Summary and book reviews of Bare Bones by Kathy Reichs

Bare Bones

By Kathy Reichs

Bare Bones
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  • Hardcover: Jul 2003,
    320 pages.
    Paperback: May 2004,
    416 pages.

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Book Summary

From number one internationally bestselling author Kathy Reichs comes a masterful new novel of cutting-edge forensics and gripping suspense.

It's a summer of sizzling heat in Charlotte where Dr. Temperance Brennan, forensic anthropologist for the North Carolina medical examiner, looks forward to her first vacation in years. A romantic vacation. She's almost out the door when the bones start appearing.

A newborn's charred remains turn up in a woodstove. The mother, Tamela Banks, hardly more than a child herself, has disappeared. Did she kill her infant, or is an innocent teenager also about to become a victim?

A small plane crashes in a North Carolina cornfield on a sunny afternoon. Both pilot and passenger are burned beyond recognition. Was it pilot error? Something more sinister? And what is the mysterious black substance covering the bodies?

Most puzzling of all are the bones discovered at a remote farm outside Charlotte. What has Tempe's dog, Boyd, unearthed? The remains seem to be of animal origin, but Tempe is shocked when she gets them to her lab.

With help from a special detective friend, Tempe must investigate a poignant and terrifying case that comes at the worst possible moment. Daughter Katy has a new boyfriend who Tempe fears may have something to hide. And important personal decisions face Tempe. Is it time for emotional commitment? Will she have the chance to find out?

Everything must wait on the bones. What story do they tell? Why are the X rays and DNA so perplexing? Who is trying to keep Tempe from the answers? Someone is following her. Someone is following Katy. That someone must be stopped before it's too late.

With the riveting authenticity that only world-class forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs can bring to her fiction, Bare Bones asks important questions and thrills us to its pulsating end. Fresh from the success of Grave Secrets, Reichs proves once again that she is the consummate crime-writing star.

Chapter One

As I was packaging what remained of the dead baby, the man I would kill was burning pavement north toward Charlotte.

I didn't know that at the time. I'd never heard the man's name, knew nothing of the grisly game in which he was a player.

At that moment I was focused on what I would say to Gideon Banks. How would I break the news that his grandchild was dead, his youngest daughter on the run?

My brain cells had been bickering all morning. You're a forensic anthropologist, the logic guys would say. Visiting the family is not your responsibility. The medical examiner will report your findings. The homicide detective will deliver the news. A phone call.

All valid points, the conscience guys would counter. But this case is different. You know Gideon Banks.

I felt a deep sadness as I tucked the tiny bundle of bones into its container, fastened the lid, and wrote a file number across the plastic. So little to examine. Such a short life. ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
The New York Times — Marilyn Stasio

… the science is fascinating, and every minute in the morgue with Tempe is golden.

Kirkus Reviews

Solid, overplotted work from an author so determined to emerge from Patricia Cornwell's long shadow that she's willing to try every trick in the coroner's book.

Publishers Weekly

Reichs has built a reputation on cut-to-the-chase writing and swift plotting, and this latest effort delivers everything her fans have come to expect.

Booklist - Stephanie Zvirin

A giant step up from her lackluster Grave Secrets....Reichs manages to pull mostly everything together here (though not without a quick fix or two), and her character's dedication, intelligence, dry wit, and femininity really shine through. A comeback that's definitely hard to put down.

Library Journal - Nanci Milone

Though often compared to Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta, Tempe Brennan stands alone above other characters in the genre. Highly recommended for all popular fiction collections.

Reader Reviews
Rinaku

That book just hit mt to the ground. It's marvellous. The investigator is so straight and her daughter with her masterpiece rolleyes is so vivid, it's just impossible to lay the book down for a sec. A real page turner.

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