Thursday, January 29, 2009

Serial Killer vs. Forensic Genius

Lincoln Rhyme was one of the nation’s most brilliant criminologists, a genius in the field of forensics. Now an accident has left him physically crippled and emotionally stunted. But he’s about to be dragged into the most explosive case of his already distinguished career. A diabolical killer known as the Bone Collector has been stalking unsuspecting prey on the streets of New York, and it will take Rhyme’s investigative skills to stop him.

With beautiful police detective Amelia Sachs at his side, Rhyme must uncover a labyrinth of clues to prevent the next grisly crime. But a race against the clock becomes a terrifying battle of wits as Rhyme is drawn, step by chilling step, into the mind of a monstrous madman who won’t stop until he has stripped life down to raw bone…

Title: The Bone Collector
Author: Jeffery Deaver
Series: Lincoln Rhyme, Book 1
Start & Finished: 8/29/08- 8/30/08
Published: 1997
Publisher: Signet
Pages: 427 (Paperback)
Genre: Mystery/ Thriller

Several years before the popularity of TV shows like CSI, Jeffery Deaver wrote the first book in his bestselling Lincoln Rhyme series The Bone Collector. This new type of novel caught the attention of several people early on and besides winning some prestigious awards; a few years after it was released, it was made into a film starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie.

Crime TV shows like all of the CSI’s, NCIS, Criminal Minds, Cold Case, etc. are some of my favorite shows so I knew I would love the book once I started. It did take me a little while to really get into it but once I did, I was totally 100% in. There are some humorous parts and that added to it but I just love a really smart character and like Gil Grissom from CSI and Spencer Reid from Criminal Minds, Lincoln Rhymes is practically a genius. A quadriplegic genius after his accident, but a total genius nonetheless.

What I found impressive was that Mr. Deaver himself is very clever. He gives the reader a few red herrings but they’re so subtle you aren’t sure whether or not to believe them. I was all but convinced about who the Bone Collector was but then was shocked at the identity and the ending itself. Now I simply have to read The Coffin Dancer to find out what happens next!

Vaguely, I remember seeing the movie when it first came out so it wasn’t until years later that I realized the film was based on a book (that has become a successful series, so far eight have been published). Once I finally started the book, some of the scenes from the movie came roaring back (like the scene with the rats- even though it was different from the books version) and now I can’t wait to see it again…

Lincoln Rhyme Series:
1. The Bone Collector (1997)
2. The Coffin Dancer (1998)
3. The Empty Chair (2000)
4. The Stone Monkey (2002)
5. The Vanished Man (2003)
6. The Twelfth Card (2005)
7. The Cold Moon (2006)
8. The Broken Window (2008)

Links: Author Wikipedia, Character Wikipedia
Interview: BookPage, Triviana Thriller Man

Interview Part 1:

Picture Explanations
Iron Bolt, Scraps of paper, ect:
The first set of clues that the killer leaves.
Falcon: a pair of falcons lives on Rhyme's window ledge.
Wheelchair: Lincoln's wheelchair

He takes his victims' lives and leaves behind mysterious pieces of a bizarre puzzle. And the only person who may be able to make sense of the serial killer's deranged plan is Lincoln Rhyme (Denzel Wahington), a onetime top homicide investigator. But after a tragic accident changes his life forever, Rhyme can only watch as other cops bungle the case...until he teams up with a young rookie, Amelia Donaghy (Angelina Jolie), who bravely searches out the clues that help them solve the case.

But as the killer senses the cops closing in, Rhyme realizes that he and his partner are on the trial of a vicious, sadistic murderer who will stop at nothing on his deadly mission. And at any moment, Rhyme and Amelia could become his next targets - and their first case could become their last.

Title: The Bone Collector
Release: November 5, 1999
Genre: Drama- Thriller
MPAA Rating: R
Based On: The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver
Writer: Jeremy Iacone
Director: Phillip Noyce
Music By: Craig Armstrong
Produced By: Martin Bregman & Michael Bregman
Distributed By: Universal Pictures
Run Time: 118 minutes
Official Site

"It's a love story. It's a thriller. It's a detective story. And it's a story of renewal and resurrection,” said director Philip Noyce about his film The Bone Collector based on the first book in Jeffery Deaver’s Lincoln Rhymes series. So far, the only book in the series to be adapted to film, Deaver’s main characters come alive through actors Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. While a commercial success as it grossed $151 million worldwide, the film was considered a critical failure at the time of its release.

In a film where the main character spends the entire time flat on his back with no control over almost his entire body it takes a really strong actor to draw in the audience. In a book, the audience knows what the character is thinking and feeling so it’s easier to connect with them but in a film you need something more and that is just what they found in Denzel Washington. In an interview he said, "I've played some challenging individuals and parts in my days, but this was the most unique challenge, certainly physically. I've never had my tools taken away from me, the ability to express and move and turn my head as much as I wanted or to run or walk or laugh from the stomach, not just from the chest up.”

Somehow despite all these obstacles, Mr. Washington does manage to be the driving force behind the film. His leading lady Angelina Jolie plays Amelia Donaghy and while she does a good job with her character, she is still overshadowed by Washington. As one critic put it, she was “woefully miscast,” which I think has a good deal to do with how young she was (24) since although she is always gorgeous and gives a great performance, she never really convinced me that she was Amelia (this movie was filmed right before her breakthrough role in Girl, Interrupted). Surprisingly, one of my favorite people in the film is not actually in the book and that was Thelma played by Queen Latifah. In the novel, she’s actually a he named Thom but they both play an important role in the story.

This isn’t sounding much like a scary horror flick is it? Well to be truthful, it isn’t, The Bone Collector is more of a psychological thriller. However, it is rated R for the “grisly images” although it’s not overly gory either. There are just some disturbing scenes involving steam and rats. Overall, I thought the book was much better than the film because the way the killer operates through clues works more in the story through the book… nonetheless, whenever I read The Coffin Dancer, the second book in the Lincoln Rhymes series, the main character will have a lot more Denzel Washington in him for me.

Links:, Wikipedia
Interview: The Making of The Bone Collector Part 1, 2 (video)



  1. I'm so glad you liked it! While some of the books are better than others, I still just love this series! And Amelia will always look like Angelina and Lincoln will forever be black and look like Denzel in my mind. :-) I personally thought Angelina was great in that role, but I may be in the minority there. It was that movie which made me a fan of hers.


  2. I loved this movie and like Lezlie, it is what made me a fan of Angelina. (I was already a huge fan of Denzel).

    I have had this book in my TBR pile forever - I really need to dust it off and read it - LOL.

  3. Oh yes! I enjoyed this movie so much! I think this is my favourite book by the author so far! ;)

  4. Very comprehensive and informative post! I love to watch CSI on TV when I get the chance.

  5. I really liked this movie.. love Denzel! I am not a fan of Angelina but have to admit I did like her in this movie.

  6. How exciting! A new to me series that I haven't checked out yet :) I've seen the movie and didn't even realize it was based off of a book. Great review and I'll be adding this one to my TBR list :)

  7. Lezlie: Oh I do like her in the film but I just liked the book her more. She kind of reminded me of Julia Roberts.

    Kara: It took one of my online book groups to prompt me to get around to reading it. I'm so glad I did!

    Melody: It will probably be my favorite to even if it was my first lol.

    Lenore: Thank you! I haven't watched CSI much lately, either of them actually. Really need to get caught up!!!

    DesLily: I wouldn't exactly call myself a fan but I do enjoy her in action films!

    Samantha: I'm glad I could help, hope you enjoy it!

  8. I liked this movie, I had no idea it was a book.
    great review!



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