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Jeffery Deaver's 'Twelfth Card'

"It is a roller-coaster, cat-and-mouse chase," best-selling author's Jeffery Deaver tells The Early Show co-anchor Rene Syler about his sixth book, "The Twelfth Card."

His most famous characters from "The Bone Collector," quadriplegic forensic scientist Lincoln Rhyme and his partner Amelia Sachs, solve a cold case and save a girl.

"Not only do they have to save the life of a young girl in Harlem, but they have to track down a killer from the 1860s. Everything comes together at the end," Deaver explains. Read an excerpt from the first chapter.

And though he has never met Christopher Reeve, Deaver dedicates his book to the memory of the late actor and uses him to help explain to his readers the pain and hardship that his character Lincoln Rhyme is going through.

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"I had written 'The Bone Collector' before he had his terrible accident," Deaver says. "When he was doing some production work after the accident, his agents and my agents talked about making 'The Coffin Dancer' into a film. But unfortunately, the rights were tied up, business kind of stuff in Hollywood, so we never progressed with it. But I was going to be in touch with him. Then we lost him. Very sad."

"The Twelfth Card" takes place over 48 hours and ends in Deaver's typical way with several unguessable twists and turns. The high-school girl in Harlem is targeted to be killed by professional killer Thompson Boyd in a murder-for-hire plot against her. Boyd's first attempt to murder the girl is unsuccessful, and Rhyme believes he will strike again from clues left behind at the scene, one of which is the 12th card of a tarot deck.

Deaver is currently working on his next book for 2006. "We'll see Lincoln and Amanda back together again because people have expressed an interest," he says.

He outlines a book eight months before he writes it. He explains, "We won't get on an airplane or a roller coaster unless the engineers have drawn elaborate diagrams and planned everything out so there are no surprises for the people who are building it. The book is the same way. Why should I be less serious about constructing a book that would give this emotional high to the reader than an airplane engineer would be about building an airplane?"

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