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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars to redress the balance.
Not so much a review as a balancing response to the deluge of criticisms here, many of which are unfounded.

A number of reviewers complain about the improbability of the story. At the beginning of the book is a section entitled 'The Facts'. At the end of the book is a section entitled 'From the forensic files of Dr Kathy Reichs'. These readers seem to have...
Published on 1 Dec. 2011 by R. Altman

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good detail and informative but ultimately disappointing
I enjoyed this book until half-way through when I'm afraid I began to find the repetition of information rather boring. It appeared that the author was worried I wouldn't understand all the scientific explanations of DNA or the consequences of what the protagonists were finding and so she kept repeating the same details in differing ways. I found this rather insulting and...
Published on 2 April 2006 by Jacky


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good detail and informative but ultimately disappointing, 2 April 2006
By 
Jacky (Cockermouth, Cumbria United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I enjoyed this book until half-way through when I'm afraid I began to find the repetition of information rather boring. It appeared that the author was worried I wouldn't understand all the scientific explanations of DNA or the consequences of what the protagonists were finding and so she kept repeating the same details in differing ways. I found this rather insulting and annoying.
Also, apart from finding the murderer, which was not the most important aspect of the mystery, I felt that I learnt very little about the other, more major, enigmas in the novel.
I have read all of the other Tempe Brennan novels and have been thrilled with them and read them avidly but, unfortunately, this one I almost didn't finish.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars to redress the balance., 1 Dec. 2011
By 
R. Altman "Raphael Altman" (Oxford, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Not so much a review as a balancing response to the deluge of criticisms here, many of which are unfounded.

A number of reviewers complain about the improbability of the story. At the beginning of the book is a section entitled 'The Facts'. At the end of the book is a section entitled 'From the forensic files of Dr Kathy Reichs'. These readers seem to have failed to read either of these sections, both of which set out the actual historicity and factual occurrence of all the main events forming the skeleton (unavoidable pun!) of the story. Including the most improbable - the accidental find of the enshrouded bones in Jerusalem, as recently as 2000, even after the extensive archaeological digging to which the city has been subjected in modern times.

Despite always having to justify her involvement in the crime investigation, the reason for her and detective Ryan going off on this junket together are entirely plausible. Some seemingly have a hard time with their romance. So she has a sexual appetite and is enjoying the ride with Ryan - so what?! Would the same reaction be evident if it were a sexually active male protaganist?

Someone asked how anyone could hold forensic posts in both Canada and the US simultaneously - but this is if course exactly the case in the author's own life.

Someone took exception to the portrayal of the Chevra Kaddisha (the 'bone police'); they may perform a revered service, but the behaviour portrayed in the book was not exceptional, and there have certainly been far more heinous acts committed by other members of the ultra orthodox fraternity in Israel.

Yes, some of the ground covered in the detection and solution did follow a rather spiral path, but that's how some investigations proceed. (Wallander too is constantly convening meetings to retrace the ground covered so far, for instance.)

And yes, the tracing and retracing of the the familial relationships between the various bones, burial sites and ossuaries also became a bit vertiginous.

But overall, an unusual and intricate story, neatly woven and all the loose ends tied up at the end. Those who complained about a lack of resolution could only have been referring to the identity of a certain skeleton being left dangling, which (a) could hardly have been otherwise, given the evidence available and (b) didn't matter to the actual crime and its investigation. Which this remained primarily - the archaology, theology etc were ultimately only the exotic background.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, 15 July 2005
This review is from: Cross Bones (Hardcover)
I'm sorry, but this really isn't up to Kathy Reichs previous novels. The plot is turgid and slow and it is difficult to warm to the one dimensional characters. In the earlier novels characterisation was much better. If this had been the first Reichs novel I had read I would not be reading any more. Definitely not a page turner.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor - never got past page 80, 13 July 2006
By 
L. Wilson "Lollie" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cross Bones (Hardcover)
Bad news got this to take on holiday with me - big mistake just couldn't get into it luckily I'd also taken a couple of others

What happened ? hope this was just an off day for Kathy
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Skilfully constructed, but lacks oomph, 2 April 2006
This is an interesting and well written thriller. From the opening murder in Canada to the denouement in Israel the action builds steadily, with lots of action, plenty of suspects and a reasonable climax. The central character, a forensic pathologist, is quite sympathetic. But for me, the plot lacked urgency. This may be because the story revolves around whether some ancient human remains might be of vital significance to world religions; and I found it hard to care either way.
Summary: an enjoyable read, especially if you like conspiracy theories and forensic detail. But not impossible to put down.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars a very disappointing recommendation, 13 Aug. 2007
Someone thrust this book into my hands urging me to read it without delay. I've never read Kathy Reichs and am not a big fan of crime but I relented neverthless and gave it a stab (no pun intended). It started off well enough but by the middle of the book I was just willing it to end. Eventually I skipped a huge chunk and went right to the end and I was glad I did. I found it difficult to follow and simply unbelievable. Of course its all subjective, but for me you should only need to work at a book if the prose and story truly deserve it and this didn't I'm afraid.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hmmmmmmm, 4 Mar. 2007
By 
R. A. Parry "Robin Parry" (England) - See all my reviews
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Very disappointing book. I am a Reich's fan and I have to say that this book was easily the worst that she has written. It was not simply that the book was an attempt to popularize James Tabor's highly implausible theories about the tomb of Jesus (theories that I expect will bite the dust fairly quickly now his own book and James Cameron's movie put them in the limelight and thus they will be a target for other scholars who work in that area). What was so grievous was that the book abandoned a good story in the pursuit of explaining the theory. I could not help but feel that the success of the Da Vinci Code lay behind the decision to pursue such an agenda. But at least Da Vinci was exciting (even if its theories were nuts). This was just dull. Kathy, come home!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Further adventures of Brennan & Ryan, 4 Jun. 2007
By 
J. Huntington (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I have enjoyed most of Reich's novels, but I have to say this isn't as good as the others. It's always good to catch up on the latest instalment of the Tempe Brennan/Andrew Ryan romance and we probably see them at their happiest here.

What probably disappointed me the most was the lack of realism in the plot: I'd rather hear about Charleston or Quebec than relatives of the holy family in the Holy Land.

Reich's narrative is usually based very much on dialogue, interchanged with single-sentence paragraphs. This makes for a pacey read, normally. However, in "Cross Bones" I found the increasingly elliptical style almost a parody of her normal prose.

I don't want to give up on Reichs yet. Here's hoping "Break No Bones" shows a return to form.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average addition to the Tempe story, 16 July 2005
This review is from: Cross Bones (Hardcover)
Bit of a disapointment this one. Don't get me wrong: I enjoyed the book but have to agree that Kathy got side-tracked. I'm not a fan of information being relayed in a conversation all the time. Giving little tit-bits and then having another character totally understand the concept of DNA or forensic anthropology and come up with an insightful question when it's more likely they would go 'huh?'.
However, Tempe and Ryan manage to progress their relationship without too much angst this time. Question; How come Tempe gets to accompany Ryan on Police business all the time though?
Worth a read if you liked her other Brennan books, but gets a little too weighed down in religion and facts for my liking.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring!!, 8 Jun. 2007
By 
Mr. A. E. Attwood (Essex) - See all my reviews
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Having read of all her other books and enjoyed them, I wanted to read this one but found it really hard to get into. It was like one long history lesson, far to much waffle for my liking! If it hadn't been a present I would have given up. I couldn't wait to get to the end of it so that I could read something much more gripping! Borrow from the library so that you don't waste your money.
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Cross Bones
Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs (Hardcover - 30 Jun. 2005)
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