JEFFERY Deaver brings back detective Lincoln Rhyme in his tense new thriller, “The Skin Collector.”
Rhyme and his colleagues must face a killer inspired by a maniac known as the Bone Collector (Rhyme’s first case), who tattoos his victims with a cryptic word or phrase. At first the message seems meaningless, but Rhyme quickly figures out there will be more victims to complete the puzzle.
A survivor of an attack spots a bizarre centipede tattoo on the attacker’s arm. This clue leads investigators to tattoo parlors to try and learn who designed and inked the artwork. Pages from an out-of-print book are discovered at one of the crime scenes, and Rhyme soon deciphers the text as from a book chronicling him and his methods.
This antagonist has studied Rhyme and can anticipate his every move — even plant evidence to lead police astray. How can Rhyme stop a madman who seems to know what he’s going to do before he does?
Rhyme has a superior mind, and the people he surrounds himself with are the best of the best in the police department. The story becomes all about following the evidence, even when it contradicts the facts.
Deaver’s ability to tell the reader everything and still manipulate the story with diabolical twists is the sign of a master at work. Readers unfamiliar with Lincoln Rhyme will find a detective that rivals Sherlock Holmes, and fans will enjoy the familial and reflective aspects of previous cases. (AP)