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3/5: The Skin Collector

The Skin Collector - Jeffery Deaver

Quadriplegic consultant-detective Lincoln Rhyme is back hunting a killer who tattoos his victims with poison...

This is the second Rhyme I've read back-to-back and I've noticed some patterns. About a third of the way through, one of Rhyme's proxies will stumble across the killer. They'll chase them for a while, but since we know there's a long way to go to the last page, of course they escape. It happened in the last Lincoln Rhyme I read (http://tonytalbot.booklikes.com/post/1123875/4-5-the-broken-window), and it happens in this one.

Also, there's a recurring subplot with a teenage (now growing into adult) surrogate daughter of one of Rhyme's proxies, Sachs. Sachs will tell Pam (the teenager) that the man she's with is dangerous, or married or whatever. Pam will argue and storm off; Sachs will eventually be proved right.

Now the plot for this one. It's a little odd, hence the spoiler tag. The entire plot is a misdirection...inside a misdirection inside a misdirection. The killer is not a psycho, but is doing it to fake out poisoning the city water supply. Which is actually another red herring for another scheme.

I'm not quite sure what to make of the odd triple red herring structure. I know it's annoyed some reviewers, but the misdirect is handled with complete dead-pan seriousness so that I can forgive Deaver for it. There's almost no foreshadowing, which I think is where it stumbles. Give us a little clue, at least.

If anything it feels like Deaver didn't quite have enough material to make a full novel, and the extra plots were patched in on a re-write. But it's still enjoyable enough for me to want to finish the book.