A Conspiracy of Bones by Kathy Reichs
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.