Break No Bones – Kathy Reichs
- Fiction, Mystery -
reviewed by Amanda
borrowed hardback from library
Book Order (Temperance Brennan)
- Déjà Dead
- Death du Jour
- Deadly Decisions
- Fatal Voyage
- Grave Secrets
- Bare Bones
- Monday Mourning
- Cross Bones
- Break No Bones
- Bones to Ashes
- Devil Bones
- 206 Bones
- Spider Bones (2010)
Author’s Website : http://www.kathyreichs.com/
This book in 6 words:
Temperance Brennan solves the case again.
Why did I read this? And am I glad I did?
I have been a Kathy Reichs/Temperance Brennan fan since before the TV show Bones. In fact, I actually resisted watching the show for a very long time. If you’re familiar with the TV show, but not the book series (or vice versa), you may be surprised to find that the two Temperance Brennans are very different characters who really only have their name and profession in common. I actually like the distinction. Anyway. After not reading any Kathy Reichs for a while, and then getting into Bones I thought it was time to start reading Kathy Reichs again. I read a couple books of hers at the beginning of the year, and decided to snag another one now. And as with all the other Temperance Brennan books I’ve read, I was glad I read this one too.
Summoned to South Carolina to fill in for a negligent colleague, Tempe is stuck teaching a lackluster archaeology field school in the ruins of a Native American burial ground on the Charleston shore. But when Tempe stumbles upon a fresh skeleton among the ancient bones, her old friend Emma Rousseau, the local coroner, persuades her to stay on and help with the investigation. When Emma reveals a disturbing secret, it becomes more important than ever for Tempe to help her friend close the case.
The body count begins to climb. An unidentified man is found hanging from a tree deep in the woods. Another corpse shows up in a barrel. There are mysterious nicks on bones in several bodies, and signs of strangulation. Tempe follows the trail to a free street clinic with a belligerent staff, a suspicious doctor, and a donor who is a charismatic televangelist. Clues abound in the most unlikely places as Tempe uses her unique knowledge and skills to build her case, even as the local sheriff remains dubious and her own life is threatened.
Tempe’s love life is also complicated. Ryan, her current flame, has come down to visit her from Montreal, and Pete, her former husband, is investigating the disappearance of a local woman — and he and Tempe are staying in the same borrowed beach house. Ryan and Pete compete for her attentions, and Tempe finds herself more distracted by her feelings for both men than she expected.
This series works incredibly well written in first person. Brennan is, for the most part, a reliable narrator, but she also has the tendency to drop a cliffhanger on one page, then completely change the topic on the next, leading you slowly back to the cliffhanger and explaining it. I find that this works well for the pacing, as it forces you to plunge forward to continue reading and find out what happened. The plot was decent, but lagged it bit about 3/4 of the way through the book for me. While forensic anthropology is a very technical and scientific field, and at times I have no idea what refers to what, I think the jargon is kept to a minimum, and I don’t ever feel like I’m missing out on any vital part of the story or that I’m being bombarded by incomprehensible terms.
In addition to the mystery, Tempe deals with some serious personal issues in this book. When it comes to her love life, I am firmly in the Detective Ryan camp and always have been. What can I say, I’m a sucker for blue eyes. But I also understand her confusion as to her feelings for her former husband, so I wasn’t annoyed by the whole love life complication like I normally am if Detective Ryan is not the primary romantic focus. Other than that, this book is typical Tempe. I also enjoyed the descriptions of some of the more minor characters, like the sheriff. And being the dog-lover I am, I had a good chuckle over Boyd, the chow, and his antics.
If you’re already a Kathy Reichs/Temperance Brennan fan, you will have to read this book. If you’ve never read a Temperance Brennan book, I would recommend starting out at the beginning. Each book is its own complete story, of course, but the character relationships become more complicated throughout the book series, and a good amount of space is devoted to those relationships. To truly enjoy the later books, I think you must read the beginning ones first.