05 September, 2014

Book Review: The Coffin Dancer

From Goodreads: 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.

Thoughts: This is the second book in Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme series and it was totally enjoyable. An easy read (took me just over a day), it's fast paced and keeps the reader interested. As the series progresses it will be interesting to see if Rhyme mellows a bit or if he stays the gruff, short-tempered potential arsehole he has been so far. I'm not sure which option I prefer. I think there is a danger of him becoming a caricature of the second if there is no mellowing. On the other hand, if he mellows too much he'll become boring!
As with all good crime/ thriller novels, there is a twist at the end. At first I was a bit incredulous of the twist, found it a bit hard to swallow, but Deaver's writing soon had me not really caring as he swept you along in the break neck speed of the end game. Then when it was further explained, I was ok - still fairly far fetched, but let's face it, it's a book not real life we're dealing with here.