Who DOESN’T Like Jeffrey Deaver?
In case you missed my 5-star review on Goodreads or elsewhere, have a look at what I thought of Jeffery Deaver’s The Skin Collector:
If you’ve ever read a Jeffery Deaver novel in the past, then you already know that no matter the story, it’s going to be solid, hard to put down, and filled with unexpected twists and turns. The Skin Collector most assuredly carries all of those attributes.
You shouldn’t be surprised. After all, this is Deaver’s 11th Lincoln Rhyme novel. Presumably you’ve read at least some of the previous Lincoln Rhyme mysteries and already know Rhyme is a brilliant criminalist locked into a body of a quadriplegic, with almost nothing intact but his brilliant mind. But he’s molded his apartment environment to work for him, and rarely needs to leave. Every bit of lab equipment he owns rivals or exceeds the best out there. For Rhyme, though, those are mere tools for a long-term passion: Figuring out puzzles that come from murders, often of the most heinous type.
In The Skin Collector, there are clear parallels to Deaver’s earlier novel, The Bone Collector. For me, this wasn’t bothersome, but from reading other reviews it’s clear other readers were bothered, or even annoyed. However, The Skin Collector is, after all, part of a series. (It’s also not the only series that Deaver has in a long career with more than 30 books, most if not all published in a variety of languages because they’re so popular.)
But I digress. The Bad Guy in the story is a tattoo artist and a perfectionist. He’s also very smart — and indeed, thrilled to be the subject of Rhyme’s investigation. That happens quickly because the Bad Guy essentially tattoos people to an early grave. You’ll get no spoilers from me. Read the story to see what I’m talking about. Just know that the Bad Guy’s own understanding of forensics makes him a worthy rival for Lincoln Rhyme.
Of course, given that Deaver made Rhyme a quadriplegic, it only makes sense that secondary characters must be compelling and offer opportunities for plenty of action in the story. The best? Amelia Sachs, who drives a muscle car and manages to push aside any fear she has to go after the Bad Guy. She’s gutsy, shrewd and coincidentally, more than a mere colleague to Rhyme. The point? Without Sachs, it’s unlikely even Deaver could pen a mystery on the level he does because of the physical limitations his main character has.
I suggest that before you read The Skin Collector, you read some of the other Lincoln Rhyme novels, or at least, yes, The Bone Collector. It’s not critical, but it might push you from a four-star review to a five.