The Coffin Dancer: Lincoln Rhyme Book 2 Paperback – 5 Nov 1998
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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)
Top customer reviews
SPOILER ALERT don't read this if you haven't read the book. The section about the altitude bomb was true to life. In the early 1970's my husband who worked for British Airways departed from Toronto on what seemed like a routine flight. Within 30 minutes or so flying east, the airline received a phone call from some nut stating that there was an altitude bomb on board which would detonate if the aircraft flew below 5000 feet. He (the nut) assured them (the airline) that upon receipt of a large sum of money he would tell them where the bomb was hidden and how to deactivate it. The airline had to take it seriously even though it was very unlikely so they turned the aircraft round and diverted to Denver obviously above 5000 feet. They landed without all the dramas that Percey encountered. The biggest problem after a safe landing was to find some aircraft steps tall enough to disembark 400 passengers from a 747! Eventually some engineering steps were found for this job. No bomb was ever found and the nut never contacted the airline again. I can't help wondering if the author used this story for inspiration.
Then, there are the technical details of bombs, tactical squad ambush and the protection of the victims. From a detective's perspective, this book is well researched with many details, even minute details of how bombs are made, and the crime scenes search methodologies. I could not follow through, though. I was lost. Even the way how they get a plane on the air was so well described, it was nonetheless tedious for me to read.
But I liked the plot, the characters are vividly thought of. I could feel them, even to the extent of smelling their perspiration and their feeling of hopelessness. Each character is described with extreme care, even the killer, his killing instinct and the hate are creepy. Chill to the bones.
This is a good movie material, just like one of the novels, The Bone Collector, the chase in this story will make my palm sweat. Let's wait for the movie.
I enjoyed the return of Sachs and Rhyme. The evolving character dynamic was great.
The plot was clever with some brilliant twists. To be honest, when I first understand the nature of the antagonist I was convinced I would be bored, but I was wrong.
The stakes are raised chapter by chapter. The villain is complex. Protagonists are put in danger.
As with The Bone Collector the side plots are appropriately weaved into the main plot and are resolved in a sataisfying way.
I've had to be very strong willed not to just jump into book 3.
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