I stumbled across The Bone Collector a few years ago and was blown away by the dynamics in the book. Reading it again this year solidifies it as a timeless story. One thing I love about this book is the fact that although we are plunged into this fast-paced battle of wits between Lincoln Rhyme and the killer, it has an undertone of irony. The Bone Collector brings out the best in Rhyme and connects him to his talent once more, giving him a purpose after an accident renders him paralysed emotionally and physically. There’s a duality between the two that I think makes the whole story so electric.
The depths of depravity the killer goes to, makes it a difficult read. It’s not just the way these victims die, it’s the situations the killer leaves them in that build the ultimate tension. Deaver crafts tension like not many authors I’ve read; he manages to be urgent in his restraint without sacrificing pace. The knowledge of forensics is top tier. None of the dialogue or world-building seems false. The crime scene analysis scenes are so well written, they add to the urgency of the journey we’re on.
The relationship between Rhyme and Sachs. She becomes his presence in the outside world and that bond becomes a really interesting dynamic in the story. They elevate each other in various ways and it adds a further element of danger. The killer doesn’t need to directly get to Rhymes to really hurt him. The book is far more involved than the film, which is expected, but it’s really a testament to Deaver for his multi-dimensional descriptions and intense research.
If you enjoy fast-paced twist and turns, horrific deaths and clues that will keep you up at night, this is definitely worth a read!
4/5 – Sammy Willbourne