TITLE: BONES ARE FOREVER
AUTHOR: KATHY REICHS
Details: no. 15 Temperance Brennan
It all starts when the body of a new born baby is found, wrapped in a blanket and wedged in a vanity cabinet. A further search of the apartment uncovers the remains of two more babies. Of the mother there is no sign and details about the young woman are hard to uncover.
When autopsies on the babies reveal that all three of them died of unnatural causes the hunt for their mother – a young woman with a dubious past and at least three aliases – is on. The search takes Tempe Brennan and Detective Andrew Ryan from Quebec to Edmonton, where the remains of a fourth baby are found and then even further north to Yellowknife. There the convoluted, aboriginal, family of the young woman seems very reluctant to help them find her. Instead of answers all Brennan and Ryan find are more questions, more secrets and more dead bodies. And by the time Tempe has figured out exactly what is going on she is up to her neck in danger and all alone.
As I’ve come to expect from Kathy Reichs' books, this is a solid and fascinating mystery. What appears to be an investigation into one thing turns into something else completely as things progress. As always there is the tension between Brennan and Ryan. In this book it is Andrew’s distant and cold behaviour towards his former lover which leaves her wondering what, if anything, she has done wrong. And, to spice things up a bit more, there is an uncomfortable triangle when the duo from Quebec is joined by a Mounty from Edmonton, a man Tempe had a week long fling with many years ago. As in most books, our forensic anthropologist manages to separate herself from the other investigators at the pivotal point in the story, leaving her in an impossible situation and danger of being killed. You’d think that after 14 adventures she would have learned to be more careful.
I really love this series, the characters in it and the way Mrs. Reichs writes. However, I do feel that at times the author gets too bogged down in technical detail. While I do want to know how things work, or what the background of a certain place or fact is, I don’t need to know all the specific details. Often those details go right over my head anyway because I don’t have the basic knowledge necessary to put them into context. And because I don’t understand what I’m reading I tend to skim over those sections of the story. With a bit less detail or with the explanations put in less scientific language I would probably read every word and end up with a better understanding of what is happening.
Having said that, the overall writing in these books is smooth and flowing while the cliff-hangers at the end of most chapters keep me turning the pages, eager to find out what exactly was discovered, or what is about to happen. Overall I would call this another solid instalment in a fascinating series of mysteries.