A storm has hit South Carolina, dredging up crimes of the past.
En route to Isle of Palms, a barrier island off the South Carolina coast, forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan receives a call from the Charleston coroner. During the storm, a medical waste container has washed up on the beach. Inside are two decomposed bodies wrapped in plastic sheeting and bound with electrical wire. Chillingly, Tempe recognises many details as identical to those of an unsolved case she handled in Quebec fifteen years earlier. With a growing sense of foreboding, she flies to Montreal to gather evidence and convince her boss Pierre LaManch to reopen the cold case. She also seeks the advice—and comfort—of her longtime beau Andrew Ryan.
Meanwhile, a storm of a different type gathers force in South Carolina. The citizens of Charleston are struck by capnocytophaga, a bacterium that, at its worst, can eat human flesh. Thousands panic and test themselves for a rare genetic mutation that may have rendered them vulnerable.
Shockingly, Tempe eventually deduces not only that the victims in both grisly murder cases are related, but that the murders and the disease outbreak also have a common cause .
I can’t remember the last time I read a Kathy Reichs novel but as soon as I started it felt wonderfully comfortable and I felt safe in the knowledge I was in for a thumping good read.
Bodies in containers numerous years apart and in differing locations proved a tantalising and complicated case for Temperance Brennan and for us too. That didn’t faze Temperance nor did it faze me, in fact I relished having Reichs literally fry my brain. It was a heady combination of science and piecing together the history of the dead. We flew from the chill of Montreal to the humidity of Charleston as Reichs sent Temperance on multiple lines of enquiry that slowly opened up small chunks of clarity.
Reichs took us deeper into the murky underworld of the pharmaceutical industry, the dizzying theories behind genetics, vaccines and disease. The outbreak of a disease transferred from animals added to the confusion and you knew there was a connection but never quite sure what and who it might be.
Reichs didn’t forget that Temperance also had a personal life and the interjections with friend Anne and her partner Ryan gave the novel balance and indeed some light relief and humour. My favourite had to be her cat, Birdie and I loved his cantankerous indifference to everyone and anyone around him!
I revelled in the speed at which Reichs pushed the plot, she seemed to sense the readers need to be completely immersed and you waited with baited breath to see how it all ended. When it came it was suitably dramatic, numerous ends tied up and the lengths a person would go to make money and gain power laid bare on the pages.
For Temperance Brennan it was a job well done but little clues indicated something more lay in store and I for one cannot wait to find out what that might be.
I would like to thank Simon Schuster UK for a copy of The Bone Code to read and review and to Random Things Tours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.
About the author
Kathy Reichs’s first novel Déjà Dead was a number one bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. The Bone Code is Kathy’s twentieth entry in her series featuring forensic anthropologist Temper- ance Brennan. Kathy was also a producer of the hit Fox TV series, Bones, which is based on her work and her novels.
Dr. Reichs is one of very few forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. She served on the Board of Directors and as Vice President of both the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, and as a member of the National Police Services Advisory Council in Canada.