Forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan faces tough cases all of the time, but this one may be one of the most troubling. Called to the apartment of a woman who has disappeared after visiting the hospital with signs of having just given birth, she discovers the decomposing remains of three infants. Tempe is forced to work with two former flames as she follows the woman’s trail from Quebec to Edmonton and finally to Yellowknife. Is the woman to blame for the babies’ deaths? Or is there something more sinister waiting beneath the surface?
Temperance “Tempe” Brennan is a knowledgeable character who doesn’t speak down to the reader. The details of her job and the investigation are way outside the scope of what I know from watching crime shows on television. But Tempe–and the author–make them palatable. She explains exactly what’s going on, what each test looks for, and the details of what she learns during her investigation. That helped me to feel right there with her as she searched for answers.
The story did become confusing about halfway through. The investigation encountered a number of different characters and suspects. I had a hard time keeping straight who was who and what their relationships to one another were. To be fair, the characters were all well-developed and jumped off the page. There were just too many of them.
As for the story and investigation as a whole, they were completely believable. The twists that occur seem completely natural over the course of the investigation. That the author was able to bring the settings to life helped on that front. As a reader, I loved being able to tag along with Tempe as she made a gruesome discovery in an Edmonton apartment and as she followed several leads in Yellowknife.
The biggest part of the novel that left me wanting was the story of Tempe’s relationship with her former flames. However, that’s my own fault as Bones are Forever is the 15th in the series. I’m sure those relationships are spelled out in the previous books. I’ll keep Kathy Reichs in mind when browsing bookshelves.
This book would be great for anyone who enjoys forensic thrillers like Patricia Cornwell’s Scarpetta novels or who enjoys the television show “Bones” as Kathy Reichs is a producer.
Rating: four of five stars
Bones are Forever by Kathy Reichs is available from Scribner.
*I purchased a hardcover copy of this book and did not receive it from the publisher.