Created by American crime writer Jeffery Deaver, the Lincoln Rhyme series started in 1997 and rapidly became famous with the help of Hollywood-with an adaptation of The Bone Collector with Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie, and recently with a TV Show.
Lincoln Rhyme was NYPD Homicide Detective until after an accident that left him completely paralyzed from the neck down. Now, he still works with the police department as a Forensic Consultant. Of course, he needs help to do the leg work and, for that, he is partnered with Amelia Sachs who acts as his substitute as she walks crime scenes.
How to read the Lincoln Rhyme Series in Order?
Every novel in the Lincoln Rhyme book series works as a standalone story, but the lives of the different characters evolve from one novel to the other.
- The Bone Collector – Lincoln Rhyme was once a brilliant criminologist, a genius in the field of forensics-until an accident left him physically and emotionally shattered. But now a killer is challenging Rhyme to a terrifying and ingenious duel of wits. With police detective Amelia Sachs by his side, Rhyme must follow a labyrinth of clues that reaches back to a dark chapter in New York City’s past.
- The Coffin Dancer – Lincoln Rhyme is on the hunt for an elusive murderer known as the Coffin Dancer. He’s a brilliant hit man who changes his appearance faster than he adds to his trail of victims, only one of whom has lived long enough to offer a clue: the assassin has an eerie tattoo on his arm of the Grim Reaper waltzing in front of a casket.
- The Empty Chair – Lincoln Rhyme is desperate to improve his condition and goes to the University of North Carolina Medical Center for high-risk experimental surgery. But he and Sachs have hardly settled in when the local authorities come calling. In a 24-hour period, the sleepy Southern outpost of Tanner’s Corner has seen a local teen murdered and two young women abducted. And Rhyme and Sachs are the best chance to find the girls alive.
- The Stone Monkey – Hired to track a cargo ship carrying illegal immigrants and a notorious smuggler known as the “Ghost,” Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs find themselves in a race against time to prevent their target from killing off two families in New York City’s Chinese community.
- The Vanished Man – Lincoln Rhyme is called in to work the high-profile investigation of a killer who seemingly disappeared into thin air just as the NYPD closed in. As the homicidal illusionist baits him with grisly murders that grow more diabolical with each victim, Rhyme and his protégée, Amelia Sachs, must go behind the smoke and mirrors to prevent a horrific act of vengeance that could become the greatest vanishing act of all…
- The Twelfth Card – Trying to discover why innocuous man-turned-killer Thompson Boyd is targeting a Harlem high school student for murder, detective Lincoln Rhyme and his protégée, Amelia Sachs, look for answers in the would-be-victim’s term paper about her civil rights activist ancestor.
- The Cold Moon – On a freezing December night, with a full moon hovering in the black sky over New York City, two people are brutally murdered – the death scenes marked by eerie, matching calling cards: moon-faced clocks inves-tigators fear ticked away the victims’ last moments on earth. Lincoln Rhyme immediately identifies the clock distributor and has the chilling realization that the killer – who has dubbed himself the Watchmaker – has more murders planned in the hours to come.
- The Broken Window – When Lincoln’s estranged cousin Arthur Rhyme is arrested on murder charges, the case is too perfect. Forensic evidence from Arthur’s home is found all over the scene of the crime, and it looks like the fate of Lincoln’s relative is sealed. At the behest of Arthur’s wife, Lincoln grudgingly agrees to investigate the case. Soon Lincoln and Amelia uncover a string of similar murders and rapes with perpetrators claiming innocence and ignorance. Rhyme’s team realizes this “perfect” evidence may actually be the result of masterful identity theft and manipulation.
- The Burning Wire – When the first explosion occurs in broad daylight, Lincoln Rhyme is immediately tapped for the investigation. Long a quadriplegic, he assembles NYPD detective Amelia Sachs and officer Ron Pulaski as his eyes, ears and legs on crime sites, and FBI agent Fred Dellray as his undercover man on the street. As the attacks continue across the city at a sickening pace, and terrifying demand letters begin appearing, the team works desperately against time and with maddeningly little forensic evidence to try to find the killer. Or is it killers?
- A Textbook Case (short story) – When a young woman is found brutally murdered in a parking garage, with a veritable mountain of potential evidence to sift through, it may be the most challenging case former NYPD detective Lincoln Rhyme has ever taken on.
- The Kill Room – It was a “million-dollar bullet,” a sniper shot delivered from over a mile away. Its victim was no ordinary mark: he was a United States citizen, targeted by the United States government, and assassinated in the Bahamas. Lincoln Rhyme is drafted to investigate. While his partner, Amelia Sachs, traces the victim’s steps in Manhattan, Rhyme leaves the city to pursue the sniper himself. As details of the case start to emerge, the pair discovers that not all is what it seems.
- The Skin Collector – They have never seen a murder like it. A talented tattoo artist is using poison instead of ink. His victim is a young woman. And on her skin he’s left a message: ‘the second’. Drafted in to investigate, Lincoln Rhyme and his associate Amelia Sachs find the scene has been scrubbed of evidence. All except for one trace – a scrap of paper that connects this case with one they will never forget. Rhyme and Sachs find themselves pitted against a twisted serial killer choosing his victims seemingly at random.
- The Deliveryman (short story) – A man is murdered in a back alley. Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are left with a veritable mountain of evidence collected from the trash-filled alley, and their only lead is a young eyewitness: the man’s eight-year-old son, who was riding along on his father’s delivery route.
- The Steel Kiss – Amelia Sachs is hot on the trail of a killer. She’s chasing him through a department store in Brooklyn when an escalator malfunctions. The stairs give way, with one man horribly mangled by the gears. Sachs is forced to let her quarry escape as she jumps in to try to help save the victim. She and Lincoln Rhyme soon learn, however, that the incident may not have been an accident at all, but the first in a series of intentional attacks.
- The Burial Hour – A businessman snatched from an Upper East Side street in broad daylight. A miniature hangman’s noose left at the scene. A nine-year-old girl, the only witness to the crime. With a crime scene this puzzling, forensic expertise of the highest order is absolutely essential. Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are called in to investigate.
- The Cutting Edge – In the early hours of a quiet, weekend morning in Manhattan’s Diamond District, a brutal triple murder shocks the city. Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs quickly take the case. Curiously, the killer has left behind a half-million dollars worth of gems at the murder scene, a jewelry store on 47th street. As more crimes follow, it becomes clear that the killer’s target is not gems, but engaged couples themselves.
- The Midnight Lock – A woman awakes in the morning to find that someone has picked her apartment’s supposedly impregnable door lock and rearranged personal items, even sitting beside her while she slept. The intrusion, the police learn, is a message to the entire city of carnage to come. Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are brought in to investigate and soon learn that the sociopathic intruder, who calls himself “the Locksmith,” can break through any lock or security system ever devised. With more victims on the horizon, Rhyme, Sachs and their stable of associates must follow the evidence to the man’s lair… and discover his true mission.
- A Perfect Plan – When the FBI comes to Lincoln Rhyme with the news that a mysterious assassin is targeting him, the detective is not particularly concerned. With his long career putting away criminals, he is accustomed to threats on his life, and has designed his Upper West Side townhome to be secure against nearly any threat. But when the assassin gets too close for comfort, shadowing Rhyme and his wife Amelia Sachs as they go about their daily life, Rhyme determines to find out why this person is after him…
- The Watchmaker’s Hand – When a New York City construction crane mysteriously collapses, causing mass destruction and killing several people, Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are on the case. A political group claims to be behind the sabotage and threatens another crane collapse in twenty-four hours unless their demands are met. The clock is ticking.