A typical Lincoln Rhyme novel is built on an accumulation of facts or clues to be analyzed and repeatedly summarized at the end of each chapter, as the criminologist and his team attempt to solve a crime and lead to the capture of the culprit. This novel is no different, except for the crime, its methodology and purpose and some additional plot complications.
To begin with there are a series of killings in which the perpetrator murders the victims by injecting poison by means of a tattoo machine, which he uses to leave cryptic clues. The murders take place in various underground locations in New York City. Rhyme and Sachs attempt to anticipate where each murder will take place, as well as the motive for the killings.
The title of this novel (and the theme, “Skin”) is a throwback to an earlier novel, “The Bone Collector,” another serial killer who terrorized The Big Apple, to whom a vague reference is made in the present plot. As in previous entries in the series, the characters are well-drawn, the plot moves forward methodically, Rhyme is depicted in his gruff manner and in the end it all comes together in an unexpected manner.