The focus of my blog is to review book series and not individual novels, but writers are going to continue writing novels within a series even after I have done my review, so I plan on reviewing the individual novels as they come into circulation. Jeffrey Deaver has just recently added book #11, The Skin Collector, to the Lincoln Rhyme series.
First there was the Bone Collector and now we have the Skin Collector. When I first saw this title I thought that the villain would be a sociopath that collects human skin to satisfy some crazed obsession much like The Silence of the Lamb’s Buffalo Bill, but it turns out the skin collector is a tattoo artist that tattoos cryptic messages on his victims using ink laced with a variety of different poisons. So the skin collector is not really a collector of skin and the title is misleading except for the fact that the so called skin collector has a fascination with Lincoln Rhyme’s previous case that involved the bone collector.
As I started reading the novel, I became concerned that Deaver was falling into the trap that so many writers of the book series fall into, which is the formulaic novel, and even worse capitalizing on the success of The Bone Collector by making it a weak twin. Thankfully Deaver proved to me that this was not the case and waved his magic pen to create twist and turns into the plot that he is so famously known for. Just when you think the roller coaster ride is over, Deaver hits you with one more hair-raising drop and when you close the book you just want to say, “Let’s do that again!”
My only gripe with the novel was that Lincoln Rhyme just didn’t seem to be up to his normal smart-ass curmudgeon self. His sarcastic bantering with his caretaker Thom wasn’t quite up to its standard best, so much that I am starting to wonder if Rhyme isn’t mellowing out with age. However, he is still up to his best deductive reasoning and in keeping one step ahead of his foe.
As for Amelia Sachs, a considerable amount of the plot is centered around her relationship with Pamela Ganz, who had been one of the victims of the bone collector and child of domestic terrorist Carole Ganz. Sachs sees herself as a would be mother to Ganz and gives motherly advice to her on a relationship she is pursuing. Of course, motherly advice is typically rejected by any young adult and Sachs gets a chance to know the more negative side of parenting. Sachs has also had some surgery done to relieve arthritic pain in her knees that she has been known to have suffered throughout the series.
This may not be one of the best in the Lincoln Rhyme series but it is a must read. It is not really good as a standalone and it would be best if The Bone Collector, Cold Moon, and The Burning Wire were read before reading The Skin Collector.
To read more about the series check out Jeffery Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme Series.