"The Cutting Edge" (Grand Central Publishing), by Jeffery Deaver

What appears to be a diamond robbery ends up being much more sinister in Jeffery Deaver's latest thriller, "The Cutting Edge."

Deaver brings back his beloved series forensic detectives Amelia Sachs and her paraplegic husband Lincoln Rhyme in what at first seems a straightforward diamond heist and the murder of the store owner and two customers. When they discover that the majority of diamonds are left untouched, the motive for the killings quickly becomes something much more sinister.

Soon more crimes follow involving diamonds, but the crimes aren't for the gems themselves. Instead, the reason for the violence is to target newly engaged couples. This killer wants nothing more than to spread his reign of terror over people who seemingly are at the happiest point in their lives.

Deaver has more at play than the typical crime followed by tracking down evidence. This time there is a potential witness to the villain's face who somehow survived with this knowledge. The chase is on to find this man before the bad guy does.

Readers of this series expect the breaking down of evidence and filtering of clues as the story progresses so the facts can be figured out before Deaver reveals them. He still throws huge twists that make the story unpredictable, which adds to the fun. This time the story gets bogged down in the ever-growing cast of characters and how they relate to each rather than the evidence. The end result is the first half of the book is a bit slow-going. At a midway point, the narrative shifts into high gear and then becomes classic Deaver. The last half is gripping and terrific, but the slow start might deter some readers from getting to the good stuff. In this case, being patient pays off.