Archive for the ‘Bones Never Lie’ Category

SpeakingInBonesI didn’t know ‘websleuthing’ exists or what it is until reading Speaking in Bones, the latest in Kathy Reichs’ Temperance Brennan series. It’s only the second book in the series that I’ve read, the other being Bones Never Lie, which preceded Speaking in Bones.

Websleuths attempt to solve unsolved crimes, murders, missing persons, by combing the web to obtain information, locating social media accounts, etc. There are many websites devoted to it. Some sleuths merely want to solve mysteries, others are very competitive, so much so that they will visit the families of victims and interview them and/or confront them.

Hazel “Lucky” Strike is a websleuth. She tells BonesNeverLieTempe Brennan, a forensic anthropologist, that she believes some unidentified bones in Brennan’s possession belong to Cora Teague, an eighteen year old girl who disappeared in 2011. She gives her rationale and while Brennan is wary, she is also intrigued. When Lucky produces a hand held voice activated recording device she recently found at the site in which the bones were found, Brennan thinks the site should be revisited to see if more bones might be located. This leads to a nightmarish series of events involving religious fanatics, more bones and an ending that surprised me.

Besides liking the Temperance Brennan character, I also like cold cases (I was a big fan of the TV show Cold Case) and Tempe’s mother (I like feisty old women in books and on TV, maybe even in real life), the internet wiz, who was less present in the current book. Boo!! So this has all the ingredients I need for an enjoyable, mysterious read. She introduces a good new character, Detective Ramsey, who, while I doubt it, I do hope is in future books. Reichs also concentrates on Brennan’s personal life, so we see Ryan, her on again/off again (now on) boyfriend in less of a comrade and more of a romantic role.

Part of the charm of the series is Reichs’ description of her surroundings, much of it in rural North Carolina with its mountains and forests. There’s a sense of place that some mysteries tend to ignore.

Reichs has made Tempe a real person and allows her to age gracefully, not afraid to refer to old TV shows and pop culture of her youth.. She admits to making errors of judgment, silly mistakes and drawing wrong conclusions. She waffles regarding her romance with Ryan. She gets annoyed at her mother and sister and co-workers. She hates gathering receipts for her tax return (don’t we all????). But she’s also driven and once she takes up a cause/case, she won’t let go.

After one Temperance Brennan book I became a fan. After two books, I’m a bigger fan.

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Temperance (Tempe) Brennan is a forensic anthropologist (as is the author herself) BonesNeverLieand is called in when bones are found and need to be analyzed. This time, when she is called, the MO of the murder is similar to murders which have occurred years before in Montreal. The murderer, Angelic Pomerleau, preys upon teenage girls. She was never caught and has been a thorn in Tempe’s side…the one that got away (every cop has one). Why has Pomerleau moved her crimes from Canada to Charlotte, NC? That’s one of many perplexing issues.

In order to solve this crime, Tempe must work with Slidell, a slob of a detective and must find and recruit her ex-lover, Ryan, who has purposely disappeared after his daughter’s untimely death from a drug overdose. Additionally, there’s the typical rivalry between local and state police for credit/blame depending on whether the case is solved or not.

I have never read a Kathy Reichs book before. I like forensics and used to read Patricia Cornwell until her books became too romantic, mushy and unbelievable and less mystery. So Bones Never Lie was a welcome entree back into the forensic world.

There’s a lot of action, a lot of thinking and a lot of suspense. Although I liked all the ‘good guys’, one of my favorite characters is Tempe’s mother, who suffers from dramatic bouts of depression but when she’s ‘up’, she’s a computer whiz who helps Tempe.

I will admit that I did figure out the mechanism to the book’s end, although not the specifics.

While this story line seems like a continuation of previous books, Reichs included enough back story throughout to appease the reader. As I’ve said in reviews about other series books when I’ve started mid-series, I’m not going back to the beginning of the series, but I surely will keep up as the series moves forward.

I really liked this and mystery fans in general and forensic fans specifically, will enjoy this.

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