The Skin Collector by Jeffery Deaver
A girl is abducted and tattooed. She dies an agonizing death. She was tattooed with poison. This begins Lincoln Rhyme’s newest adventure in Jeffery Deaver’s The Skin Collector. The tattoo is a number and part of a message the killer leaving for the police. What message is the killer sending? Can Lincoln and his team figure out what the number and the scallops above and below it mean before there are more deaths? How does one of Rhyme’s most ingenious nemesis, The Watchmaker (Cold Moon), figure into this mystery although the Watchmaker is now dead? And what about the references to Lincoln’s first case, The Bone Collector? What part does this play?
All of these questions are answered as Lincoln, a quadriplegic forensics investigator and his team, Amelia Sachs, Lon Sellitto, and Ron Pulaski, rush to find a killer who has all of New York terrified to enter any underground facility (parking garages, basements, etc.) for fear of being abducted and tattooed.
Lincoln’s team walks the grid at each crime scene, collects evidence, and takes it back to Rhyme’s townhouse, his base of operations. Looking at the trace evidence the team tries to stay one step ahead of the killer who always seems to be one step ahead of them.
The way all of the puzzle pieces fit together makes for fast reading. The ending sets up the premise for what I hope will be the next book in the Lincoln Rhyme series.
I have been a fan of Deaver and Lincoln Rhyme since I read The Bone Collector. As with many series, some books are better than others. This one I put at the top of my favorites. An enjoyable summer read.
Bob Hamera, PCTELA Conference Chair 2016