Book recommendation: The Devil’s Teardrop by Jeffery Deaver

Most of the novels I’ve been recommending on here have been fairly new (published within the last few years), but I have an older one for you today. The Devil’s Teardrop was published in 2000, but I found that it’s not dated in the least.

I love reading a good thriller novel every now and then, especially one that can keep me guessing. That’s the type of novel I was looking for when I picked up The Devil’s Teardrop, and I’m happy to say that it didn’t disappoint me.

Set on New Year’s Eve 1999 – the last day of the 20th century – The Devil’s Teardrop follows special agent Margaret Lukas and retired FBI agent Parker Kincaid as they try to track down a killer. This killer – The Digger – has been directed to open fire on large groups of people throughout the day, unless the city hands $20 million over to his partner. The problem is, that partner is dead, and he’s the only one who can stop the attacks.

The Devil’s Teardrop was definitely a novel with a twisting plot. New developments threw wrenches into the FBI’s plans all over the place, and I was pretty okay with that. A plot that was too straightforward wouldn’t have kept me hooked nearly as well. The characters, too, were wonderfully developed, and I found myself wanting to know as much as I could about nearly all of them.

But perhaps my favourite aspect of The Devil’s Teardrop was the writing itself. I found that each point of view – the novel is told from multiple – has a very distinct voice. The Digger, in particular, stands out from each of the others. His is a voice that’s simple, yet somehow gets a lot across. It’s almost poetic, in a way.

And Deaver did a great job of introducing technical information – whether it be about guns or the inner workings of the FBI – without going into information overload. I liked the balance he found between explaining himself and letting the reader figure things out for themselves.

*Just a quick note before we go into the Goodreads summary. I apologize for this post being a day late. I had it all written and ready to go yesterday, but, for some reason, it wouldn’t post. I believe I’ve fixed the problem now.

Goodreads summary


After an early morning machine-gun attack by a madman called the Digger leaves dozens dead in the Washington, D.C., subway, the mayor’s office receives a message demanding twenty million dollars by midnight or more innocents will die. It is New Year’s Eve, and with the ransom note as the only evidence, Special Agent Margaret Lukas calls upon retired FBI agent and the nation’s premier document examiner Parker Kincaid to join the manhunt for the Digger — or for hundreds, the first moments of the new year will be their last on earth.

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