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Book DetailsISBN: 9781760858582
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Book Review: The Bone Code by Kathy Reichs - Reviewed by CloggieA (14 Apr 2021)
5 stars The Bone Code is the twentieth book in the Temperance Brennan series by American author, Kathy Reichs. When a hurricane washes up a plastic biohazard barrel on the shore in Charleston, Temperance Brennan is called on to examine the remains of two bodies contained within. Naked, killed by a bullet through the head, teeth and fingers removed, wrapped in blue plastic sheeting and secured with red electrical wire, all elements that resonate with Tempe: she can’t forget a virtually identical case in Quebec, fifteen years earlier, never solved.
Tempe has also been asked to research the case of a missing nineteenth-century twin: when Polly Beecroft’s twin sister passed on, she left behind a mystery in the form of a death mask. The image of the woman in the mask is identical to the Beecroft twins, and to their grandmother, Susanne Bouvier and her missing twin, Sybil. Could the mask offer a clue to Sybil’s fate? While Tempe heads to Montreal to re-examine that unsolved case, her best friend Anne Turnip delves into death masks.
This instalment sees Tempe (and the Birdcat) frequently commuting between Quebec and south Carolina, being frustrated at the slow pace of DNA processing, learning more than she wants to about genetic testing, involved in a targeted hit-and-run with Ryan, and researching popular acronyms in order to decipher a teen diary. As well as death masks, their modern equivalent, facial approximation imaging, features, and a nasty zoonotic virus outbreak brings out the worst in the South Carolina population.
The delicious Andrew Ryan makes plenty of appearances to be a sounding board and to offer encouragement, ideas, clever banter and neck rubs. His police contacts prove a major advantage as they revisit a cold case with new technology, and gradually uncover a great deal more about these murders, the motive for which turns out to be truly diabolical.
Reichs does make an art form of ending many chapters with a short teaser/cliff-hanger sentence, which can be a little irritating, but is probably forgivable for a plot that keeps the reader enthralled. This is another excellent procedural that features autopsies and exhumations and all the fascinating tidbits that go with them, demonstrating the wealth of information that bones yield to the right interrogator. An engrossing and highly topical read. This unbiased review is from a copy provided by Simon & Schuster Australia.
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