'The Bone Collector' is a mystery thriller based on the book by Jeffery Deaver. A serial killer has a unique manner in which to obtain his victims. He traps them in his cab and takes them away to be slaughtered. The unknown killer then stages the crime scene with peculiar clues. A young patrol woman, 'Amelia Donaghy' (Angelina Jolie) is called to one of the crime scenes. A murdered man is buried under gravel. Only a hand sticks up through the crushed stones. Evidence is left on a nearby train track. Courageously 'Officer Donaghy' stands on the tracks and stops an oncoming train. The evidence, an old bolt, a piece of paper, some asbestos, and a strip from a newspaper, are not destroyed.
'Detective Lincoln Rhyme' (Denzel Washington) becomes involved in the case. Rhyme is a quadriplegic who was once one of New York City's top forensic investigators. He was injured several years earlier at a crime scene. The city had let him remain on active duty. 'Lincoln' is bedridden. His nurse 'Thelma' (Rapper Queen Latifah) gives him round the clock care. 'Lincoln' has decided that due to a series of continuing seizures that he no longer wishes to live. His doctor agrees to assist him with his suicide.
The central character of the film is Lincoln Rhyme (Denzel Washington), a disabled ex-cop, a forensic scientist now paralyzed from the neck down. Years after his accident, Rhyme is approached by Detective Paulie Sellitto (Ed O'Neill) to help in the investigation of a murder. Someone has abducted a man and woman from the airport, leaving the man buried in a train yard. Only the man's hand is above ground, with his wife's ring on his flayed finger.
Adding to the unusual nature of the body found, the killer also left a number of clues at the crime scene to lure the police to the next body. One of the clues indicates that they may have time to save her if they find her fast enough. Aiding Rhyme as his eyes, ears, and legs in the investigation is a patrol officer named Amelia...
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