The Bone Collector (Lincoln Rhyme Series #1)

The Bone Collector (Lincoln Rhyme Series #1)

4.4 146
by Jeffery Deaver, Hart Hardy

View All Available Formats & Editions

In his most gripping thriller yet, Jeffery Deaver takes readers on a terrifying ride into two ingenious minds...that of a physically challenged detective and the scheming killer he must stop. The detective was the former head of forensics at the NYPD, but is now a quadriplegic who can only exercise his mind. The killer is a man whose obsession with old New

…  See more details below


In his most gripping thriller yet, Jeffery Deaver takes readers on a terrifying ride into two ingenious minds...that of a physically challenged detective and the scheming killer he must stop. The detective was the former head of forensics at the NYPD, but is now a quadriplegic who can only exercise his mind. The killer is a man whose obsession with old New York helps him choose his next victim. Now, with the help of a beautiful young cop, this diabolical killer must be stopped before he can kill again!

Editorial Reviews

Jeffery Deaver's 1997 thriller The Bone Collector gets a new lease on life, courtesy of a high-profile film adaptation starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. I haven't seen the movie, but I can vouch for the effectiveness of the novel. The Bone Collector isn't, by any stretch, world-class literature, but it's an absorbing, high-energy performance that features great technical expertise, some truly devious plotting, and one of the most unusual heroes in modern crime fiction: Lincoln Rhyme, forensic genius and former head of the NYPD's Central Investigation and Resource Department.

Lincoln Rhyme is a legend in his field, the man who literally wrote the book on forensic analysis of crime scenes. He is also a quadriplegic, his spine having been irreversibly damaged during a cave-in at an underground murder site. As the novel opens, Lincoln has reached the end of his emotional tether and wants only to die. Unable to endure the constraints and humiliations of his new condition, he has enlisted the services of a professional "euthanasist" to help him on his way. At the eleventh hour, with oblivion within his grasp, Lincoln is visited by a pair of detectives who offer him something he can't quite refuse: a new -- and unusual -- case.

On the previous evening, a man and woman returning from a business trip had been kidnapped at JFK airport, apparently by their taxi driver. The man's body -- shot, mutilated, then buried alive -- has just been found by an NYPD patrol officer named Amelia Sachs, who closes off the crime scene and secures the available evidence. Included among that evidence are some enigmatic clues -- a scrap of newsprint, a ball of asbestos, a rusted iron bolt -- that appear to have been placed deliberately at the scene. With the expert assistance of a reluctant Lincoln Rhyme, police follow these clues to the location of the abducted woman. They arrive just minutes too late to save the woman, who has been murdered in a particularly brutal fashion. Near her body is a second series of "staged" forensic clues, pointing to the location of the next unknown victim.

Against his will, Lincoln finds himself at the center of a manhunt that interrupts his planned departure and transforms his apartment into an impromptu forensic lab. Using patrolwoman Amelia Sachs as his eyes and legs, Lincoln engages in a sustained battle of wits with an unknown killer who leads him to a series of crime scenes, each of which is salted with evidence pointing to the next crime scene and the next victim. During the course of this macabre, extended game -- which lasts for about 36 hours and is played out against a backdrop of political infighting and jurisdictional disputes -- Lincoln saves a number of lives, including his own. In the end, he comes face-to-face with an elusive -- and very familiar -- madman whose pathological obsession has its origin in Lincoln's own past.

Although the plot of The Bone Collector occasionally strains credibility, it is still a compelling, cleverly-conceived narrative that achieves moments of great tension and creates something new and vital out of the marriage of two popular subgenres: the serial killer novel, as practiced by Thomas Harris and his numerous imitators; and the forensic crime novel, as practiced by Patricia Cornwell, Ridley Pearson, and Kathy Reichs, to name just a few. Ultimately, it is the range and depth of Deaver's forensic expertise that gives The Bone Collector its peculiar, undeniable fascination.

In crime scene after crime scene, Lincoln -- operating through his observant, mobile assistant, Amelia -- uncovers two distinct types of physical evidence: staged evidence deliberately left behind and other, unintended bits of evidence that lead, in incremental stages, to the killer's home base. Watching Lincoln and his cohorts interpret this evidence -- sometimes intuitively, sometimes with the aid of assorted technological marvels -- is the greatest of The Bone Collector's many pleasures. Like Michael Crichton, Deaver manages to integrate a vast amount of research into a coherent, involving novel without either lecturing the reader or crossing the invisible line into pedantry. It's a difficult trick to perform, and Deaver brings it off with impressive -- and deceptive -- ease.

It will be interesting, of course, to see what Hollywood makes of all this. But even if the movie is an unqualified disaster, readers will still have the Deaver original to return to. Lincoln Rhyme, for all his problems, is an engaging, complex character and may prove to be surprisingly durable. He has already made two return appearances (as the central figure of The Coffin Dancer and as a minor player in The Devil's Teardrop), and I hope Deaver sees fit to revisit him, at least occasionally. Unlike the majority of series heroes, he brings a depth of knowledge and a freshness of perspective to the traditional novel of detection. I look forward to encountering him again.

—Bill Sheehan

Read More

Product Details

Publication date:
Lincoln Rhyme Series, #1
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
6.84(w) x 4.12(h) x 1.19(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The Bone Collector (Lincoln Rhyme Series #1) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 146 reviews.
Neil_Collins More than 1 year ago
I had seen the movie adaptation of this book long before I knew anything about the book itself. When I stumbled upon Jeffery Deaver, the author, and discovered a series featuring Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs, I wanted to read them all, based on how much I had enjoyed the film. As is all to often the case, the book and the film share a title and a few elements, but the stories are so very different as to be nearly unrelated. Fortunately, Mr. Deaver's story was exceptionally well written. I found the construction of the storyline dynamic and exciting, and the fact that it differed so from the movie left me guessing at many of his twists and turns. For those unfamiliar with the story, Lincoln Rhyme was the most brilliant forensic investigator ever to have been a part of the NYPD. He had created their protocol for forensic investigation, worked with the FBI, established databases for cataloging trace evidence. He'd done it all. Until a falling beam on a crime scene he was working stuck him, crushing the fourth cervical vertebra, leaving his supercharged brain nearly the only working part of his body. His head and shoulders, a little movement in his left ring finger, and his vivid recollection of the city are all he has; other than a desire to end his own life. Patrol Officer Amelia Sachs is a tall, beautiful, former model with aspirations of getting off the street and into her new assignment in public relations. In ways, she may be even more damaged than even Rhyme. When she is called to investigate the report of a partially buried body, she discovers an intentionally left clue to a series of abduction murders. Murders that have not yet happened. Racing against time, Rhyme is reluctantly drafted to run the forensics, and he pulls in the equally reluctant Sachs as his eyes and legs to work the scenes. The resulting symbiosis is far greater than the sum of its parts, and the whirlwind telling of the story is masterful. The Bone Collector is an energetic and well researched book, full of vivid and often troubling images. Jeffery Deaver has done a fantastic job here, and I whole heartedly recommend this book to all.
UpAllNight More than 1 year ago
I have been a follower of the "New Religion", Forensics, for years. While laid up with an injury, I discovered "Forensic Files" on CourtTV... which, unlike entertaining "scripted" TV series such as CSI, does not spoon-feed or sugar-coat the science behind solving crime for the audience. That being said, Mr. Deaver gives me the pleasure of enjoying true forensics... not something dumbed-down for the enjoyment of the masses. Truly, how often is the Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer even mentioned on CSI? Mr. Deaver is obviously very comfortable with the inner workings of forensic science... making sure his characters are fully capable of bandying the terms back and forth in a way that makes perfect sense to the audience, while never bogging down the break-neck pace of the story - a talent some other authors could well benefit from learning.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read The Bone Collector and it's a very good book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I saw the movie too, and the book and the movie where both very good!!!!!!!!
HerbBCO More than 1 year ago
Characters are great, with many details about crime scene investigation. I found a later part of the series and had to start at the beginning, just because the one I read was so good. This helped me understand better some of the later parts in the series. Each book can be read out of order, but they make more sense if you start at the beginning.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I tried to finish what others have raved about. The f word and its useage increases as the story goes on. I understand using language of the culture however this was over done. I have enjoyed his other books and as such am giving the second book a try. If language offends you avoid this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an amazing book. Creepy, complex characters, twist at the end...what more coild someone ask for? Lincoln rhyme is a former detective who was injured in an accident that made him a quadriplegic. Now he can only move his head, shoulders, and left ring finger. Unexpectedly, hiold partner comes to him asking for his help on a case. This bothers rhyme because it gets in the way of his goal of killing himself, but he rediscovers that he is an amazing detective. Like brilliant.
LibraryCatLady More than 1 year ago
I LOVE this book. The bad guy, the Bone Collector, is fantastic. Deaver's writing from his point of view, delusional man thinking he is in the late 1800's is spot on. I wish all of Deaver's books were this good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First time reading Deaver - spellbinding
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't finish this book to poorly written for me. The majority of this authors books has terrible writing and are very hard to follow. But that's to be expected from a author with no degree in english or literature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this series alot, starting with this one. The movie was even better. Angelina & Denzel have amazing chemistry as their characters fall in love during the madness of tracking a serial killer. WOW!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BlueSky45 More than 1 year ago
This was a riveting book that kept my attention. I was looking forward to continuing reading every chance I got. I will buy more of this series and others by Jeffery Deaver.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
hdken More than 1 year ago
kept me on edge most of the time. Very detailed,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago