1 Apr 2016


Having read all of the fourteen previous books in this, the Tempe Brennan/Bones (a tv adaptation) series by Kathy Reichs, I had felt the last few were not up to her usual standard and, as such, decided these, her next two books, would see me either continue reading the series or call it a day.


INNER FRONT COVER BLURB: A newborn baby is found wedged in a vanity cabinet in a run-down apartment near Montreal. 

Dr Temperance Brennan, forensic anthropologist to the province of Quebec, is brought in to investigate. While there, she discovers the mummified remains of two more babies within the same room.

Shocked and distressed, Tempe must use all her skills and inner strength to focus on the facts. But when the autopsies reveal that the children died of unnatural causes, the hunt for the mother - a young woman with a seedy past and at least three aliases - is on. 

The trail leads Tempe to Yellowknife, a cold, desolate diamond-mining town on the edge of the Arctic Circle, where her quest for the truth only throws up more questions, more secrets, and more dead bodies. 

Taking risks and working alone, Tempe refuses to give up until she has discovered why the babies died. But in such a hostile environment, can she avoid being the next victim?

FIRST SENTENCE {Chapter 1}: The baby's eyes startled me.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 81}: An enormous sign proclaimed Paradise Resort Motel in mile-high letters. A flashing arrow pointed would-be guests to a covered portico. Below it, the office door was flanked by planters luxuriant with dead vegetation. 


INNER FRONT COVER BLURB: The body of a teenage girl is discovered along a desolate highway on the outskirts of Charlotte. Inside her purse is the ID card of a local businessman who died in a fire months earlier. 

But who was the girl? And was she murdered?

Dr Temperance Brennan, Forensic Anthropologist, must find the answers. She soon learns that a Gulf War veteran stands accused of smuggling artefacts into the country. Could there be a connection between the two cases? 

Convinced that the girl’s death was no accident, Tempe soon finds herself at the centre of a conspiracy that extends from South America to Afghanistan. But to find justice for the dead, she must be more courageous - and take more extreme action - than ever before.

FIRST SENTENCE {Prologue}: Heart pounding, I crawled toward the brick angling down to form the edge of the recess.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 73}: I wondered how she looked in life, when her spirit still lived in her face, and her quirks and mannerisms made her unique. The squint of an eye, the tilt of a brow, the lopsided upturning of one lip.

MY THOUGHTS: Finding the books increasingly less and less of the anthropological forensics that set Reichs' books apart and more and more of what I can only describe as more your average crime thriller. 

Alas, whilst book 16, Bones Of The Lost, was ever so slightly better than its predecessor, Bones Are Forever, (at least we didn't get page after repetitive page about the diamond industry) this isn't a series I'll be continuing with.

A character I had always previously liked, sadly I'm finding Tempe less and less plausible as she morphs from a anthropologist into some sort of second rate detective who, forever getting herself into scrapes (generally involving a pond, a dug grave or a cellar .... or so it seems), is frequently (and by frequent I mean in every book) in need of rescuing herself.

Then of course, there's the forensic stuff (or what is now the lack of it) which, as gruesome as I often found it, used to hold me spellbound. Though not lost entirely, sad to say its now so small an aspect of the plot as to seemingly be an after-thought, a mere reminder that Tempe is after all an expert in the reading the bones of the dead.

That's not the worst of it though.

A criticism I find myself making a lot lately. Yes, a work of fiction (albeit based loosely on the actual casebooks of Kathy Reichs, a real life 'Tempe Brennan') you expect some poetical licence but the increasingly formulaic nature of the stories, the coincidences now so big as to require a huge leap of the imagination, I feel the author is in danger of insulting the intelligence of her readers.


Sherry Ellis said...

Coincidences are something authors really have to watch out for. When there are too many of them, the story becomes unbelievable.

Kelly said...

This is a series I often considered reading in the past. Based on what you've said here, it sounds like they've gone the way the Patricia Cornwell books did for me. Once good forensic thrillers, they got bogged down with too many of Kay Scarpetta's personal problems. I gave up on them eventually.

Sorry these disappointed you.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Oh sorry to hear that. I know people who adored this series at the beginning. Hopefully she will get back to basics.

Brian Joseph said...

It is sad when a once worthy series goes well past the point that it should have. It is also curious that the author decided to get away from the forensics emphasis.

Suko said...

Tracy, thank you for your honest review. I am sure you're disappointed that the more recent books were not to your liking.

Natasha Hill said...

I've not heard of this series but I'm intrigued now so I'll have to pick up the first one and get reading! - Tasha

The Bookworm said...

I have heard of this series and I've watched the tv show. Sorry these ones disappointed. I know what you mean about how an author can insult the readers intelligence. There is a fine line with that.
Thanks for your honest thoughts!

Melliane said...

sorry to hear you'll stop the series. I did try a book but that's the only one I read in the series.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, the books have changed, and having read your review, I don't think I'll bother with those ones.

ClaudineGueh@CarryUsOffBooks said...

I know about the TV series but don't watch it, and I haven't read these either. Sorry to learn you haven't enjoyed the latest two in the series.Your last line is a sobering reminder for all authors.

Gina R said...

Ooh. Sounds like a case of the show possibly outliving the books... quite a rarity. Interesting...