Book Review - Bones are Forever

Friday, August 31, 2012

"Bone are Forever", by Kathy Reichs. Scribner, 288 pp. $26.99.

Temperance "Tempe" Brennan is back once again in the latest novel by Kathy Reichs.

A young woman walks into the emergency room having seemingly just given birth and, at her home, three infant bodies are found. The babies were carried to full term and born before they were killed. The mother, soon after leaving the hospital, flees the country, and Tempe and her partner, Detective Andrew Ryan, are called to investigate.

The team follows the trail to Yellowknife, an aboriginal community in northern Canada.

Tempe and Detective Ryan have a romantic history, though she also has a history with Sergeant Oliver Isaac Hasty, the member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who joins them for this case.

Between the personal tension of the three colleagues, the mysterious activity at Yellowknife, and the information about the young mother, Tempe understands that this case is different from other homicides she's handled in the past.

"Bones are Forever" is a quick read, though an uneasy one at times.

It's the emotional and ethical dilemmas that carry the reader through this book. Abuse against children, and the child-like, is a hard subject. The babies Tempe finds weren't even given a day of chance, and the other characters in the book have a difficult time trying to grasp how someone could inflict such harm on such an innocent subject.

Drawing on her own experience as a forensic anthropologist, Reichs has transformed the Temperance Brennan character to reach every audience. Her first character from her novels inspired the younger Temperance Brennan from the FOX series "Bones." Two years ago, Reichs joined her son, Brendan, to write the "Virals" young adult series. That protagonist, Tempe's teenage niece Tory, brings the character full-circle, to appeal to readers of all ages.

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