Published in: 2015
Edition read: Paperback
Series: Book 18 in the Temperance Brennan series
For every case Temperence Brennance has solved, there remain innumerable unidentified bodies in her lab. Information on some of these is available online, where amateur sleuths sometimes take a stab at solving cases. One day, Tempe gets a call from Hazel “Lucky” Strike, a web sleuth who believes she’s successfully connected a body in Tempe’s lab to a missing persons report on an eighteen-year-old named Cora Teague. Since the bones in her lab do seem to match Cora’s medical records, Tempe looks into the case, returning to the spot where the bones were originally found. What seems at first to be an isolated tragedy takes on a more sinister cast as Tempe uncovers two more sets of bones nearby. When she then learns that the area is known as a viewing point for a famous unexplained light phenomenon with significance for a local cult, Tempe’s suspicious turn to murder by ritual sacrifice—a theory thrown into question when Hazel herself turns up dead. Still reeling from her mother’s diagnosis and the shock of Andrew Ryan’s potentially life-change proposal, Tempe races to solve the murders before the body count climbs further.
I liked bits and pieces of this book, but it wasn’t as wow-factor as some of the other books, which was a shame. The last book leaves on such a revelation/cliffhanger/OMG moment- what will Tempe decide? I was yelling “SAY YES!!” at my book, like the characters could hear me, and eagerly started this book to find out what her answer was… which we don’t really get until towards the end.
The mystery of this book revolves around an online forum/collective dedicated to solving cold cases, which sounds cool until you get down to the dirty politics (people fighting over cases, stealing leads, etc). It also revolves around crazy religious sects and the demented things that they do all in the name of their beliefs, which is just totally batshit insane. It was a pretty good mystery, but I know Kathy has written way better ones before and had been hoping for a real zinger with this book (but alas, no). I will have to wait until she publishes her next book, which is a bummer as before it was a matter of reaching for the next book on my bookshelf, but now that I’ve caught up in the series… I have to twiddle my thumbs and wait like a chump.
How do people live like this? (My solution was to dive headfirst into the longest book I could find, which was a 1,840 page humdinger…. A month on and I’m still not even halfway through that behemoth so maybe that wasn’t the best of ideas!)
Speaking in Bones rating: 6/10. Good, but not great
Would I re-read it? Yes, but I would read other books in this series over this one.
Who would I recommend it to? Fans of the series, fans of murder mysteries, crime fiction, etc.
Author’s website: http://kathyreichs.com/speaking-in-bones/