Thriller with a professional hitman (the eponymous Coffin Dancer) who's been employed to take out some witnesses before the start of a trial. The chief forensic investigator, Lincoln Rhyme, is a quadriplegic who's tried to catch "the Dancer" before and lost colleagues when the killer left booby traps at the crime scene, so there's a personal element to the hunt...
This was a pretty good read, with a few twists and turns along the way to keep things exciting. And I think the forensic stuff was more convincing and interesting than in Fatal Voyage. Also, what I found quite effective was that the story was told partly from the point of view of the killer and partly the police, giving you the sense of knowing what the next plot development would be. But in fact there were some things going on that were only revealed in retrospect, and which upset your expectations.
Didn't really like the will they/won't they stuff between Rhyme and the lead female investigator, and a bit of a shame about the ending, where we get an explanation of exactly how the investigator worked out all the details of the hitman's story, but I suppose at least it was him explaining it to the killer, rather than the other way round.
Looks like there's at least one more Lincoln Rhyme book, ("The Bone Collector"), which I think would be worth a go.
Completed : 28-May-2004