electricity, how it interacts with us, how it kills… and many more interesting roads remain uncovered. In older books never short of the cruelest details of torture, murder and dying, here Deaver restrains himself and leaves it at: It strikes you and you are dead. Well, he describes some suffering, but it remains distant, somehow theoretical. There is more to it as everyone who ever made intimate contact with 220 volt wire can tell (happend to me twice).

You may ask: What for would I want to know this? The answer: You might not. But reading Deaver used to mean exploring the pure essence of those things, to get to its center in very much a metaphysical sense – even Buddhist in some way. But here electricity remains – despite the burning title – a cold thing. I expected much more depth here.

So the story unravels unusually moderate (for a Deaver)  and with much details of physics and the history of electricity. But without the very strong tension that usually holds it together in other books by Deaver. Dont get me wrong: Its not a bad or boring book – its pretty good indeed. I still had to finish it quick. But its just not up to the standard that Deaver himself created.

One big emotion is very present in the book. It is fear. Fear of electricity. Which leads to another weakness not only of this book, but of the whole series.  Some of the main protagonists are extremely afraid of dying. Which is a contradiction to the fact, that the same – especially the main character Amelia Sachs – constantly flirt with death and risks life for the job. And not only the job:  Sachs permanently entertain either self-destructive thoughts or indulges in self-destructive life threatening private activities. Now why is she always so very afraid of the one particular way of dying discussed in the current book? This has always bothered me, but becomes very clear in this volume.

Inevitably Deaver also touches upon the issue of the electric chair. But he refrains from being anything close to explain: If killing by electricity  is so easy – why is it so difficult to do on the chair? Now this – and the whole issue of death penalty – would have spiced up the whole story a bit.  But it seemed, that he feared steering the emotions of his US readership.

But despite much criticism I still come to the conclusion: The burning wire is still a very interesting, well written and unusual crime story. Worth a read.

Oh, and he mentions Twitter once. 😉


Author: Jeffery Deaver

Title: The Burning Wire

Source: Darmstadt Public Library (Stadtbibliothek Darmstadt)

Pages: 462 (paperback)

My Reading Time: 3 days

Language: Slightly advanced American English, salted a few with technical terms from physics.

Rating: *** ( out of 5)


Weitere Buchkritiken:


Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child:  Title: The Wheel of Darkness

Lee Child: Nothing to loose

Patrick Cave: Das Saint Netzwerk

Sibylle Berg: Sex II


Keinen Neun-mal-Sechs Beitrag mehr verpassen: Das E-Mail Abo nutzen.


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Schmotziger Dunstig

Impressionen aus Konstanz

Iron Sky – God Bless America- The Hunter -MIB 3

2012 is gone be a movie year, I fear.


Nach “The Artist” (Besprechung folgt in Kürze) und den Plänen für Sissi habe ich heute (Anfang Februar!) bereits vier Filme mit extremem Potential entdeckt:


1.) Iron Sky

2018: Sarah Palin ist US-Präsidentin und Nazis vom Mond erobern die Welt. Von einem finnischen Regisseur. Das kann  eigentlich nur absolut abgedreht sein. Und der Trailer bestätigt die Erwartungen:


Ab 4.4.12 in Deutschland im Kino. Noch besser ist übrigens der Berlinale Trailer

Absolutes Kult – Potential!


2.)  God bless America

Dem Trailer nach scheint eine gelungene Mischung aus Dexter, PulpFiction, Natural Born Killers und Leon, der Profi zu sein …


Auch hier: Absolutes Kult – Potential!



“Frank, don`t! Let me!”

“Thanks for turning of your cell phone.” “You are welcome.”

“Why have a civilisation, if we are no longer interested in being civilized?”

“Hey Buddy, what wrong?” “A lot.”




3.) The Hunter

scheint ein aktuelles Thema absolut brilliant aufzugreifen und als Thriller umzusetzen:




Well and there is:


4.) MIB 3



Any Questions?



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Bach in the Metro – a true story

Quelle: Facebook

A man stood at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist.

Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one noticed this but the violinist was Joshua Bell. He is one of the top musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average was $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station. This was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty?

Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

An other one could be:

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Kamera starrt auf Dinge in der Mikrowelle


Fantastische Bilder:  Microwave Destruction – don´t try this at home