GPS coordinates etched into the eyeball lead to a Benedictine monastery where an equally macabre discovery awaits. Soon after, Tempe examines a mummified corpse in a state park, and her anxiety deepens.
There seems to be no pattern to the subsequent killings uncovered, except that each mimics in some way a homicide that a younger Tempe had been called in to analyze. Who or what is targeting her, and why?
Helping Tempe search for answers is detective Erskine “Skinny” Slidell, retired but still volunteering with the CMPD cold case unit—and still displaying his gallows humor. Also pulled into the mystery: Andrew Ryan, Tempe’s Montreal-based beau, now working as a private detective.
Could this elaborately staged skein of mayhem be the prelude to a twist that is even more shocking? Tempe is at a loss to establish the motive for what is going on…and then her daughter disappears.
I have read most of the novels featuring Temperance Brennan and have enjoyed them. It's been a while since I have read one, however, and I did not feel this one was up to the usual fine presentation. I was a bit surprised at how much of the text was rehashing events or Temperance thinking about the many possibilities of the meaning of past events or options of future events. Temperance seemed to be “off” in this novel. At one point she wondered why she hadn't had an epiphany earlier. I wondered too. And she kept going off and doing stupid things on her own, especially when Slidell told her to stay put.
Slidell was way too disgustingly mouthy and I did not like his character at all. The reveal close to the end had previously unknown information identifying the villain. Nonetheless, the villain was pretty easy to identify early on. And Ryan is pretty much a no show. I missed him.
I have liked this series and although I do not think this novel is any where near Reich's best, I will look for the next one.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
About the Author:
Kathy Reichs’s first novel Déjà Dead, published in 1997, won the Ellis Award for Best First Novel and was an international bestseller. Cold, Cold Bones is Kathy’s twenty-first entry in her series featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. Kathy was also a producer of Fox Television’s longest running scripted drama, Bones, which was based on her work and her novels. One of very few forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, Kathy divides her time between Charlotte, North Carolina, and Montreal, Québec. Visit her at KathyReichs.com or follow her on Twitter @KathyReichs. Photograph © Marie-Reine Mattera
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)