Just as 200,000 fans are pouring into town for Race Week, a body is found in a barrel of asphalt next to the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The next day, a NASCAR crew member comes to Temperance Brennan's office at the Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner to share a devastating story. Twelve years earlier, Wayne Gamble's sister, Cindi, then a high school senior and aspiring racer, disappeared along with her boyfriend, Cale Lovette. Lovette kept company with a group of right-wing extremists known as the Patriot Posse. Could the body be Cindi's? Or Cale's?
At the time of their disappearance, the FBI joined the investigation, only to terminate it weeks later. Was there a cover-up? As Tempe juggles multiple theories, the discovery of a strange, deadly substance in the barrel alongside the body throws everything into question. Then an employee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention goes missing during Race Week. Tempe can't overlook the coincidence. Was this man using his lab chemicals for murder? Or is the explanation even more sinister? What other secrets lurk behind the festive veneer of Race Week?
A turbocharged story of secrets and murder unfolds in this, the fourteenth thrilling novel in Reichs's "cleverly plotted and expertly maintained series" (The New York Times Book Review). With the smash hit Bones about to enter its seventh season and in full syndication - and her most recent novel, Spider Bones, an instant New York Times bestseller - Kathy Reichs is at the top of her game.
"Reichs imbues this fusion of past and present with her signature blend of forensic know-how and deeply felt characters." - Publishers Weekly
"Rednecks and race cars do not constitute a compelling plot. Although devoted Reichs fans will miss the clever repartee and nonstop action of her previous novels, they will still plod through this one." - Library Journal
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Rated of 5
filleted Tempe Brennan
Flash and Bones is the 14th in the Temperance Brennan series by Kathy Reichs. Just back from Hawaii, Tempe is called to a landfill site in Charlotte adjacent to the NASCAR circuit, where a body is encased in asphalt in a rusting metal drum. It’s almost race week, so the pressure is on to deal with the situation quickly. But after she manages only a perfunctory examination of the corpse, the FBI steps in to confiscate the body and all the files. As the story progresses, the list of possible identities for the John Doe lengthens, and Tempe comes up against the FBI, the local cops, the track security team and a right-wing extremist group, the Patriot Posse, as she tries to solve the riddle. Reichs sticks to her formula of letting Tempe get into danger while investigating something that’s probably none of her business. Usually, this works because she also gives the reader a good dose of forensic anthropology, and plenty of facts. This time the facts are about abrin, a systemic toxin (interesting) and NASCAR (maybe interesting for fans but left me cold). The forensic anthropology in this instalment is minimal: getting the body out of the asphalt ; putting together the skull of a known victim. There’s a plot with a few twists and some good dialogue in the form of dry quips between Tempe and Skinny Slidell, almost ex-hubby Pete, Kate and a possible new love-interest, Galimore. There may be bones in the title, but the story has been well filleted. Let’s hope the next Tempe Brennan novel is an improvement on this one.
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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