A Conspiracy of Bones

Kathy Reichs

A Conspiracy of Bones
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A Conspiracy of Bones

Kathy Reichs

Number One New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs returns with her nineteenth riveting novel featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan, who must use all her tradecraft to discover the identity of a faceless corpse, its connection to a decade-old missing child case, and why the dead man had her phone number.

It’s sweltering in Charlotte, North Carolina and Temperance Brennan, still recovering from neurosurgery following an aneurysm, is battling nightmares, migraines, and what she thinks might be hallucinations when she receives a series of mysterious text messages, each containing a new picture of a corpse that is missing its face and hands. Immediately, she’s anxious to know who the dead man is, and why the images were sent to her.

An identified corpse soon turns up, only partly answering her questions.

To win answers to the others, including the man’s identity, she must go rogue. With help from a number of law enforcement associates including her Montreal beau Andrew Ryan and the always-ready-with-a-smart-quip, ex-homicide investigator Skinny Slidell, and utilizing new cutting-edge forensic methods, Tempe draws closer to the astonishing truth.

But the more she uncovers, the darker and more twisted the picture becomes …


Okay, full disclosure: there are some Very Famous Authors I’ve never read, and Kathy Reichs is one of them. I haven’t even watched a full episode of Bones, the TV show based on her Temperance Brennan series. Turns out, there’s a reason she’s got a string of bestsellers and a television show: she’s a great writer and her books are snappy as hell. Who knew? (Her millions of readers probably have an answer for that.)

Temperance is cast adrift: her old boss is dead, his replacement Margot Heavner is her enemy, everyone’s fussing over her recent diagnosis. When she sees a suspicious man in a trench coat wandering her neighbourhood, she tries to track him down – but she’s not as certain of her own thought processes any more. Then somebody sends her pictures of a gruesome corpse, one that Heavner’s working on. Tempe knows Heavner’s making mistakes and publicising them, but she’s not in any position to do anything about it. Unless, of course, she finds somebody who is still on the inside to get on-side. And then ignores his help anyway to go out and get into constant trouble on her own.

Reichs knows her stuff, but takes care to explain everything she needs, stepping temporarily out of the moment to deliver definitions. Sounds strange, but it doesn’t take you out of the moment, instead giving you more insight into Brennan’s logical workings. The story, threading through mind-blowing forensic science, conspiracy theories and alt-right radio jerks and cold case child kidnappings and so much more, is a speeding car and racing brain of information, investigation, and entertainment. Reichs is popular for a reason. If you haven’t learned that yet, now’s the time for the ride.

Fiona Hardy is our monthly crime fiction columnist, and also blogs about children’s books at Fiona The Hardy.

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