Monday, August 20, 2012

Bones Are Forever Injects New Life Into One of My Favorite Series

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

(Note:  Although this review will not contain spoilers for Bones Are Forever by Kathy Reichs, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from earlier books in the Temperance Brennan series.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.)

Forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan is used to dealing with grisly crime scenes.  It's part of her job.  But, when she finds three dead infants hidden in the walls of a rundown apartment in Montreal, she can hardly stand it.  Tempe's shocked, horrified and filled with an anger so hot she can barely see straight.  What kind of monster kills babies?  Was it the children's mother?  If so, why?  What could possibly have driven her to do such a horrific thing and not once, but thrice?  Tempe cannot even begin to imagine the answers, so she does what she does best:  she reads the bones.

Based on evidence Tempe discovers, police track the mother to Yellowknife, an isolated diamond-mining community deep in the Northwest Territories.  Tempe's invited along for the manhunt.  The last thing on Earth she wants to find is more tiny corpses, but she's determined to bring the babies' killer to justice. Tempe needs to focus on the case, but travelling with two former lovers makes concentration a bit difficult.  The situation is awkward enough:  Tempe's working with Detective Andrew Ryan, her sexy on-again-off-again (currently off) boyfriend and Ollie Hasty, a sergeant with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with whom Tempe had a long-ago dalliance.  The men's constant bickering only adds to the tension—sexual and otherwise—already crackling between the three.

As the case gets even more complicated, Tempe finds herself embroiled in a mess that involves not just dead babies, but also prostitutes, drug dealers, the lucrative diamond business and, of course, a cold-blooded killer.  The closer she gets to the truth behind the infants' deaths, the closer she comes to unmasking the murderer.  And becoming his/her next victim.

It's no secret that I'm a huge Kathy Reichs fan.  Ever since reading Deja Dead, the first novel in her popular Temperance Brennan series (which inspired the hit tv series Bones, by the way, although you really don't want to get me started on that ...), I've been hooked.  Tempe's a smart, funny heroine with an admirable passion for her work.  I love her character as well as the way Reichs makes forensic anthropology accessible for those of us whose only background in the science is the hundreds of hours we've logged watching CSI.

As much as I love the series, though, I have to admit it has—at times—lagged a little.  Well, no more!  Bones Are Forever (available August 28, 2012), the 15th Temperance Brennan book, just may be the very best.  With a unique locale, an intriguing mystery and a whole lot of sparks zinging between one of my favorite literary couples, the novel kept me thoroughly engrossed and wholly entertained.  Bones Are Forever injects new life into one of my favorite series, reminding me just how much I adore Kathy Reichs.  I seriously cannot wait to see where she takes Tempe next.

(Readalikes:  Other books in the Temperance Brennan series, including Deja Dead; Death du Jour; Deadly Decisions; Fatal Voyage; Grave Secrets; Bare Bones; Monday Mourning; Cross Bones; Break No Bones; Bones to Ashes; Devil Bones; 206 Bones; Spider Bones; and Flash and Bones)

Grade:  B

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  R for strong language, sexual innuendo, violence and adult situations

To the FTC, with love:  I received an e-ARC of Bones Are Forever from the generous folks at Scribner (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) via Edelweiss.  Thank you!   

6 comments:

  1. I liked this one too. Like you said, the "zinging sparks" are always entertaining. I just missed Tempe in the lab, or in the field digging up and analyzing bones. Not enough forensics in this one. But it was exciting, as usual. I posted a review of this book today also!

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    1. That's funny, I actually LOVED having Tempe out in the field. But, I agree, there wasn't as much forensics in this one as usual. That's okay with me, but I do like seeing her in the lab, too :)

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  2. Not to open a can of worms but does that mean you like or dislike the TV series?

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    1. Ahhh, BONES, yes ... I have to say that I do NOT love the tv series. I don't hate it, I just don't LOVE it. The characters in the show are not at all consistent with those in the book and the characters are what I love most about the books. So, in order to enjoy BONES, I just have to avoid comparing the tv show and the books. Does that make sense?

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  3. So if I DO love the TV show, will I like the books? Because I really do enjoy the show, and now I'm scared that if I like one I won't like the other! But I guess answering that question would require you experiencing them in reverse order which...is impossible.

    Thanks for stopping by my TTT!

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    1. Good question. I think as long as you don't expect the books and the t.v. show to be the same, you won't be disappointed. When the show first began, I was so excited because I thought it would be like the books and it just wasn't. I don't like t.v. Tempe at all (maybe it's just Emily Deschanel's emotionless acting?) because she's basically the complete opposite of book Tempe, so there's that. David Boreanz, on the other hand, makes watching the show worthwhile :)

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