Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Book review: Break No Bones, by Kathy Reichs

Break No Bones is the ninth in the series of thrillers by Kathy Reichs, concerning the life and work of forensic anthropologist, Temperance Brennan. 

Dr Brennan (also known as Tempe), travels to Southern California as a replacement for a colleague. Tempe finds herself teaching at an archaeological field school in the ruins of a Native American burial ground, on the shores of Charleston. While she is working there, a decomposing body is found in a shallow grave. The body has been recently buried and is wrapped in rotted fabric.

The local coroner Emma Rousseau, who is an old friend of Tempe, asks her to stick around to help with the investigation. As Tempe follows the evidence, another body is discovered. The examination of the bones shows the victims died in similar ways. As yet another body is found, Tempe comes to a horrifying conclusion concerning the death of the victims.

During this time, Dr Brennan is juggling an extremely complicated personal life. Her boyfriend, Detective Ryan decides to pay her a visit to spend time with her. Her ex-husband is working on a case involving the disappearance of a local woman and is staying in the same house as Dr Brennan. She struggles with her feelings for both of these men.

Break No Bones contains the fascinating forensic details we have come to expect, an intricately wound plot and characters we have come to know and love. Our heroine becomes more relatable and down to earth as this series continues. At times, I found the forensic details difficult to follow and stomach, but I believe they are a necessary part of the story. Fans of Kathy Reichs will not be disappointed with this well written, page-turning thriller.

Kathy Reichs shares the same profession as her leading lady, Dr Brennan. She is a forensic anthropologist for the province of Quebec. Her first novel Deja Dead, was a New York Times bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel.

The popular TV show ‘Bones’ is based on this bestselling series of books. Being a fan of both the show and the books, I’d say they share few similarities; the forensic aspects and the name of the leading character. If you are a fan of the show, prepare yourself for a much different tone in the books. Both the TV show and the books have their own merits, but I find their styles quite different.

Love KB

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