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The Coffin Dancer [Paperback]

Jeffery Deaver
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Nov 1998
The Coffin Dancer, America's most wanted hit man, is back. He's been hired by an airline owner who wants three witnesses taken care of before his trial, and has got the first, a pilot, by blowing up his entire plane. Enter quadriplegic ex-cop Lincoln Rhyme, who can find forensic evidence to hang a man in the smallest debris, and his assistant Amelia Sachs. Their job is to keep the remaining two witnesses safe, and to find the Coffin Dancer before he finds them. Because he will find them, and anyone else who tries to get in his way.

Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; 2 edition (5 Nov 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340712511
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340712511
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 11 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 396,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Jeffery Deaver is the Number One bestselling author of thirty-two novels, including the 2011 authorised James Bond thriller, CARTE BLANCHE, three collections of short stories and a non-fiction law book. A former journalist, attorney, and folksinger, he has received or been shortlisted for numerous awards around the world, including Novel of the Year from the International Thriller Writers Association for THE BODIES LEFT BEHIND, the Steel Dagger for Best Thriller from the British Crime Writers' Association, and the British Thumping Good Read Award. He was recently shortlisted for the ITV3 Crime Thriller Award for Best International Author.

His most recent novels are THE OCTOBER LIST, a thriller told in reverse; THE SKIN COLLECTOR, a Lincoln Rhyme novel; and XO, a Kathryn Dance thriller, for which he wrote an album of country-western songs, available on iTunes and as a CD.

You can find out more about Jeffery on his website, Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter @JefferyDeaver.

Product Description

Amazon Review

This return engagement for quadriplegic criminologist Lincoln Rhyme is strong on forensic details as he 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 through 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


Deaver is just as cunning and deceptive as his killer; don't assume he's run out of tricks until you've run out of pages (Publishers Weekly)

A terrific, high-paced thriller (Wales on Sunday)

Wake up Scarpetta fans, Lincoln Rhyme is here to blast you out of your stupor (Entertainment Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You will not guess the end 18 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This is my second Jeffery Deaver book , having read "The Bone Collector" . Yet again I was gripped and could not book the book down. Surely another film in the making.
I knew after The Bone Collector I was in for an ending with a twist and yet I was still surprised. Am now about to start A Maiden's Grave Can't wait
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Exciting but ludicrous 7 Sep 2009
By Nick
There's no doubting that it's a exciting page turner but the plot is full of holes and the denouement is nothing short of ludicrous. I won't give it away but the big reveal renders what came before totally nonsensical.
It turns out that the Coffin Dancer, a meticulous planner who will go to any lengths to get his kill, has left an awful lot to chance and seems to be relying on a hell of a lot of good luck and coincidence. The fact that he wasn't killed during the course of such a dumb plan is some sort of miracle.
There are other major (and minor) plot flaws and niggles but the big one is unforgivable.

I couldn't put it down but when it was done it left a sour taste.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best thrillers that I have ever read. 28 Nov 1999
By A Customer
This second Lincoln Rhyme story from Jeffery Deaver is even more gripping than his first, "The Bone Collector". Like it's predecessor it's one of those books that you just can't put down. Just when you think you've figured something out there's another twist to the story and you just keep on reading. If you don't mind finding your book lying on your bedroom floor in the morning because you've desperately tried to stay awake to read just a few more pages the night before, then "The Coffin Dancer" is for you. Apart from being a fascinating insight into the world of forensic science, you really feel that you are there with the characters, trying to figure out the killer's next move. I would offer one piece of advice however. Don't read this book before you've read "The Bone Collector" as you will miss some of the essential background to the characters that you will need to enjoy "The Coffin Dancer" to the full. Congratulations to Jeffery Deaver. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read but flawed in Places 11 Jun 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I can only add to what a number of other reviewers have already said about this book. I found the book well written and very readable. Parts of the story were excellent and described the action that was taking place very well indeed. No complaints on that score.
In all works of fiction there are always points in the story where the reader is asked to suspend reality and to accept a particular course of action taken by one of the characters as this is required to lead the story to where the author wishes it to go, and most readers accept this without questions. What the author should not do is to not have too many of these, or to build up a character in the story to then have them do the most improbable thing.

In this case "The Dancer" is built up throughout the story as the almost perfect killing machine, to such an extent that he invariably detects the traps set for him by the police all the way through the book, only to be caught out at the end of the story because the story had to end somewhere.

All in all for me this was a good enough read, certainly not bad enough to be a one or two star book, but equally it does not deserve any higher than the three stars that I have gave it due to these stretches that the story takes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great twist at the end 20 Aug 2008
the follow lincoln ryhme novel to the bone collcetor and it is just as thrilling. great final twist at the end and you dont even see it coming so i wasnt sure i had read it rite. a good forensic story that keeps the suspense going that you cant put it down.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lincoln's best mystery 8 Mar 2001
By A Customer
Deaver excels with a plot that packs in plenty of surprises and characteristic Deaver-diversions. The first chapter captures the uniquely distractive style of writing on which his thrillers are based. The research is tight, always nudging the plot along, and the narrative itself is written with more verve than the other two Rhyme novels. The best of the Rhyme series heretofore.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly gripping with lots of exciting twists 20 July 2000
By A Customer
There is no doubt that I am quite a fan of the forensic crime thriller type of books, but despite that, this is the first Jeffrey Deaver that I have actually read. I thought it was fantastic. The plot was far more interesting and clever and had a lot more twists and turns along the way to keep you guessing than most of the other books of the same genre that I have read.
I think that it is incredibly difficult for a book like this to get every single aspect perfect. Certain imperfections have to be expected, and the way Percy wanted to take things into her own hands as opposed to having the police assist, was a little unrealistic. This minor issue however, did not detract from the quality of the book.
I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this book. It kept me firmly in it's grasp throughout the whole story, and I can't wait to read some more Jeffrey Deaver.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best novels out there! 23 Feb 2006
Having seen 'the Bone Collector' movie, I haven't been interested in Jeffery Deaver's works up until now. Having finished everything else that I had lined up, I decided to finally take a look at the Lincoln Rhyme series with the 'Coffin Dancer', and this is certainly one of the greatest thrillers I've ever read!
In this story we follow Lincoln Rhyme the bed-ridden criminalist in his chase of the elusive Coffin Dancer. Using his aides and his protege Amelia Sachs, he examines evidence from crime scenes and arranges the entire criminal investigation from his bed. This time round the Dancer is one-by-one eliminating some of the workers at an airline charter company who witnessed something they were not supposed to see.
The suspense is fantastic and the depth of the story is amazing. I loved the blend of criminalist examination of forensic evidence together with the action and drama of the actual pursuit of the suspect. I was also not expecting a twist in the story's end, but it turns out there is much more to the story than first meets the eye. The interaction between all of the characters is also highly entertaining, and you are taken through a range of emotions: everything from sadness, to anger and suspense.
All in all, these Deaver books seem to be horribly massacred by Hollywood attempts to make them into movies. For all crime fiction fans, drop everything else and read this book!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Have read this before but not on the kindle brilliant book one of my favourite authors
Published 1 day ago by Maureen Dodds
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Really enjoy crime novels and films. The Bone Collector was a good film. Have bought 3 of the series now. This was a good read.
Published 2 days ago by Tambo48
2.0 out of 5 stars Absurd and badly written
You might as well read a fairy story for the plausibility of the plot, the repetitiveness of the writing, and the fanciful police procedure.
Published 14 days ago by The Margrave
4.0 out of 5 stars Another cracking ride
Once again, Lincoln and Amelia take us on a rollercoaster ride of nail biting. This one kept me awake long after it should have been 'lights out'.
Published 1 month ago by jayceecarr
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant story
This is a story with lots of twists & turns - and an ending that you wouldn't have guessed! Plenty of detail but not too much to get bored.
Published 2 months ago by Joyce Hughes
3.0 out of 5 stars The Coffin Dancer
I got rather fed up with the slang. For example why'd or lookit and lotta. It distracted me from the story
Published 2 months ago by Lorna Law
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping!
Amelia Sachs makes me smile, Lincoln Rhyme , what a brain! A good read and I hope to read more of the stories they tell.
Published 2 months ago by Sarah Fell
3.0 out of 5 stars I can't comment yet
I, unfortunately, cannot comment on this book yet - I havent read it, due to illness, but I know I will not be disappointed! Read more
Published 3 months ago by Fifi31
4.0 out of 5 stars worth reading
good story kept me turnig the pages really enjoyable read up there with the bone collector really good in right the way through
Published 3 months ago by trevo daley
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't read this book if you are a nail-biter!
Don't read this book if you are nail-biter, because you will be down to the first knuckle on each of your fingers before you are half-way through. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Prospero
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