Following World War I, Manhattan becomes the cultural capital of the world, serving as the home to the brand new industries of radio broadcasting, magazines, advertising and public relations. Major cultural contributions were made by F. Scott Fitzgerald, George Gershwin, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong, and the Harlem Renaissance was the banner under which an explosion of African American culture and creativity lived. As the Great Depression dawned, the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building were completed.
Rookie cop Amelia Donaghy reluctantly teams with Lincoln Rhyme -- formerly the department's top homicide detective but now paralyzed as a result of a spinal injury -- to catch a grisly serial killer dubbed The Bone Collector.
Homer is an orphan who was never adopted, becoming the favorite of orphanage director Dr. Larch. Dr. Larch imparts his full medical knowledge on Homer, who becomes a skilled, albeit unlicensed, physician.