Summary and book reviews of The Coffin Dancer by Jeffery Deaver

The Coffin Dancer

By Jeffery Deaver

The Coffin Dancer
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  • Hardcover: Jul 1998,
    352 pages.
    Paperback: Mar 1999,
    255 pages.

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Book Summary

Detective Lincoln Rhyme, the foremost criminalist in the NYPD, is on the hunt for an elusive murderer, the Coffin Dancer. He's a brilliant hitman who changes his appearance even faster than he adds to his trail of victims, only one of whom has lived long enough to offer a clue: the assassin has an eerie tattoo on his arm of the Grim Reaper waltzing with a woman in front of a casket.

Like his previous bestselling novels A Maiden's Grave and The Bone Collector, Jeffery Deaver's latest psychological thriller combines spine-chilling forensic detail with a turbocharged plot. In The Coffin Dancer, Rhyme, tragically paralyzed from a line-of-duty accident, continues to tutor his beautiful protégé, Detective Amelia Sachs, in the art of criminal hunting. Rhyme is certain he's seen this killer before, and his suspicion of an earlier encounter fuels a bitter taste for vengeance. When the chameleonlike assassin targets three federal witnesses for death, the stakes reach a new high. Rhyme's brainpower and Sachs's legwork are the only tools they have to track the cunning murderer through the subways, parks, and airports of a darkly painted New York City. And they have only forty-eight hours before the Coffin Dancer strikes again.

With The Coffin Dancer, Deaver -- already an internationally bestselling author whose acclaimed novels have been translated into a dozen languages -- uses his trademark plot twists to keep this fast-paced, masterly thriller steamrolling along with breathtaking speed. This is page-turning suspense of the highest order.

Chapter One

When Edward Carney said good-bye to his wife, Percey, he never thought it would be the last time he'd see her.

He climbed into his car, which was parked in a precious space on East Eighty-first Street in Manhattan, and pulled into traffic. Carney, an observant man by nature, noticed a black van parked near their town house. A van with mud-flecked, mirrored windows. He glanced at the battered vehicle and recognized the West Virginia plates, realizing he'd seen the van on the street several times in the past few days. But then the traffic in front of him sped up. He caught the end of the yellow light and forgot the van completely. He was soon on the FDR Drive, cruising north.

Twenty minutes later he juggled the car phone and called his wife. He was troubled when she didn't answer. Percey'd been scheduled to make the flight with him -- they'd flipped a coin last night for the left-hand seat and she'd won, then given him one of her trademark...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
People Magazine

A breakneck thriller....Deaver is a master of ticking-bomb suspense.

The Denver Post

Tightly written. . .unexpected plot twists. . .nearly impossible to put down.

San Jose Mercury

As good as it gets. There is no thriller today like Jeffery Deaver.

Reader Reviews
KSR

First book of his I read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I looked forward to my lunch breaks at work so I could read more. What I also appreciated was that it did not contain a lot of "cursing and foul language".

BJ

This is one of Jeffery Deaver's best books. It is a real page turner and the ending really suprised me! I'm usually pretty good at figuring out who the killer is but this one really took me by suprise. I loved it.

Anonymous
Jyoti
This was the first book I read by Deaver. I was in the mood for something completely different from my usual reading - romance. And I was pleasantly surprised. The Coffin Dancer encouraged me to read yet another Deaver book. Now I love them so ...   Read More

Anonymous
Andrew
I really enjoyed this book. It was great, yet another winner from Deaver. I liked it more than the Bone Collector, and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys psychological thrillers. 10 out of 10!

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