An underground chamber is exposed in a seedy, dilapidated house. In the dark cellar, a ritualistic display is revealed: a human skull rests on a cauldron, surrounded by slain chickens and bizarre figurines. Called to the scene is forensic anthropologist Dr Temperance Brennan. Bone architecture suggests that the skull is that of a young, black female. But how and when did she die? Just as Tempe is closing in on answers, another body is discovered, a headless corpse carved with Satanic symbols. As local vigilantes begin a witch-hunt, Tempe struggles to contain her emotions. But the eventual truth proves more shocking than even she could have imagined.
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(242mm x 161mm x 28mm)
William Heinemann Ltd
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US Kirkus Review »
Several troubling cases await forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan (Bones to Ashes, 2007, etc.) back home in Charlotte, N.C.Tempe Brennan's personal life is in tatters. Her love, a Montreal cop called Ryan, has gone back to his lover in hopes of stabilizing their troubled daughter; Tempe's ex is about to marry a much younger woman; and her daughter Katy is utterly bored with her job. A call to examine a skull found in a hidden floor space plunges Tempe into a case that may involve ritual murder. The skull and some kettles containing bones and various fetishes suggesting Santer'a or some other alternative religion may tie in with two headless bodies, one found floating in a river and another marked with Satanic symbols. Furious when a local politician uses the cases as an excuse to whip up hostility against little-understood religions, Tempe is far from convinced that the Wiccan who is arrested is guilty. When Rinaldi, one of the detectives she's working with, is killed in a drive-by, Tempe falls off the wagon but soldiers on, mortified, until she finally makes the connections between the crimes that lead to a close call with death and a startling conclusion.Not Reichs's best, but a meticulously laid-out case that offers a deeper look into her heroine's personal life. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Kathy Reichs
Kathy Reichs is vice president of the American Academy of Forensic Scientists; a member of the RCMP National Police Services Advisory Council; forensic anthropologist to the province of Quebec; and a professor of forensic anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her first book, Deja Dead, catapulted her to fame when it became a New York Times bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis award for best first novel. She has written 15 bestselling Temperance Brennan novels, the most recent include Bones Are Forever, Flash and Bones and 206 bones.