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Drugs In Sports Essay, Research Paper

Perfection

Since the beginning of time, society has constantly been competing with one another. Every human being is always trying to be, better than his/her neighbour. No matter what the task at hand, humans essentially believe that they can achieve bigger and better things, and eventually reach perfection. Perfection is defined as being a quality or state of being perfect, or complete, so that nothing requisite is wanting; entire development; consummate culture, skill, or moral or physical excellence; maturity . It can come in different styles however, and to some perfection is attained only when they have become flawless. Jeffery Deaver s novels, The Bone Collector and The Devils Teardrop deal with perfection, in perhaps an unorthodox manner. In each of these novel s perfection is sought after in criminal activities, more specifically, murder. And in each novel, the main characters are competing with time and themselves in order to stop the serial killers from striking again. They themselves are out to attain perfection in their already distinguished careers. Through the main characters, and the plots of both novels, characteristics of the other novel are clearly evident and as well the underlying theme of perfection in both novels is depicted.

In both novels, the reader discovers very heroic main characters that lead the crime scene investigation. In The Bone Collector , Lincoln Rhyme is a retired head of forensics officer for the New York police department. Rhyme had been forced to retire from his job after a terrible accident. He had been working on a case in regards to a serial killer who was targeting police officers, and was at the scene of one of the murders when a metal support beam fell, and paralyzed him from the neck down. When the case of the Bone Collector was brought to his attention, he didn t really care much about it. In fact, Rhyme was attempting to retrieve the aid of a doctor, to assist in his own suicide. However, the doctor decides not to help Lincoln Rhyme kill himself and leaves. Rhyme decides to help the New York Police Department in trying to catch the unknown serial killer. At first Rhyme isn t very interested in the case, however, eventually he finds something that has disappeared in his life over the last few years, pleasure. Lincoln Rhyme is very set in his ways and has his own method of doing his work, and it is this characteristic which makes him the best forensics scientist in the state of New York. Rhyme is very literal when it comes to physical evidence, and this is why this case challenges Rhyme. No longer can he just look at the evidence and catch the killer, he has to place himself in the shoes of the killer and go more in depth and find the real meaning about the evidence. However, Lincoln Rhyme s biggest challenge is his physical disability, and how it does not allow him to investigate the crime scene himself.

Parker Kincaid had recently retired from the Federal Bureau of Investigation s forensics department. While there he was the top document examiner in the country. And now retired, Kincaid continues to examine document, specifically historical documents from past political leaders that were questioned to have been forged replica s. Parker Kincaids challenge isn t a physical one like Lincoln Rhyme s, it his children. Kincaid is currently in the middle of a custody battle over his two children. And if he were to take this case for the FBI then he would be under fire from his ex-wife. However, he reluctantly decides to help out with the case under the condition that it is not made known that he is involved with the case in fear of his ex-wife finding out.

I don t care if you make me John Doe or Thomas Jefferson as long as I m not me. Joan s coming by the house tomorrow morning at ten with some presents for the kids. If she finds out I went off on New Year s Eve to work on a case it ll be bad (Deaver, The Devil s Teardrop, p.61). The ransom note that was left for the mayor s office is none like Parker Kincaid has ever seen before and he has to use all of his knowledge in order to decipher the clues that lie in the letter in order to stop the Digger from striking again.

Secondary characters play a very key role in both of these novels, because they are the eyes and ears of the main characters. The person who discovers the first crime scene in The Bone Collector is Amelia Sachs, a beautiful young patrol officer for the New York Police Department. Sachs becomes very upset when she is ordered to work with the NYPD s forensics department on the case because the day that the case started was supposed to be her last day as a patrol officer. At first she does not really take a liking to Rhyme, she finds him too self-centered and cannot adapt to his method of working crime scenes. The reader fully understands this when Rhyme risks the life of one of the victims so that she can go in and collect the evidence. Sachs becomes the prime detective for the bone collector case. Amelia eventually begins to envy Lincoln Rhyme and how his mind operates. She begins to think like him and starts to enjoy his company while she works the crime scene. After the FBI takes over the case, Sachs has a change of heart and decides that she should bring the physical evidence back to Lincoln Rhyme so that he can continue his search for the missing victims and so that they can finally put an end to his killings.

In The Devil s Teardrop the reader discovers a very similar character to Amelia Sachs. Margaret Lukas is relatively new Special Agent for the FBI. When the case of the digger comes to the bureau, she becomes head officer on it as her supervisor is away on vacation. As Lukas assembles her team of investigators Parker Kincaid is invited aboard in order to examine the ransom letter. Like Sachs, Lukas first impression of Parker Kincaid is very feeble. She finds him old fashioned and cannot adapt to his ways of doing forensic work. However, there is something that Lukas sees in Parker Kincaid that she can adapt to, his over-protectiveness of his children. Years ago Lukas was married and lost her son and her husband in a terrifying plane crash. While working with Kincaid she begins to relive the memories of her family, and begins to envy Parker s passion for being a father. As her emotions develop towards Parker Kincaid, she begins to see things his way and realizes that if she wants to catch the killer that she has to raise herself to the same level as him.

For all four of these major characters, their perfection comes in their work. In each novel the reader sees the young cop paired up with the old, retired one. In order for these four people to reach perfection they have to come together and use each other s knowledge. As well they have to over come their differences and stop competing amongst themselves and start competing with the killer.

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” -Thomas Jefferson.

This quote can be said for both of the villains in these two novels. It is in these parts of the novels where perfection is clearly evident.

In The Bone Collector the villain is very “copycat” like. He bases all of his killings on a historical novel that deals with a serial killer terrorizing old Manhattan Island. With every serial killer there is a passion, an inspiration, this unidentified subject takes his passion from human bones.

Let me take your skin off, let me please? A foot. Just one of your feet. If you do that I ll let you go .

What ?

Down to the bone. (Deaver, The Bone Collector, p. 283)

However, the bone collector does not mimic the exact footsteps of James Schneider, the serial killer in the old novel, because the bone collector enjoys watching his victims die. Unlike other criminals, the unidentified subject in this novel wants to lead the NYPD to the next crime scenes so that they can possibly save the victim. The reader can really tell that the bone collector has some compassion for his victims, not only because he leads the police to the next scene, but also because he actually spares some of them and gives them a chance to live. The bone collector s perfection comes by trying to mimic James Schneider, however he never really reaches perfection because he cannot outsmart Lincoln Rhyme s forensic knowledge.

When Deaver wrote The Devil s Teardrop he had a very unique way of dealing with the killer s character, he lets the reader know the digger s thoughts. The Digger looks like you, the Digger looks like me. He walks down the wintry streets the way anybody would, shoulders drawn together against the damp December air. (Deaver, The Devil s Teardrop , p.3). In this novel there really is two villains, the digger himself and then the mastermind behind the ransom note, the same person who tells the digger when to stop killing. The ransom that they demand is very small and this is what intrigues the forensics agents that are working on the case. The mastermind behind the plan fakes his own death but does not tell the digger to stop killing and leads the FBI through a series of cat and mouse games. In the end Parker Kincaid finds a minor slip-up in the scheme of the mastermind and realizes the person behind the digger is actually a member of the FBI s team. This was why the ransom was not very big; because all that the mastermind needed was some sort of ransom that would play a role in his perfect crime. Even though they do put the mastermind in jail, they soon find out that even the perfect crime can be put to waste, and the perfect crime always requires the perfect escape. However, in the end it is Parker Kincaid and Margaret Lukas who reach perfection first, and put a permanent stop to the digger and the man that give him his orders.

As today s society advances, there will always be things to compete over. And as long as the competition continues perfection is not reached until someone finally stops to want to become better, whether it be financially or even morally. As the reader progresses into these two novels, they discover how each character has that desire to become perfect in his/her line of work. However, in order for that character to have become flawless, they had to learn how to cope with their partners, and when they had done that then they were able to concentrate on the perpetrator. The desire too become perfect will always exist in this world as long as the desire to want bigger and better things is there. And just as soon as people think that they have achieved everything in their life, there is always something more.


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