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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Audiobook Review: Bones Are Forever by Kathy Reichs

This is another engaging mystery from a solid series with forensic focus and a strong female lead.
Bones Are Forever: A Novel (Temperance Brennan)
Kathy Reichs (Author), Linda Emond (Reader) 

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio; Unabridged edition (August 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144234900X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442349001
Genre: Forensic Mystery
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

Book Description
Release Date: August 28, 2012 | Series: Temperance Brennan
Kathy Reichs, #1 New York Times bestselling author and producer of the Fox hit series Bones, is at her brilliant best in a riveting novel featuring forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan—a story of infanticide, murder, and corruption set in the high-stakes, high-danger world of diamond mining.

Temperance Brennan has been asked to examine the corpses of three dead babies in Montreal. It’s a difficult assignment, complicated further by the fact that her long-time flame Detective Ryan is investigating the infants’ mother, a former (and possibly current) prostitute. When the woman flees to Edmonton, the investigation is joined by Royal Canadian Mounted Police sergeant with whom Tempe had an ill-advised fling over a decade earlier. The dissonant team heads to remotest Yellowknife—mining country—to pursue an ever more sinister trail.

     With the Fox series Bones in its seventh season and her popularity at its broadest ever, Kathy Reichs reaches new heights in storytelling and suspense-building. Bones Are Forever shimmers with sexual tension, crackling dialogue, and the thrilling twists Reichs delivers so well.

This is book 15 of the Temperance Brennan series. Tempe is a forensic anthropologist who spends much of her time consulting on crime scenes when bodies are found that are so degraded that they need her special expertise to sort through the bones, the dirt, the bugs and other details that can help to identify the age and gender of the body and the time and cause of death. Each book describes crime scenes that Tempe is called in on and then she digs in and pursues the clues with the help of the police until she solves the crime. Most of the time Tempe works along side Detective Ryan with whom she had a long, up and down, relationship through the series.

In this volume three abandoned infants are discovered. Tempe sets off to hunt down the murderous mother with Ryan and Oliver, a Canadian Detective with whom Tempe had a post divorce fling ten years before.  Although there is jealous posturing and denigrating between the men, there is no romance in this episode. The hunt for the mother of the dead babies takes the three across Canada to Edmonton and the remote mining country of Yellowknife.  Tempe pushes the investigation, getting a few bumps and bruises along the way. New murders follow her inquiries, and the trail leads to what appears to be a conflict between caribou  conservationists and diamond mining interests. Tempe (and the reader) is given quick, but detailed, lessons on diamond mining. Ryan and Oliver are pulled off to other tasks just as Tempe unravels the mystery and is kidnaped by the killers.Will anyone find her before it's too late or will she be able to fight her way out?

Ms. Reichs writes with crisp details, including the dirt, the maggots and the deteriorating bones.  Tempe, as usual, goes beyond her basic duties to embroil herself in the investigation. As soon as I started listening to the Audio I remembered how much I enjoyed Tempe’s persistent character and her unique, vivid description of the crime scene and the forensic process. The narrator, Linda Emond has done the past several books and she has a good grasp of the crisp attention to detail as well as the sometimes weary tone for the characters who face so much frustration in the cruel crimes they investigate. Ms Emond does a beautiful job with the French words that go along with the Quebec setting.  Although I didn't find this episode to be overly exciting, the steady narration helps to keep the listener engaged through the suspenseful ending.

This series is a great one for readers who like mystery, strong female characters and aren’t too squeamish to be put off by the nitty-gritty forensic detail.  I had read or listened to books 1 through 12 so I knew the background of the characters and was only missing the latest fall out between Tempe and Ryan. I think this particular book could be read as a stand alone as it has less personal complications and emotions than many of the prior books. However, I do recommend the whole series, listened to or read in order.
Audiobook Jukebox

Thank you to Simon and Schuster for providing this Audio to review through Audiobook Jukebox.
I will add this to my Audio and Mystery Challenge lists.

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