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Break No Bones    by Kathy Reichs order for
Break No Bones
by Kathy Reichs
Order:  USA  Can
Scribner, 2006 (2006)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Pat Elliott

Temperance Brennan is in South Carolina teaching archaeology field work to college students. The dig - in the ruins of a Native American burial ground - is holding up building in the area, much to the ire of a shortsighted developer more interested in new money than old bones. Then Tempe stumbles on more than old bones. A fresh skeleton brings the local coroner (Tempe's friend Emily Rousseau) to the scene.

The body count rises. Tempe discovers each body shows mysterious nicks on the bones along with signs of strangulation. Emily is sick and needs Tempe's unique knowledge to place the blame where it is due. She wonders who is responsible for the deaths. Is it the land developer whose project is on hold until the mystery is solved? Is it the preacher who is being investigated by Tempe's estranged husband? Or is it the smug doctor who runs a free clinic in the town's poorest section.

Tempe's investigation is slowed by the local sheriff and an overzealous reporter. To make matters more complicated, Tempe's current squeeze, Ryan, shows up to make sure the estranged husband keeps his distance. As a result, Tempe and both men become the targets of the killer or killers. In the process, we learn more about forensic science than we really wanted to know and are amazed at how much long dead bones reveal about the living. Reich's descriptions make you feel like you are looking over Tempe's shoulder - as well they should. Reichs is a forensic anthropologist working both in America and Canada. She has written several Tempe Brennan books which are translated into thirty languages.

Bones, a television show based on Reichs' books, portrays Tempe as an intelligent, savvy investigator in everything but love. Reichs explains that the show is based on the first Tempe Brennan novels. In subsequent episodes, Tempe is growing into a sophisticated investigator well able to take care of herself in love and war. Break No Bones is a page turner and a keeper. I look forward to Reichs' next Temperance Brennan book.

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