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Spider Bones    by Kathy Reichs order for
Spider Bones
by Kathy Reichs
Order:  USA  Can
Scribner, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Spider Bones is the thirteenth of Kathy Reichs' bestselling series (on which the FOX television hit Bones is based, though they are significantly different in both style and details) starring spunky forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.

The story opens on Tempe's study of the bones of a drowning victim found near Hemmingford, Quebec. Her once lover (he dumped her to try again with his ex-wife Lutetia) Lieutenant-détective Andrew Ryan caught the call about this floater and enlisted Brennan. It appears that the victim 'died playing naughty nurse underwater in a self-made ziplock' (Reichs sure has a way with words!) But his prints match those of John Charles Lowery, who died in Vietnam in 1968 - how could this be?

Tempe is called by an old friend, Dr. Danny Tandler of JPAC, the U.S. military's Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Hawaii. He requests that she dig up whoever is in the grave attributed to John Lowery. She's then asked to accompany the body to Honolulu. Tempe takes along her daughter Katy who's just been devastated to learns of the death of her on-again off-again romantic interest Coop in Afghanistan, where he was working with the International Rescue Committee.

Hearing from Ryan that his daughter Lily (out of rehab after her latest setback with heroin) and his ex need a break from each other, Tempe impulsively invites Ryan and Lucy to join them in Hawaii - and lives to regret it when Lily and Katy do not get along. And adding to the mix of corpses that Temperance has to deal with, Honolulu's medical examiner Hadley Perry asks her to consult on body parts showing signs of shark attack.

While trying to sort out the identities of all these remains, and finding it even more puzzling than usual, Tempe is attacked and almost killed, as the cases she's helping to investigate evolve from focusing on past draft dodgers to present drug dealers. Brennan fans will not be disappointed in Spider Bones, which maintains the series' high quality, while giving it an exotic new setting.

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