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The Skin Collector: Lincoln Rhyme Book 11 (Lincoln Rhyme thrillers) Hardcover – 8 May 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 343 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (8 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444757458
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444757453
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 4 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (343 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 200,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Deavotees" will expect and gratefully receive the many twists and sudden turns . . . No one is better at narrative misdirection. Just at the point you think "That's impossible!" Deaver demonstrates the exact opposite . . . Once again the depth of his research and characterisation has created a superb example of modern American Gothic. (Evening Standard)

Quality thriller... This is Deaver back on form (Daily Mail)

Another suspenseful and twist-filled entry in this always-exciting series. (Booklist)

Outstanding . . . Deaver proves himself a grandmaster of the genre as each surprise leads to an even bigger surprise, like a series of reverse Russian nesting dolls (Starred review, Publishers Weekly)

The most creative, skilled and intriguing thriller writer in the world . . . [Deaver] has produced a stunning series of bestsellers with unique characterisation, intelligent characters, beguiling plots and double-barrelled and sometimes triple-barrelled solutions. (Daily Telegraph)

The pace is terrific, the suspense inexorable, and there is an excellent climax . . . If you want thrills, Deaver is your man. (Guardian)

Book Description

Master of suspense and number one bestselling author Jeffery Deaver returns with the eleventh exhilarating novel in the Lincoln Rhyme series, and long anticipated follow-up to THE BONE COLLECTOR.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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A novel which manages to be both admirable and irritating at the same time: admirable because of the usual erudition and twisting plotting, and irritating for exactly the same reasons. There are as usual lots of surprises as the battle of wits between Rhyme and "Unsub 11-5" plays along, and we learn lots of incidental useless facts about tattoos, underground New York, vegetable toxins, etc., but then the surprises become expected and the didactic style begins to patronise and grate. And Mr Deaver's plotting is always praised, but here the novel is more like three inter-twined short stories where characters occasionally leap from one plot-line to another to explain a situation or artificially manufacture a 'twist,' so the plotting is actually quite sloppy. This is compounded by Pam and the white militia threads soon moving into Gothic caricature, and the book not really knowing when to finish, a common Mr Deaver weakness as he tries to serve us up just one more twist. I'll keep reading him, but this is not one of his better thrillers and more of a bridging novel as one plot-line is laid to rest and another is resuscitated, and maybe would have been better as a short story collection.
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Jeffery Deaver (JD) seems to have a fairly consistent way of constructing a novel. He taps into a topic - typically a branch of technology, criminology and sociology - and researches the ass off it. The said topic is milked for a plot device, and a multi-layered conspiracy is built up around it. Finally, or so it would seem, the author's lead characters are dropped into place and allowed to peel away the layers of the conspiratorial onion one by one. And the reader can rarely tell how many more layers exist to be peeled until the last page is turned and the players (sometimes rather summarily) stop playing.

Generally the teachnique has worked well, and some of JD's novels have been superb. This is not one of them. The plotting seems (within JD's quite original way of writing) somewhat by numbers. Some of the twists are certainly unexpected, but in contrast with his best work the most radical twists are the least plausible ones, often made unexpected by the mere withholding of information earlier in the story line. And architecturally this is a mess: the Wiki-style digressions (I won't spoil by being specific) are the least well-integrated into the story-telling of any of his books that I have personally read. The final episode, which was the most predictable, actually felt to me like a bolt-on to a story that simply did not know when to stop. And JD seems to be aware of the shortcomings, because I could not help seeing the sly reference (put into the mouth of one of the characters) to a famous movie director using rambling, irrelevant patches of dialogue to cover up holes in the plot, as an ironic self-reference.

None of these flaws is fatal, but there is an additional weakness this time out.
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Format: Hardcover
Jeffery Deaver's last book featuring Lincoln Rhyme, Kill Room, left me slightly underwhelmed. There was a lot of political comment in the book that I found myself glossing over. Deaver also took quadriplegic Rhyme away from his New York City townhouse to a crime scene in the Bahamas, but it just didn't work for me. It seemed forced and almost gimmicky. It was an okay read, but not a standout in the series for me.

However, Deaver's latest book, The Skin Collector (#11) takes us back to what Lincoln Rhyme does best - and the type of story I like best - solving cases based on the evidence and minutiae gathered at a crime scene by his team. And Lincoln's superlative powers of deduction.

The Skin Collector opens with a wonderfully creepy scene that introduces us to the perpetrator, Billy. It's one of those chilling prologues that promises a great read. And it delivered. Billy is a tattoo artist who delights in finding pristine skin for inking his cryptic messages. And his choice of ink is deadly. Billy Haven is clever - he's studied Rhyme's methods and leaves little if anything behind at his scenes. Yes, plural - Billy has a plan and it looks like he's taking inspiration from Lincoln's first case - The Bone Collector.

Deaver employs the history of New York and it's tunnel and underground passages to great effect in The Skin Collector. I ended up checking out many of his references online - it's pretty fascinating history.

I thought I had predicted where the plot was going to go about three quarters of the way through the book. But I was pleasantly proven wrong! Deaver inserts a twist, then a turn, then another twist - and I think there may have been another turn.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
NO SPOILERS

I'm a sucker for Lincoln Rhyme books and this one was brilliant. I did guess the twist but that didn't take anything away from the story. You have to suspend your belief in the realities of science a little to enjoy the books but it is fun seeing the jigsaw pieces of the crime scene be put together and what might be possible in an ideal world with no budgets.

Whilst I understand the people who are saying that they are becoming a little formulaic but there are enough differences book to book for me for it not to matter.

I didn't find this a true page turner but the story pulled me along nicely and as I said for me Lincoln can do no wrong so I would just keep reading anyway. Set up for the next book so hopefully that will be a stormer.
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