The Bone Collector - Jeffrey Deaver
A bookgroup friend lent me this, I don't know why, and I'm wondering how it fits into her usual reading profile too. It's good, very good but in parts stomach churningly grisly, a book that I had to avoid after 6pm for fear of my over active imagination giving me nightmares...
I put off reading it for a while after she loaned it to me, it wasn't until another friend saw it sitting on my worktop and said how good it was that I decided to take the plunge.
The premise is that Lincoln Rhyme is an ex 'criminalist', or forensic scientist in New York. He's an ex because he was injured through his job and is now a quadraplegic, able only to move one finger and his head. At the start of the book he's waiting to meet a doctor who can (he hopes) help him to commit suicide without incriminating anyone else, but then colleagues call by and ask for his help with finding a woman they know to have been kidnapped with her boss. The boss has already been found dead, buried alive with just his hand in the air, one finger of the hand skinned down to the bone in order that the woman's large diamond ring would fit onto it.
It becomes clear that the murderer is playing cat and mouse with the NYPD, leaving staged clues at the crime scene that will guide them to the next victim, hopefully in time to save them.
As I said earlier, the book is grisly, he writes at one point about the murderer cutting into the (still alive) victim's flesh and scraping the blade along the bone in order to listen to it. This same victim is then left tied in a tunnel where there are rats, which are drawn to the smell of the fresh blood and the helpless woman. At the same time the book is almost un-putdownable, you will be desperate to find out if they can decode the clues in order to get to the victim in time and whether the murderer will accidentally leave enough clues for Rhyme and his colleagues to work out who he is and where he is.
A great book and I'm looking forward to reading the second in the series, but not right away, I need something less gory first.