Lincoln Rhyme, ex-head of NYPD forensics, was the nation's foremost
criminalist, the man who could work a crime scene and come away with a perfect profile of the killer, frozen in time. Now, Lincoln is frozen in place — permanently. An accident on the job left him a quadriplegic who can move just one finger, a great mind strapped to his bed, mulish and sarcastic, hiding from a life he no longer wants to live. Until he sees the crime-scene report about a corpse found buried on a deserted West Side railroad track, its bloody hand rising from the dirt. It belonged to a man who got into a cab at the airport and never got out. Reluctantly, Lincoln Rhyme abandons retirement to track down a killer whose ingenious clues hold the secret to saving his victims — if Rhyme
can decipher them in time. The search leads him to the Bone Collector, whose
obsession with old New York colors every scrap of evidence he leaves for Rhyme
and his new partner, Amelia Sachs, whom he drafts as his arms and legs. But
she's never worked a crime scene in her life — and he can only whisper in her
ear as she does the exacting work he loved more than anything else.
I had already watched the movie on TV (and enjoyed it a lot) when I was offered the chance to read this book. I was curious to know how it would compare and I was very happy to conclude I enjoyed it even more.
One of the most original things about this book has to be the hero; at least I can’t remember any other detective who’s paralyzed like Rhymes. Besides being original as a character trait it also provides the author with a way of showing us everything that’s going on as Rhymes as to instruct Amelia on what to do and she has to report back to him.
The book has a lot more things that I liked too, a bit of New York’s history, lots of forensic details, a serial killer leaving clues behind taking the detectives on a game of cat and mouse, a fast paced action full of suspense…
Lincoln Rhyme is a criminologist, a crime scene investigator, an expert in forensics who has suffered a spinal cord injury while on the job. Unable to move below the neck with the exception of one finger Rhyme has lost his will to live as has been considering assisted death.
But there’s a killer out there whose crimes leave the police puzzled and Rhyme is contacted by some of his former colleagues for help. Since he is unable to go to the crime scenes he enlists the help of a young cop – Amelia – who has found the first body and secured the crime scene.
As the killer commits more crimes, and leaves behind a puzzle to explain his actions, Lincoln and Amelia have to work together, and learn to deal with each other, in a race against time to prevent more people from dying. And the answer to the why maybe closer than what they think.