Customer Reviews: The Coffin Dancer (A Lincoln Rhyme Novel)
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VINE VOICEon June 9, 2000
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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VINE VOICEon January 10, 2000
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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on March 18, 2005
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. Lincoln and Amelia must find the evidence to stop the Coffin Dancer from striking again and eliminating the other two witnesses.

As with all of Jeffrey Deaver's books, The Coffin Dancer is full of action, tons of twists and turns to keep the reader off balance, and information on forensic evidence that I find truly amazing. This information might not be logical, but it does make for interesting reading! I was amazed that Lincoln Rhyme would ask for scrapings from the tires of emergency vehicles that responded to Ed Carney's airplane crash to see what trace evidence he could find.

Deaver's also continues the tête-à-tête between Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs in what is becoming a "will he or won't he" scenario. You find yourself cheering on the forthrightness of Amelia and hoping that she finally gets her man! Ok, so I'm a romantic at heart...

I'd have to agree with the Kirkus Reviews that state "Deaver is just as cunning and deceptive as his killer; don't assume he's run out of tricks until you've run out of pages." And I also concur that Lincoln Rhyme is like "Patricia Cornwell attached to a time bomb". Perfect analysis!

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a great thriller. Do NOT get this book if you don't have time to read because you won't want to put it down until that last page is read. Take it along with you on vacation so you won't have to stay awake on work nights trying to finish it. This is the perfect mystery/thriller!
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on June 14, 2000
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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VINE VOICEon June 1, 2000
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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VINE VOICEon December 7, 2012
When I finished the book my first thought was the killer's abilities and actions were not believable. But I could accept them because it made an intricate and complicated puzzle for Lincoln to figure out. The killer was able to do too many things, too frequently, and get away too easily every time. And he always seemed to have full knowledge of everything the authorities were thinking and doing - so you need to suspend disbelief.

There's a twist at the end which was both good and bad. The bad: it felt like a trick on the reader. It would have been better if some of it was developed earlier in the story, so the reader could see "how" it worked, instead of being "told" at the end. I have a big blank area in my mind not knowing any details about it. But the good: there is a surprise at the end - something so intricate that only Lincoln can figure it out. No clues are given to the reader prior to then.

I preferred the first book The Bone Collector (TBC). One of the reasons was the development of the interesting relationship between Amelia and Lincoln in TBC. Their relationship is on hold/not changing in this second book. Instead we see some flaws in Amelia. She was jealous of Lincoln's relationships with others. She had a chip on her shoulder - walking off in a huff. One time she stupidly went after someone alone and was almost killed. There were other cops nearby she could have taken with her. When the main character is smart, I don't like seeing them do stupid things.

Part of the story was a lot of chemical and technical analysis of particles collected from places. That is Lincoln's special talent, but it didn't wow me or surprise me. By the middle of the book I was losing interest, but I was curious enough to keep reading.

I would have liked one part shortened - the too-much-technical-talk when a pilot is flying a plane.

I loved one scene. Lincoln felt guilt and self pity because he had to rely on machines (as a quadriplegic). Percey a pilot responded by saying her life is in the hands of machines when she flies. One little thing goes wrong and she dies.

Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 390 pages. Swearing language: strong, including religious swear words. Sexual content: none. Setting: current day mostly Manhattan area, New York. Copyright: 1998. Genre: crime suspense thriller, quadriplegic.
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on July 1, 2000
If you read "The Bone Collector", you'll be relieved that Deaver continues his streak f good fiction with the "The Coffin Dancer". Continuing to chronicle the exploits of Lincoln Rhyme and his beautiful assistant Sachs. Again they're chasing a creatively names villian (The Coffin Dancer).
The Coffin Dancer is the name of a very cunning hit man; hired to kill three grand jury witnesses. In all of his career, he has left only one survivor, who was only able to describe a tatoo that was on his arm, that of Death dancing with a woman in front of a coffin (hence the name Coffin Dancer...creative huh?). With the first witness dies in a airplane explosion, a FBI agent missing, and the grand jury deadline only 45 hours away, Lincoln Rhyme and his croonies have to hustle to find the Dancer before its too late, for once hired, the Dancer never backs down.
The body count in this one is high. The pace is intense, and the ever-changing narrative (from Rhyme to Sachs to the Dancer to the victims) keeps your mind whirling.
I liked the twists and turns in the novel, it was like an elaborate chess game (actually a comparison mentioned in the book). There was a sometimes strained attempt to add personal information into the plot (Rhyme's romantic past doesn't fit with the storyline and where it's thrown in sounds cheesy and soap opera-ish). Overall though, the race to stop the Coffin Dancer kept me guessing, and the plot twist at the end made the book all the better.
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VINE VOICEon February 29, 2016
Jefferey Deaver begins THE COFFIN DANCER with an author's note: “To Madelyn Warcholik for keeping my characters true to themselves, for making sure my plots don't move so recklessly they get pulled over for speeding . . .”

Make no mistake, Deaver is still one of my favorite authors, despite his wild twists. I wasn't aware THE COFFIN DANCER existed until Amazon recommended it. I thought I somehow missed it as the publication date read 2015, but it was actually written in 1998, according to the paper back I read. I started reading Deaver after I saw the movie, THE BONE COLLECTOR with Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie in the title roles, and I've been looking forward to the next Lincoln Rhyme ever since. There are at least a dozen in the series, if not more. Almost forgot; Lincoln Rhyme is a paraplegic who overcomes his handicap time and time again.

But if Madelyn Warcholik is an editor, she should be fired. There are two characters, who happen to be villains, that are too much alike, and they are involved in an unbelievable twist toward the end of the book that almost ruined the whole novel for me. There's just no suspension of disbelief. Authors can usually handle this sort of hang-up by planting a believable event or characteristic earlier in the book. Deaver does it by explaining why the characters are so similar. I have three letters taped to my computer: RUE, resist the urge to explain. You can do it by doing the above or hinting that things just might not be the way they seem.

The plot is similar to other Rhyme novels. There's a criminal mastermind who's been hired to kill three witnesses who all happen to be pilots. They saw a man load three duffel bags into a plane and take off when the airport was closed. This man was under an FBI indictment. The criminal mastermind is a hit man who solves the problem by planting a bomb on the plane of one of the witnesses. Two of them remain, the wife and one of the other pilots. They are in financial trouble, but they have a contract to deliver medical transplants in a very short timeframe. So the clock is ticking.

Lincoln and the hit man set up the ticking clock when the wife is determined to make a delivery when she should be hidden away in a safe house. The hit man also seems to have paranormal foresight as he repeatedly figures out where the witnesses are hidden. He's also a dead shot and he uses explosive charges in the bullets. Amelia Sachs, Lincoln's detective partner, is so scared during one gun battle that she doesn't dare return fire, and she can't forgive herself for what happens next.

Okay, so despite my misgivings regarding two of the characters, would I recommend THE COFFIN DANCER? Hell yes. Deaver uses extensive research to show how Lincoln Rhymes uses forensics to match wits with these masterminds. That research will bother some people as it slows down the pace, but when you learn something from a mystery novel, I think you're ahead in the ballgame. I'm actually surprised Denzel and Angelina haven't done another Lincoln Rhyme movie.
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on September 7, 2016
I really loved the first book but this one was a little difficult for me to enjoy reading. If you enjoy flying a plane, then you would probably love it. But for a person that is more than willing to just be a passenger and let someone else be the pilot, all the technical flight talk is a bit much. The story was interesting for the most part and there was a twist that I didn't see coming so that was a plus. I also liked that the main characters developed and deepened their relationship. I do have the next book ready to read in my kindle so we'll see what happens.
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on July 22, 2001
This is the first novel by Jeffery Deaver that I have read. I decided to pick it up after seeing the Bone Collector (I wish I'd have read THAT before seeing to movie!) I finished it an hour ago & am now looking for more of Deaver's books to order. It is impressive, clever & fascinating. It keeps you guessing all the way until the last 50 or so pages. Very unexpected ending. I love the real feel of Deaver's portrayal of Lincoln Rhyme & the strength the character displays against his handicap. Although there are a few times when he shows frustration with himself for not being the able-bodied person he once was, the way he seems to have honed his mind into a razor-sharp weapon is inspiring. The charachter of Amelia Sachs is also a great addition. I like the way she never lets Rhyme get away with openly feeling sorry for himself & in return, he is teaching her to perfect her skills in forensics. They make a great team & I look forward to starting the next book, The Empty Chair, in the Lincoln Rhyme series. I love the two charachters & hope there will be more books in the series.
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