Kathy Reichs

Faber and Faber £12.99 pbk

Released: 14 October 2010

Reviewer: Kirstie Long


A fanatical book reader, Kirstie works in Finance. The ‘evil day job’ fits in around her passion of writing, promoting writers of all genres and encouraging more people to read books. She has a special place in her heart for crime fiction and is also the Co-Editor of Mystery Women

A puzzling death starts this latest novel featuring Dr. Temperance Brennan (Tempe) a forensic anthropologist who liaises with Crime Enforcement Services to solve murders and unexplained deaths. The fingerprints of the deceased relate to a soldier, John Lowery, who supposedly died in Vietnam in 1968. Even though his family don’t want old family wounds reopened, Temp is determined to find out who's buried in Lowery's grave - if he wasn’t already dead.

The story takes us with Tempe to Hawaii where she seeks the help of an old friend at the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), whose mission is to find the remains of American war dead and bring them home. However, nothing is easily clarified and we’re led through a series of shark attacks, gang culture, a lot of in depth scientific knowledge and an incredibly complex plot.

These books and the character of Temperance Brennan are more widely known due to the TV series Bones and for anyone who has ever read one of Kathy Reich’s novels will know, the two formats and characters are very different. For anyone who has not previously read the books but seen the series, this book is not the best place to start.

As with all her novels, the level of scientific knowledge is high and for some can be ponderous against the thrill of the plot. Whilst this book is no different, it also has a significant amount of in depth information about the Vietnam War, the military and geographic details of both Hawaii and Vietnam which made the already multifaceted plot somewhat confusing.

Reichs has a distinctive style and always offers a story line that has you wondering right through to the end what the outcome will be. Tempe is an excellent subject to write about with her sarcastic wit and tangled personal life that long term readers enjoy.

Whilst this book is not for new readers of the series and probably wouldn’t appeal to fans of the TV series, it will be enjoyed by regular readers – especially the final twist in the tail!






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