NYPD criminalist Lincoln Rhyme joins his beautiful protégé, Amelia Sachs, in the hunt for the Coffin Dancer -- an ingenious killer who changes appearance even faster than he adds to his trail of victims. They have only one clue: the madman has a tattoo of the Grim Reaper waltzing with a woman. Rhyme must rely on his wits and intuition to track the elusive murderer through New York City -- knowing they have only forty-eight hours before the Coffin Dancer strikes again.
This return engagement for quadriplegic criminologist Lincoln Rhyme is strong on forensic details as Rhyme tracks an elusive assassin known only by the tattoo that gives this fast-paced thriller its title.
Three witnesses to a murder could put a millionaire arms dealer behind bars for good. When one of them, the co-owner of Hudson Air, is blown up in a plane bombing with the Dancer's fingerprints all over it, the FBI takes the other witnesses into protective custody. Only Rhyme can decipher a crime scene, read the residue of a bombing, or identify a handful of dirt well enough to keep up with the killer. Helped by Amelia Sachs, his brilliant and able-bodied assistant, Rhyme traces the Dancer through Manhattan streets, airports, and subways. The psychological tension builds rapidly from page one all the way to the stunning and unexpected denouement. At the same time, Jeffery Deaver slowly develops the against-all-odds love affair between Rhyme and Sachs. Fans of Patricia Cornwell and others in the growing subgenre of forensic thrillers will find a lot to enjoy in Deaver's latest. --Jane Adams
From Publishers Weekly
Deaver has come a long way since his Rune novels (Manhattan Is My Beat; Death of a Blue Movie Star), and the measure of his growth as a writer is on display in this taut sequel to the bestselling The Bone Collector, starring quadriplegic forensic specialist Lincoln Rhyme. Rhyme is called in to track down a contract killer, known as the Coffin Dancer, who has been hired to eliminate three witnesses in the upcoming federal trial of Philip Hansen. The trial is set to begin just 48 hours from the novel's (literally) explosive beginning. Rhyme and his beautiful assistant, detective Amelia Sachs, have just that much time to ID the Dancer and keep him from murdering the remaining witnesses. Yet Rhyme has personal reasons to track the Dancer, which come out in just one of the revelations and reversals that punctuate this thriller like a string of firecrackers. The pace, energized by Deaver's precise attention, never flags; and if the romantic angle is a little obvious (Rhyme's seeming concern for one of the Dancer's female targets sparks Amelia's jealousy), Deaver manages to renovate many of the hoariest conventions of the ticking-clock-serial-murder subgenre. Another original renovation is his Nero Wolfe-ish Rhyme?a detective who lives the life of the mind by necessity, not choice, and who thinks of everything but can't even pick up a phone without help. Trust Deaver's superb plotting and brisk, no-nonsense prose to spin fresh gold from tired straw. Literary Guild main selection; Doubleday Book Club featured alternate; Reader's Digest Condensed Book Club.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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