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Cut to the Bone    by Jefferson Bass Amazon.com order for
Cut to the Bone
by Jefferson Bass
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

If you are at all familiar with the Body Farm, you will recognize the names of Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson, who write jointly under the name of Jefferson Bass. In Cut to the Bone, we are taken back to the summer of 1992 to explore the Body Farm's beginnings as well as Dr. Bill Brockton's efforts to start up such an endeavor.

In the heat of the Knoxville hills, Dr. Brockton launches a research facility that would run chills down the spines of anyone who hears of the intentions of this bright and ambitious head of the University of Tennessee's anthropology department. He wants to leave dead bodies out in the elements to observe their rate of decay. He intends to discover just what conditions will hamper or accelerate decomposition.

His goal is to be able to determine the time of death of victims of crime. This involves boiling the bones, checking the growth of maggots as well as myriad other clues to further the work of investigators.

Brockton is very focused on his forensic studies but becomes disturbed by a series of murders that seem to resemble previous crimes he worked on. He realizes that this latest crime spree could threaten those whom he holds dear as well as himself.

We are taken back in this book to the time before rapid DNA testing, accurate time-since-death results, and proven info on the differences in ways human bodies decompose. We take all these modern discoveries for granted now, but this research has helped prove a murderer is truly one.

Just a note this story of Cut to the Bone is taken from actual fact where Knoxville prostitutes were kidnapped and murdered. What horror these women must have gone through. And isn't it tragic that such a thing as the Body Farm must exist?

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