Three years ago while investigating the serial killer known as the Bone Collector, forensics expert and NYPD detective Lincoln Rhyme (Russell Hornsby) was caught in a trap laid by the killer leaving him a quadriplegic. When Amelia Sachs (Arielle Kebbel), a NYPD patrol officer discovers what appears to be the Bone Collector's latest kill Rhymes brings aboard his personal team of forensic investigators.
Acting as his eyes and ears in the fields, the team works to identify the serial killer before he strikes again beginning a deadly game of cat and mouse.
It was cancelled after 1 season of 10 episodes.
This series contains examples of:
- Adaptational Villainy: The previous two Bone Collector's were still twisted serial killers, but the one in the series appears far more pettier as he is seemingly targeting Rhyme due to him being arrogant during a meeting many years prior. The book version lost his family and the film version (although through his own misdeeds) ended up in prison for years and being brutalised, which made their motives to go against Rhyme a bit more understandable. Plus the series version doesn't appear as delusional as his book counterpart.
- Even after the true reason for the Bone Collector's vendetta is revealed- Lincoln beat him into giving their instructor the solution to a test case in their academy career- the killer's motives still come across as petty, as being second place in the class is far from something to be ashamed of, and as Lincoln observes, if the man was as good as he thought he was he should have been able to get the answer first.
- Adaptation Origin Connection: Unlike the novel and film, the Bone Collector is responsible for Rhyme's injury.
- Adaptational Early Appearance: The Bone Collector was operating prior to Rhyme's accident, whereas in the novel and film he began his killing following the event.
- Adapted Out: No reference to the early 21st century serial killer James Schneider is made, whom the modern day Bone Collector took his inspiration from in the book and film (although in the latter he was unnamed).
- Career-Ending Injury: Lincoln used to be able to use his skills in the field before a trap by the Bone Collector caused him to become a paraplegic.
- Composite Character: Appears to be the one and only Bone Collector and not copying previous crimes, which makes him similar to the original Bone Collector James Schneider who was mentioned in the book and film.
- Dream-Crushing Handicap: Played with. In theory, Amelia's PTSD and anxiety should not have prevented her from joining the FBI, but she chose to lie about it and get caught. Lying to the FBI is a felony, and you can't be an FBI Agent with a felony on your record.
- Driven by Envy: What may be a driving force behind why the Bone Collector started his game with Lincoln. In a flashback, we see Lincoln solve a nearly impossible case example at a forensics seminar. When the Bone Collector tried to engage Lincoln in conversation afterwards, Lincoln was his usual smug self. And the Bone Collector doesn't seemed to have gained the notoriety in the field that Lincoln has. Further affirmed in their final confrontation when the Bone Collector reveals that, when they were in the academy, Lincoln just beat the other man in giving the answer to a major class assignment, although Lincoln counters that if the man was as good as he thinks he is he would have given the answer long before Lincoln.
- Due to the Dead: At the end of the final episode, the team all attend Castillo's wake at the bar, with even Lincoln drinking to his memory.
- Handicapped Badass: Lincoln might be physically immobilised, but his mind is still so sharp that he can recall from memory various obscure details of New York history. In the final confrontation with the Bone Collector, Lincoln not only keeps the man talking to buy time, but at one point manages to stop the man pressing a trigger by biting him.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In the final confrontation with the Bone Collector, Eric Castillo is killed, but he manages to slip Nyah his new smartwatch, which allows the team to track her down when she's taken hostage for the killer's latest game.
- Insufferable Genius: Lincoln is a brilliant detective. He's also a short-tempered, full of himself A-hole.
- Jerkass: Lincoln is very hard to get along with, to the point that he fired his first five nurses before finally hiring Claire, who can actually deal with him.
- Never My Fault: In the final confrontation with the Bone Collector, he blames Rhyme for 'making' him kill his wife- when the only reason he killed her was because she learned the truth about his past- and for being better than him in the Academy, rather than accepting his second-place status.
- Mythology Gag:
- Like in the book, the killer is married. Although in said book she was dead prior to the story's events.
- The Killer is a forensic scientist, which was his backstory in the 1999 movie.
- Oh, Crap!: In the first episode, this is Amelia's reaction when she learns that her sister Rachel has been taken by Robert Sturm.
- Race Lift: Lincoln Rhyme is white in the original books. Just like the 1999 film before it, this series' portrayal of Lincoln is black.
- Revealing Cover Up: When the team discovers what may be the Bone Collector's first victim and his burial site, the team arrives only to discover the body gone. While they lose out on any physical evidence, the fact the Bone Collector knew to move the body points leads them to realize the Serial Killer has a link to law enforcement.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Amelia has struggled with PTSD and anxiety ever since she was 14, when her family was killed by a domestic abuser who attacked the restaurant where they were having dinner. She got rejected from the FBI for lying about it.
- Villain with Good Publicity: The Bone Collector is a prominent forensic investigator that seems to be reasonably well off and has a loving wife.
- Worthy Opponent: The reason why the Bone Collector specifically targets Rhyme and his team is due to viewing him as this, more specifically to prove that he [the killer] is smarter than them.
- Would Hurt a Child: The Bone Collector is even willing to kill Camden, Lincoln's son, just to 'beat' Lincoln.