In a house under renovation, a plumber uncovers a cellar no one knew about, and makes a rather grisly discovery -- a decapitated chicken, animal bones, and cauldrons containing beads, feathers, and other relics of religious ceremonies. In the center of the shrine, there is the skull of a teenage girl. Meanwhile, on a nearby lakeshore, the headless body of a teenage boy is found by a man walking his dog.
Nothing is clear - neither when the deaths occurred, nor where. Was the skull brought to the cellar or was the girl murdered there? Why is the boy's body remarkably well preserved? Led by a preacher turned politician, citizen vigilantes blame devil worshipers and Wiccans. They begin a witch hunt, intent on seeking revenge.
Forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan -- "five-five, feisty, and forty-plus" -- is called in to investigate, and a complex and gripping tale unfolds in this, Kathy Reichs's eleventh taut, always surprising, scientifically fascinating mystery.
"Not Reichs's best, but a meticulously laid-out case that offers a deeper look into her heroine's personal life." - Kirkus Reviews.
"Reichs, whose work inspired the hit TV series Bones, once again expertly blends science and complex character development." - Publishers Weekly.
"Her expertise is snappily and entertainingly delivered. This series can be entered into and enjoyed at any point." - Booklist.
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Kathy Reichs, like her fictional creation, Temperance Brennan, is a forensic anthropologist for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, State of North Carolina, and for the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Quebec. She is one of only fifty forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. A professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Dr. Reichs received her Ph.D. at Northwestern. She now divides her time between Charlotte and Montreal.
Kathy Reichs: Last name rhymes with bikes (Reichs is a Latvian name)
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