I’ve read only one other ‘Bones’ novel and I’ve never watched a complete episode of the television series (though my wife and son watched it quite frequently). I find, however, that in the now two books that I’ve read, I really enjoy these stories.
If you’re not familiar with the concept at all, Temperance Brennan is a brilliant forensic anthropologist working for a Big Name museum that resembles The Smithsonian but has a different name. Due to her work, she gets consulted by authorities to study unidentified remains, which of course gets her involved in solving crimes of all sorts.
In this book, Speaking in Bones, the 18th book in the series, her mystery is not brought to her by her boyfriend, FBI agent Andrew Ryan, but an internet ‘web sleuth’ – someone who tries to solve unsolved crimes but is not connected to law enforcement in any way. Brennan has a number of unidentified remains at her work, some of them available for online study (the information about them, at least) and Hazel “Lucky” Strike believes she’s found a match for one of them.
The problem, Hazel and Temperance discover, is that the young woman (who Hazel believes the remains to be) was never reported missing by her family or friends. The family, in fact, believe the girl ran off on her own and is alive somewhere – they just don’t know (and don’t care) where that is. Without a missing persons report, it is difficult to get the necessary information and DNA samples to make the identification. There’s clearly something unusual going on and Temperance wants to know what it is, and to help make another identification, if possible. But is Hazel’s work to this point even valid enough to follow through on? And without a missing persons report, the authorities can’t get involved.
I really liked the direction that this story took and that we get to see Temperance really working out here on her own. Although I will admit that I was surprised by how much she still relies on her mother to get her through some of her life.
There’s a sub-plot involving Ryan that has clearly started in an earlier book. The whole relationship status was a bit of a distraction for me, going in to this book without the benefit of a lot of the back story, but I can at least see where this ongoing story could be a real draw for some readers. It just didn’t work for me.
I liked this book quite a bit and I look forward to reading more of the ‘Bones’ series.
Looking for a good book? Speaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs, the eighteenth book in a series, is a solid mystery with believable characters and science and an enjoyable read. But you’ll want to read the earlier books if following the romance is important to you.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Speaking in Bones
author: Kathy Reichs
series: Temperance Brennan #18
hardcover, 336 pages