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Bone Thief (John Driscoll #1)

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  417 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
In his extraordinary debut novel of psychological suspense, Thomas O'Callaghan proves himself a worthy successor to Thomas Harris as he introduces one of the most compelling and terrifying serial killers since Hannibal Lecter in a book where every harrowing page crackles with the white-knuckle feel of a race against time and the gritty authenticity of a real forensic inves ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published December 31st 2001)
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Community Reviews

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Aug 15, 2014 Katie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm honestly sort of surprised by all the positive reviews on here. This book was poorly written, poorly researched, and barely qualifies as a mystery novel, much less a psychological thriller. The idea behind the book--a serial killer who removes all the bones from his victims--is an excellent one, but the book itself was poorly written. Spoilers ahead.

When I first read this, I thought surely this book must have been published in the late 90s. There was no way a book that relies this he
Mark Soone
Well, I had never heard of this author before my sister gave me a few books that she thought I might like. I might just check out a few more.

For a debut novel/series this was pretty well done. From the outset our hero Driscoll is a likeable enough guy who has had more than his share of tragedy and misfortune. The villan was heartless and fairly gruesome even by seriel killer standards, and although I did not get get a full picture of him untill late in the book O'Callaghan did manage to tie up h
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 06, 2016 Maddy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2006-reads
Colm Pierce is a completely deranged serial killer whose trademark is that he removes all of the bones from the body of his victims. He also removes the heads, hands and feet. He has the ability to easily attract women, women who later become victims in his bizarre killing scenario.

Lieutenant John Driscoll is placed in charge of the investigation, working with fellow cop Margaret. His personal story is a sad one. His 14-year-old daughter was killed in an auto accident six years earlier; his bel
Apr 03, 2013 Kristin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The premise of the book sounded oddly interesting, a murderer who keeps the bones of his victims and leaves the rest for the authorities to find. While it was gory in the beginning, as there are 3 murders in a short period of time, the book tapers off near the end and it seems like they catch the bad guy too easily. Also, the role of certain characters seems to exaggerated to be real, and I was having a hard time placing the book in a timeframe. On the latter point, the book was written after 20 ...more
Darcia Helle
This book started with promise but, the more I read, the worse it got. These are some of the problems I had with it:

The relationship between John Driscoll and his partner, Margaret, felt more like a business transaction than a romance. The conversations were stilted, forced and emotionless. Margaret risked her career to pursue John, who is her boss. This supposed tough female cop suddenly behaved like a lovesick teen around him, despite the fact that they'd been working together for years.

The pa
Liberty Abbott-Sylvester
This was a fan-freaking-tastic book! I will be adding O'Callaghan to my list of fav authors.
I loved his writing style, the way he developed the characters and gave us a glimpse into their past was fantastic.
I loved John Driscoll the main character. The writing made us feel his pain, love, his fears. I believe we have a lot to discover about him and hope to do so in future books.

This book is graphic, but it is about a seriel collector so it must be. I was not turned off by the descriptions inst
Gene Ruppe
Decent mystery. A little dated in terminology and references but otherwise kept your interest. A good cop and his team search for a murderer of women.
Rebecca McNutt
Bone Thief is about a serial killer, but it's lacking in much else other than the same tired old "creepy psychopath" material.
Ailin Chia
Feb 23, 2011 Ailin Chia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I admit, I don't really go for thrillers or detective stories, as I prefer books that deal with history and dramas. I actually bought this book on a whim because I wanted to test whether my card could buy ebooks and the synopsis seemed interesting enough. However, what started out as a whim turned out to be something I actually ended up enjoying quite a bit, and I certainly don't regret the money spent. It's also the first book I managed to complete on my iPad.

What I loved most of all about this
May 03, 2009 Laurie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This thriller was fast paced and more than a little gruesome. With short chapters and a serial killer versus dedicated detective it was hard to put down and I read it in 2 short days.

Lt. John Driscoll is an emotionally bruised man. His wife and daughter were in a car accident six years earlier, his daughter died and his wife lays in a complete vegetative state. Driscoll pours all his emotion into his work.

A serial killer is using NYC as his hunting grounds, killing women and removing all their
Jul 02, 2013 Noorita rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Sinopsis :
Kisah penyiasatan apabila Bandar New York tiba-tiba digemparkan dengan kes pembunuhan sadis. Tiada unsur-unsur khianat atau jahat dikesan kerana mayat yang dijumpai adalah tanpa tulang, kepala, kaki dan tangan. Malah, kebanyakan mangsa tiada hubung kait antara satu sama lain, dan background juga tiada yang sama. Lieutenant John Driscoll dan Sergeant Margaret Aligante berusaha bersama team mereka untuk menghuraikan motif kes pembunuhan tersebut. Colm Pierce, doktor pakar tulang, adalah
Feb 28, 2011 Qazyman rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Every Author has a purpose and it shows. Most of the time the purpose is to tell a good story and to write well. The purpose of Thomas O'Callaghan in "Bone Thief" is to make a few bucks by pretending he is writing an original horror novel. At best, this is a romance novel with a serial killer backdrop. It's not that the book is badly written (The structure is very simplistic), as much as O'Callaghan employes every cheap an tasteless device possible to lead the reader toward a pointless end. I ca ...more
May 15, 2012 Leslie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cops
As I began reading this book I knew it was published in 2006, however once I got inside it became obvious it had been written prior to 2000. Netscape? Juno? Police not knowing the internet? The dead give-away was a side comment that by the next millennium there will be over 400 million web pages. So as an internet nerd this was quite distracting and in some ways hampered my enjoyment of the book. If anywhere in the book it stated that story took place in 1997 or 98 I would have been perfectly ha ...more
Lieutenant Driscoll has dealt with tragedy in his family when his wife and daughter were in a car accident, killing the girl and leaving his wife in a permanent vegatative state. It is only after several years of caring for his wife that he begins to think about other women but it makes him feel like a cheater. Now a serial killer is on the loose in New York City who not only kills women but removes their bones, head, hands, and feet. Several women have been murdered this way but the police can ...more
This is a fabulous thriller with a hint of horror/serial killer to the twist and a dab of romance. In the meantime, tomorrow, I'll start reading January books for this month, with two books I've brought at last year's library book sales. Seven books have been requested-three I'll pick up this weekend or next week for my challenges here and at TBR. Two books I had to request to purchase, since my library didn't have it listed. I hope it comes in between now and April 30th, 2009. Then I'll reques ...more
Barbara ★
Gruesome but extremely well written. O'Callaghan keeps you on the edge of your seats with the escalating suspense. Just reading the first chapter told me it was going to be a freaky story. Detectives Driscoll and Margaret are wonderful and real. Both face real life troubles while trying to investigate the serial killer from hell. He literally removes every bone in the victims body and then dumps the body. The story really heats up with 14 year old Moira enters the picture. The next book in the s ...more
I finished this in one day. Not bad, but not as suspenseful as I like in a psychological thriller. From the beginning we know who the criminal is and what is motivation is. The story was really about watching Lietuenant John Driscoll and his partner Sergeant Margaret Aligante solve the crime and setting up their characters for the next book in the series. Although the story didn't flow smoothly in spots and there really wasn't much suspense, the writing wasn't bad. I'd be willing to read the nex ...more
Nov 19, 2007 Elaine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007, november
This is definitely not a book without its flaws (some of them are quite glaring). However the author does know how to spin a chiller, and parts of this book are nearly impossible to stop reading. Given that this is the author's first outing - I'll be looking forward to reading more of his work a couple of years down the road when he has had a chance to mature as a writer and further hone his craft.
Jul 08, 2014 Trish rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was ok. The storyline was good and at times the book was very suspenseful. It was indeed a page-turner. However, the prose was rather juvenile. It's almost as if this is written by a 16 year old. The childish banter between Driscoll and Margaret was ridiculous. At times they were talking to relatives of victims and they start cracking jokes; I don't know any police officers that would do that.
May 03, 2009 Jan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-copy, horror, thriller
A serial killer collector has John Driscoll, Det., NYPD, on the hot seat as N. Y. cringes with every new body found and he uses every resource available to him to catch the killer of young women and to dispose of what was left of their bodies. O'Callaghan utilized unique and inventive ways for the killer to lure his prey but should have put more thought into his partner who came off as quite needy. Definitely creepy but the story didn't register high on my shiver scale for some reason.
Solid 4 maybe 5 star book until the teenage entered the picture. That SO wouldn't have happened and it ruined a lot of the book for me. Then, I don't know when this book was supposed to be set, but they acted like they had never heard of some new thing called the "internet" but a teenage girl had a laptop and was a hacker. Soooooooooo poorly written in those regards, but the killer was neat and the storyline was good, just a lot of flaws, but I enjoyed it overall.
Suci sadiq
mbaca bukunya seneng-seneng nyesel..
seneng karena emang bagus sih.. (jarang aku bilang buku jelek kecuali emang jelek banget.. siyan ahh penulisnya udah capek2 nulis hehehe), nyeselnya soalnya berhari-hari aku jadi parno dan kebayang2 kesadisan si penulis.. jujur aja aku udah lupa jalan ceritanya hehehe (review ini dibuat 2 bln stlh aku baca buku ini), tapi semua scene horornya masih kebayang dikepala.. waktu daging mayat dikuliti, waktu potongan tangan di paku ke papan... hiyyy)
Angie crosby
Aug 13, 2008 Angie crosby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: alex, thriller
Very good book. Main character is a detective. He and his team of detectives are hunting a serial killer. A killer who kills and steals the bones of his victims. It has gory parts. I like too how it flashes back in the killers mind to his past. I didn't even mind that I knew who the killer was. I would read this again, recommend it and own it. Says this is the first Lieutenant John Driscoll book with another one next year. I'll be looking for it.
Mar 14, 2011 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm really torn about giving this a 3 or a 4 star rating. I guess I would give it a 3.5 if I could. The book was great, kept me captivated all the way through, then at the very just fizzled out. Seemed like he was in a hurry to get done and just ended the book too quickly. It never really explained why the bad guy did what he did, and never really explained exactly WHAT he did with his crime. I was really disappointed in the ending.
Sep 04, 2014 Davida rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars. This book is not for the faint of heart! A compelling read, but disturbing, at times. Discrepancies in the investigation and in regard to the internet....reads like it was written in the mid-90's. I am not sure why it was published so much later....or maybe I missed the actual timeline of the story!?
Aug 10, 2012 Alexa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The author achieved his goal in making his killer both civilized and horrendous. The killings were somewhat gruesome and I just didn't enjoy this as much as I liked the author's second book. This focused so much on the main character and his anguish over lost family, responsibility and guilt, the crimes and solving them almost seemed secondary.
This is a very quick read, for those who like serial killer thrillers. The villain is unique and very creepy.

However, I found the good guys a bit bland and boring. And I didn't buy the romance between the detective and his colleague at all . . . I would have edited that out completely.

Overall, a sturdy thriller and a good airplane book.
Apr 09, 2012 Grace rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first in what I assume will be a series starring NYPD Lieutenant John W. Driscoll. Driscoll is after a serial killer who kills and de-bones his victims taking their heads, hands, and feet. Overall, I liked the mystery especially that while it’s mostly told from Driscoll’s POV you also get some of the killer’s POV. That said, there were some gaps in the book that were noticable.
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Thomas O'Callaghan's work has been translated for publication in Germany, Slovakia, Indonesia, and the Czech Republic. A publishing house in Italy has recently acquired rights, as well. As an internationally acclaimed author, Mr. O'Callaghan is a member of both the Mystery Writers of America and the International Thriller Writers associations. A native of New York City and a graduate of CUNY, Mr. ...more
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