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The Coffin Dancer (A Lincoln Rhyme Novel) Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 1999

4.4 out of 5 stars 409 customer reviews
Book 2 of 11 in the Lincoln Rhyme Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This return engagement for quadriplegic criminologist Lincoln Rhyme is strong on forensic details as Rhyme 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 to the stunning and unexpected denouement. At the same time, Jeffery Deaver slowly develops the against-all-odds love affair between Rhyme and Sachs. Fans of Patricia Cornwell and others in the growing subgenre of forensic thrillers will find a lot to enjoy in Deaver's latest. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Deaver has come a long way since his Rune novels (Manhattan Is My Beat; Death of a Blue Movie Star), and the measure of his growth as a writer is on display in this taut sequel to the bestselling The Bone Collector, starring quadriplegic forensic specialist Lincoln Rhyme. Rhyme is called in to track down a contract killer, known as the Coffin Dancer, who has been hired to eliminate three witnesses in the upcoming federal trial of Philip Hansen. The trial is set to begin just 48 hours from the novel's (literally) explosive beginning. Rhyme and his beautiful assistant, detective Amelia Sachs, have just that much time to ID the Dancer and keep him from murdering the remaining witnesses. Yet Rhyme has personal reasons to track the Dancer, which come out in just one of the revelations and reversals that punctuate this thriller like a string of firecrackers. The pace, energized by Deaver's precise attention, never flags; and if the romantic angle is a little obvious (Rhyme's seeming concern for one of the Dancer's female targets sparks Amelia's jealousy), Deaver manages to renovate many of the hoariest conventions of the ticking-clock-serial-murder subgenre. Another original renovation is his Nero Wolfe-ish Rhyme?a detective who lives the life of the mind by necessity, not choice, and who thinks of everything but can't even pick up a phone without help. Trust Deaver's superb plotting and brisk, no-nonsense prose to spin fresh gold from tired straw. Literary Guild main selection; Doubleday Book Club featured alternate; Reader's Digest Condensed Book Club.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Lincoln Rhyme Novels
  • Mass Market Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Reprint edition (March 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671024094
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671024093
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (409 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #649,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Desoer VINE VOICE on June 9, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This book gets 5 stars for being one of the most suspenseful page-turners in a long time; in my opinion far superior to "The Bone Collector."
"The Coffin Dancer" is the second novel featuring Lincoln Rhyme and his new assistant, Amelia Sachs, as well as several other characters that you will recognize from the Bone Collector.
As with The Bone Collector, time is a critical factor in the resolution of this case . . . a couple of potential victims of a hired killer (the so-called Coffin Dancer) must be sheltered over a week-end so they can testify at a grand jury hearing on Monday. The Coffin Dancer is known for his creativity, adaptability and persistence (you cannot change your mind once you have hired him).
The book's rapid pace, pulls you into the frenzy so that you feel like you are there, watching Lincoln and Amelia work toward their goal. As with the previous Lincoln Rhyme book, Deaver includes meticulous detail concerning forensics, primarily the recovery and analysis of trace evidence; I'm not a scientist, and cannot evaluate the accuracy of these descriptions, but they are fascinating. In addition, the ending caught me totally by surprise.
I ended up reading this book in almost one sitting . . . until late in the night, something I don't often do. A great Summer read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
And he certainly proves it with The Coffin Dancer, a follow up to his immensely popular book The Bone Collector.
Rarely is one really affected by characters in a book but Lincoln and Amelia are different as is The Coffin Dancer. Expect the unexpected and enjoy the plot twists and turns because rarely do you find thriller that is so well written and so absorbing.
Jeffery Deaver is creative and unique with his plot, the situations he creates for Ameila and Lincoln are realistic and highly intense. I was on the edge of my seat through out the book.
Plus- this is one ending that will blow you away. can't wait for the next installment featuring Lincoln and Amelia.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I can't remember if I took a class or went to a seminar that delved into the aspects of mystery writing. I do know that since then, very few in this genre fool me. In that learning environment, I was taught exactly how most writers plan their stories and how the "villain" is hidden. This knowledge has taken a bit away from the suspense of most books, but when one comes along that actually fools me, I usually cheer out loud. A whoop of pleasure erupted from me when I got to the end of The Coffin Dancer. It didn't fool me until the very end, but I was definitely on the wrong path and only figured it out right before Jeffrey Deaver let all of his reading audience in on the bad guy's identity.

The Coffin Dancer is the second book in the Lincoln Rhyme series. Lincoln is a quadriplegic forensic expert who retired when he was injured on the job and was unable to move any part of his body except his head and his ring finger. He was talked out of retirement in The Bone Collector and continues to help corral criminals in this next book.

Three murder witnesses are in grave danger when their testimony can put a millionaire arms dealer, Phillip Hansen, in jail for the rest of his life. Edward Carney, co-owner of Hudson Air, a small charter airplane company, is killed when his airplane blows up midair. The FBI comes in to protect the other two to ensure they are able to testify in court 45 hours later. Ed's wife, Percey Clay, and one of their pilots, Brit Hale are put in protective custody and the excitement begins. Lincoln and Amelia Sachs are asked to help identify the culprit and so begins the decent into tons of crime scene evidence.

This hired killer is the best and finding him is almost impossible, but the "almost impossible" is Lincoln Rhyme's forte.
Read more ›
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I started this book a Monday morning right before I started working and couldn't put it down again till two days later when I finished it during lunch hour. This book is unbelievable. The afternoon I finished reading it I ran to every bookstore in town trying to find more Deaver books, its just unbelievable.
Anybody who tells you that this book is predictable is simply lying. Everytime that I thought I knew what was going to happen I was astonishingly not wrong, but dead wrong. There are plot twists in every corner.
Deaver's characters are intense. You feel the pain, the emotion, the enthusiasm, and the fear that the characters feel, and his villain in this book is so well thought out that it should rank up there in the all time great villains list. This is definitely a page turner, (And believe me I can talk because I was almost fired for reading at work). If you dont have enough time for nonstop reading don't read this one, at least not until the weekend.
Lincoln Rhyme and Sachs are simply wonderful characters who I enjoyed in the big screen but have found even more enjoyable in this novel.
Definitely, BUY BUY BUY and READ READ READ I'm sure you'll thank me later.
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Format: Hardcover
I actually rate this at 3 1/2 stars. I read Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme novels in the wrong order. I started with Empty Chair, followed with Bone Collector, and finished with The Coffin Dancer. Of the three, I would have to say this is my least favorite. Don't get me wrong, it is still a great read and I still recommend it! But the beginning is so much slower than the other two books that it fell below my expectations. I also believe that this book leaves Rhyme a little colder than he is in the other two books, which is kind of disappointing because this is the book that also builds up Sachs and Rhyme from co-workers to lovers. It took me awhile to get warmed up to this book, and I found the characters more lacking. Dellray comes across much weaker, but does have a great undercover scene that did him justice. I felt that Percey came across not so much strong-willed and independent like Deaver wanted, but more self-centered with disregard for anyone around her. Which to me, didn't make her very likable. (But then again, not all people are likeable, are they?) However, Deaver did not disappoint me when it came to the twists and turns that make his books so enjoyable. If this is the only Deaver book you have read, don't judge by this book alone. I still can't wait for Deaver to write a fourth book with Lincoln & Sachs on the scene!
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