I'm not sure if I've ever read Jeffery Deaver before, so officially, let's count "The Burning Wire" as my introduction to the author. I wasn't blown away, especially by a silly comic book plot masked by a ton of research material, but it was enjoyable for a summer beach read.
Frankly, a large problem I had with the book was the main character of Lincoln Rhyme. I know he's a genius, I know he's a quadriplegic, I know he's beloved by readers. I also know the guy seems like an insufferable ass, and just about every scene where he held center stage was one I regretted. I don't think I'll return to this series.
Still, to be fair, it was a good read and I won't let my personality clash with the lead character influence my rating: B.
Columbine by Dave Cullen is the non-fiction account of the horrific school shooting in April 1999. The book dispels many of the media-driven myths that arose from the carnage (the idea that they were unpopular, bullied outcasts for one) and devotes much of the text to trying to understand the minds of the killers.
I thought this was a great book, start to finish. If there is one flaw it's a misplaced empathy for the second killer (D.K.)*. Yes, he was a depressive and overly sensitive. Yes, he was a follower and easily influenced. He was certainly not the mastermind of the attack. Cullen, like so many others, seems to think that buys him a small shred of sympathy. To me, the opposite is true; unlike E.H, who seemed programmed to kill, D.K. chose his own path.
At any point he could have stopped the attack, simply by speaking out. He could have told E.H. 'no', he could have . . . he could have done everything differently. He didn't. He made a conscious decision to join the plan, unburdened by the madness that was boiling in E.H's head. For me, he may be more liable, morally, than his partner.
* I've always said that tossing the names of killers around gives them the immortality they so often seek. Screw that; the initials will do here.