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Deaver’s “The Skin Collector” Will Leave Its Mark

Jeffery Deaver's The Skin Collector
Grand Central

Jeffery Deaver’s novel The Skin Collector (a sequel to The Bone Collector) drew me in from the first sentence. The words “The basement,” compelled me to continue reading as I put myself in the place of Chloe Moore who enters a dark, smelly, cold basement complete with various sized cobwebs as a request from her boss. Talk about a creepy opening scene!

The Skin Collector intertwines a plethora of elements to pull the cast of characters together. No one is above suspicion, which makes for a very intriguing story. I enjoyed the various methods used to kill unsuspecting victims with things such as poison, water, syringes and the like. The strategic placement of these in the story not only kept the plot moving forward but kept me guessing as to the motive of the killer. I kept wondering, “What does the killer have to gain by doing such and such?”

With all the twists and turns Deaver creates, it is no wonder Publisher Weekly calls him, “a grand master of the genre as each surprise leads to an even bigger surprise, like a series of reverse Russian nesting dolls.”

As if that isn’t enough, I also appreciated the descriptions of his characters and their thoughts, particularly main character Lincoln Rhyme’s. A quadriplegic, Rhyme likes to be given a choice in life matters, especially the jobs he investigates. Therefore, when Detective Sellitto concludes rather than asks if Rhyme will help with the investigation, Rhyme says, “You just drew a straw on my behalf and stomped slush in here, assuming I’d get on board.”

Jeffery Deaver
Niko Giovanni Coniglio

Sellitto replies,” What else would you be doing? Cross-sountry sking through Central Park?”

Deaver then tells the reader that Rhyme likes it when others treat him as a regular person instead of only seeing his disability.

The banter between these two characters as well as others in the cast humanizes them and allows the reader to relate to them. It also helps to propel the reader through Deaver’s intricate story.

The literary structure and careful descriptions of persons, places, and things intrigued me as well. For instance, the scene where Amelia is faced with her fear of enclosed spaces is very well written. Deaver states, “Fear made the unlikey, even the impossible, more than plausible. Fear itself was now another occupant of the tunnel, breathing, kissing, teasing, sliding its wormy arms around her body.”

Deaver’s words conjure powerful images in the reader’s mind and trigger an emotional, almost visceral, response that will surely keep readers turning the pages late into the night. This summer, don’t miss the exciting roller coaster ride that is Jeffery Deaver’s The Skin Collector. It is undoubtedly the thriller of the season.


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