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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on 20 May 2005
The first of the Lincoln Rhyme books, and the second one I read. The main character is a "criminalist", a forensic expert. He used to be head of NYPD's forensics department but was badly injured at a crime scene and is now paralysed from the neck down, apart from one finger. In this book he is near to achieving his aim of committing suicide but his interest in life is rekindled by a fascinating case and a female police officer. Will it be enough to keep him going?
The book tells the story of the Bone Collector, a murderer who has a particular interest in peoples' bones. He kidnaps people in his taxi or goes out to find them, basing all his actions on an old book about a killer in the last century. At each crime scene he leaves clues leading to the next one - can Rhyme and the rest of the team get there in time to save the next victim? And can they use the evidence he accidentally leaves to catch him rather than just following in his footsteps? The twist in the tale is one of the most memorable I've come across but I can't say any more without ruining the story! A highly recommended read.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 28 May 1999
Like every other reviewer so far I have to agree that this is a 5* read. Jeffery Deaver blows Patricia Cornwell out of the water. This is the first Lincoln Ryme novel - Lincoln starts the book as a Quadriplegic with a death wish - trying to find a doctor who will grant his wish to put him out of his misery. Along come a string of really sick murders designed to tax Lincoln's forensic skills and lateral thinking. With the unwilling help of Amelia - the beautiful policewoman who stumbled on the first of the crime scenes, he takes us into the mind of the killer with only the smallest amount of physical evidence. Right to the end you will NOT guess who the killer is. You will forget his disability and be carried along by the sheer brilliance of his deductive reasoning. As for whether or not the plot is really feasible or realistic and whether they can really do stuff like this - you really won't care. His next book, the Coffin Dancer is also excellent and sufficiently different to suggest that he won't become too formulaic
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
If I could give it more I would, although I have marked a number of other books 5 stars (if books aren't good I can't finish them which makes me think I'm not worthy of reviewing them) there are very few authors out there that compare to Jeffrey Deaver. This man is a master of his craft. This is the first of Deaver's novels to feature Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs and I would recommend that you start with this book to get an understanding of how their relationship forms. There are times when this novel is positively gruesome and you do wonder how Deaver manages to think up some aspects of the plot as well as complete what must be huge amounts of meticulous research across a wide range of subjects to make this book so believable (in an unbelievable serial killer kind of way).

I bought this book after seeing the film and while the adaptation of this was far better than of the James Patterson novels, it is another example of how the detail in a book will far surpass what they are able to put into a film. Deaver's plots are complex and full of twists, this is a novel that although you can read quickly, due to the fact it's brilliant, you do need to actually concentrate on it so that you don't miss something vital or any of the complex information. It's a real grown-up thriller!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
This is an especially suspenseful thriller made more so by the personal angst of the main character, Lincoln Rhyme. A quadriplegic, forensic ex-detective for the New York City Police Department, Rhyme is brought out of retirement by the police department to assist them in the apprehension of an apparently psychopathic killer who is loose on the streets of New York.
The forays into bits of arcane New York history, as well as the sleuthing done almost entirely through the application of forensics and deductive reasoning, make for a very interesting read. While at times it seems that no one could be as uncannily accurate as Rhyme in deciphering the meaning of the physical evidence, this contrivance does serve to move the plot along.With the story line so engrossing and the crime scenes horrific, as well as ingenious, it is the kind of book that is hard to put down, because you simply cannot wait to see what happens. The surprise ending is the icing on the cake.
Assisting Rhyme with his work is Police Officer Sachs who, while not as compelling a character as Rhyme, is essential to the story. It is her character who does the 'heavy lifting' so to speak. Highly intelligent and resourceful, with an innate appreciation of the importance of physical evidence, she inspects and preserves the crime scenes, as well as gathers the physical evidence from which Rhyme ultimately weaves his magic. She also serves as somewhat of a Deus Ex Machina in that she saves the day in more ways than one.
Sachs is a wonderful foil for Rhyme in that she runs hot to his cold. She is driven by her desire to help others, as well as by her own personal demons, while he is ever the calm, cool, collected clinician, whose desire to preserve a crime scene may supercede the milk of human kindness latent within his emotionally atrophied soul. The personal connection that Rhyme ultimately develops with Officer Sachs is one that leaves you hoping that they will be teamed up again in yet another novel.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 13 October 1999
I finally found this book 12 months after reading the Coffin Dancer and it certainly did not disappoint. Lincoln Rhyme is called upon to solve a series of grisly murders and kidnappings ably assisted by Amelia Sachs (the Lara Croft of NYPD??).
The action starts early in the book and Rhyme's amazing deductions in attempting to catch the fiend are excellent insight into what can now be done with forensic science.
The book kept me enthralled and I echo the thoughts of another reviewer who said that "you feel like you are on his team". The picture painted by Deaver is graphic and ensures your attention is kept.
The deductions arrived at from use of forensics is akin to sherlock Holmes only for grown ups.
Some of the bad language was gratuitous I found and was not needed; the pace of the chase was realistic enough.
An excellent read and I hope Mr. Deaver considers more novels centred around Rhyme and Sachs.
Put it on your Xmas list.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This is an especially suspenseful thriller made more so by the personal angst of the main character, Lincoln Rhyme. A quadriplegic, forensic ex-detective for the New York City Police Department, Rhyme is brought out of retirement by the police department to assist them in the apprehension of an apparently psychopathic killer who is loose on the streets of New York. .
The forays into bits of arcane New York history, as well as the sleuthing done almost entirely through the application of forensics and deductive reasoning, make for a very interesting read. While at times it seems that no one could be as uncannily accurate as Rhyme in deciphering the meaning of the physical evidence, this contrivance does serve to move the plot along. With the story line so engrossing and the crime scenes horrific, as well as ingenious, it is the kind of book that is hard to put down, because you simply cannot wait to see what happens. The surprise ending is the icing on the cake.
Assisting Rhyme with his work is Police Officer Sachs who, while not as compelling a character as Rhyme, is essential to the story. It is her character who does the 'heavy lifting' so to speak. Highly intelligent and resourceful, with an innate appreciation of the importance of physical evidence, she inspects and preserves the crime scenes, as well as gathers the physical evidence from which Rhyme ultimately weaves his magic. She also serves as somewhat of a Deus Ex Machina in that she saves the day in more ways than one.
Sachs is a wonderful foil for Rhyme in that she runs hot to his cold. She is driven by her desire to help others, as well as by her own personal demons, while he is ever the calm, cool, collected clinician, whose desire to preserve a crime scene may supercede the milk of human kindness latent within his emotionally atrophied soul. The personal connection that Rhyme ultimately develops with Officer Sachs is one that leaves you hoping that they will be teamed up again in yet another novel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 2 December 2009
Amelia Sachs is just finishing up on her last shift as a patrol cop in New York before being transferred to a different department. However it is on this shift that she comes across the first victim of The Bone Collector. Sachs takes all the steps she sees as necessary in securing the crime scene and waits for help to arrive. Meanwhile, retired criminalist Lincoln Rhyme is bedridden. Paralysed from the neck down and seriously considering suicide if only he could do it himself. It is now that Rhyme is approached by his old colleague and asked to assist in the Bone Collector murders. Rhyme reluctantly agrees but only if Amelia Sachs stays aswell.

What follows is a beautifully written book with both abundant excitement and information. Aided by a radio Rhyme manages to guide rookie Sachs into succesfully walking and documenting a crime scene, and we as readers are also invited to learn along with Amelia. Deaver also lets us read snippets here and there through the eyes of the killer. And we're also along for the ride as Rhyme battles his paralysis and his search for a helping hand in his quest for euphanasia.

All in all this book brings alot to the table that you cant find elsewhere. The characters are all very well written. The crime scenes are genuinely pretty gory. The pace and plot move along swiftly. And the story in its entirety is enjoyable. Deaver has produced a book that will most certainly appeal to fans of this genre, most definately worth a look.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 1 June 2011
This author was recommended to me by a friend, who knows I am not a great fan of this genre. Even while a quiet voice at the back of my brain was saying "oh no, not yet another genius, rogue, detective with problems....", I was gripped by this novel and finished it in two sittings. It's very well written, with plenty of detail to keep us detail-holics happy.

However, the Kindle edition does, IMO, suffer from an unfortunate format problem: where the printed book has clear breaks between very different scenes (sub-chapters, if you like) in the same chapter, the kindle edition doesn't have any line breaks. The only clue is that the start of the line is right-aligned. Easy to miss, especially if you're a quick reader, and has the unfortunate effect of jolting you out of the story for a few seconds when you realise that what you're reading doesn't follow on from the lines preceding.

That said, I still devoured the book, thoroughly enjoyed it and will read more from Mr Deavor.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
When I picked this book up I thankfully didn't make the connection to the film as I probably would have put it back.

The characters and plot are far more interesting than any I have discovered in a while. At times it did border on being slightly far fetched but Deaver manages to pull it off. Slightly sinister in places this book is definitely worthy of the acclaim as is the author.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 25 October 2005
There are 9 words which describe this book - "One of the best books I have ever read" - it will get you hooked on Jeffrey Deaver and in particular on the Lincoln Rhyme novels - absolutely fantastic
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