Lincoln Rhyme is back – as arrogant and occasionally obnoxious as ever. And this time, the brilliant, quadriplegic criminalist is after a killer as intelligent as himself. The "Coffin Dancer," so called because of the tattoo he wears – the Grim Reaper dancing with a woman in front of a casket – is one of the rare failures of Lincoln's past career with the NYPD. He was responsible for the deaths of Rhyme's co-workers.
Rhyme's team, which includes his protege, the beautiful, red-haired, criminalist-in-training Amelia Sachs, has to find the Dancer before he kills the last two remaining federal witnesses to a crime. Time is running out. They know the Dancer plans to complete his evil mission in the next 48 hours.
Throughout Manhattan, from safehouses to subways, with Sachs doing the legwork and Rhyme in the command station in his townhouse, they analyze and process one crime scene after another, trying desperately to capture the cunning Dancer.
Sometimes the expectation of a long awaited sequel brings disappointment. But in the case of The Coffin Dancer, Jeffrey Deaver has actually improved on the original, The Bone Collector. Sachs and Rhyme come alive in this book, and readers glimpse their growing personal relationship amidst the mounting tension. If the autocratic Rhyme, whether from his bed or wheelchair, sometimes seems superhuman (how can he be the expert at everything – fingerprints, blood splatters, chemicals, etc?) , Sachs' growing self confidence and equally sharp mind usually keep up with him.
When you arrive at the last hundred pages of this book, put a Do Not Disturb sign on your door. Because those final pages are so gripping, so compelling and so shocking, that any interruptions could be detrimental to your blood pressure.
The Coffin Dancer is psychological suspense at its finest. Treat yourself to what may be the year's best read.