A new type of serial killer is stalking the streets of New York - one more devious and disturbing than ever before.
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'.
Processing the scene, NYPD detective Lincoln Rhyme and his associate Amelia Sachs find just one trace of evidence. A scrap of paper that connects this case with one they will never forget: the killer they called The Bone Collector...