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4.4 out of 5 stars
Bones Are Forever: (Temperance Brennan 15)
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
TOP 50 REVIEWERon 18 August 2012
Kathy Reichs approaches her books' contents in the detailed style that must resemble her professional life as a forensic pathologist with the added spice of a novelist. This kicks off with a tell-tale gruesome maggot-infested location of a neonate whose body is uncovered in an apartment. The initial passages hold the readers' attention readily. Dr Temperance Brennan, the Canadian (Quebec) expert uncovers two more preserved babies mummified in the same room. Her post-mortem and observational findings indicate features linking the deaths as suspect, possibly unnatural causes of death. This is the setting for the pursuit and identification of the culprits with the putative mother at the top of the agenda. The lonesome trail leads to Yellowknife, atmospherically and historically portrayed in graphic style. A site of threat, tension and more questions thrown than answers given.

Kathy Reich's novel is in keeping with previous writings. Short, punchy dialogue, gripping and unfolding gradually with tension, twists and logical unravelling of the storyline. Relentless in her scientific pursuit, Temperance Brennan complements this with her unfailing ferreting out of the case. Only then may matters be satisfactorily concluded. Not quite so easy or comfortable, however. Further revelations unmask dangers that may be more personal than anticipated. As with Kathy Reichs's stories, there are asides that add to the professional procedures. Some romantic interludes are an additional source of interest within the more solemn nature of her endeavours. We are reminded of her motherly responsibilities that inevitably cause some conflicts of interest with her vocation.

Another enjoyable example of the author's talent and the protagonist's occupational hazards. Consistently excellent and no doubt again popular. No qualms about her style nor her varied expression of successfully delivering the suspenseful stories.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 29 September 2012
Bones Are Forever is the 15th book in the Temperance Brennan series by Kathy Reichs. The action starts in Quebec with the corpse of a newborn baby in the bathroom of a run-down apartment. Tempe discovers the mummified remains of another two babies, and investigation results indicate an Edmonton prostitute with at least three aliases. Liaison with Edmonton PD has Ryan and Tempe travelling there in search of the mother and possible further corpses. Events there send Tempe, the arrogant RCMP officer Oliver Hasty (with whom Tempe has a long-ago history) and Detective Andrew Ryan (whose attitude seems to indicate a problem he is not sharing) to the small diamond mining community of Yellowknife, in the North West Territories. Is the mother fleeing from her violent pimp? Or is there more to the story? Are the local drug lords involved? What about the environmentalists? Reichs fills this novel with plenty of information, presenting it in an easy-to-assimilate form. As well as the expected facts related to forensic anthropology (determining age of neonatal bones, biogeographical ancestry, exhumation, dental records, determination of sex from bones), Reichs gives the reader plenty of facts about the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, diamond mining, exploration, staking claims, prospecting permits, gold mining and arsenic. I even learned facts about our own BHP Billiton mining company. The characters and dialogue were back up to Reichs usual standard, and the plot was original, with enough twists to keep the reader guessing. A big improvement on Flash and Bones.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 August 2012
From the distressing opening scene of a small maggot-infested corpse, you know straightaway that this latest from Kathy Reichs is seemingly more edgy in it's subject matter and choice of victim than her usual fare, as Temperance Brennan once again finds herself embroiled in murders most foul. With typical attention to detail, we follow Brennan's crucial forensic discoveries as she pieces together- sometimes literally, as later she solves a macabre jigsaw involving exhumed remains- the secrets that dead bodies can yield up under her close scrutiny . No matter how many times the song `Dem Dry Bones' crosses my mind in Reichs' detailing of which bone connects to which, I always find the specificity of this information strangely compelling andit always adds to the perennial authenticity of Brennan's logical and focused investigations of the human body.

Another weapon in Reichs' armour is her ability to perfectly capture place and atmosphere, whether in the `nuts and bolts' description of location, or is as particularly evident in the setting of Yellowknife, the own peculiar history of that location. Reichs' takes us on a historical trip back through Yellowknife's former fortunes as an area rich in gold, to it's now new lucrative position as a diamond -mining town. Personally, I rather enjoy this sojourn down a rags to riches memory lane (at least for some of the prospectors) to flesh out what is at times a slightly leaky story with some twists in the plot signposted a little too clearly for the seasoned crime reader. Also, in the course of the book, Reichs' tries a little homespun social analysis on the subject of race and dips her toe into a somewhat stereotypical depiction of environmental campaigners and, although I can understand her needing to employ these facets of the story to drive the plot forward in a particular direction, it does feel a tad forced and, dare I say it, slightly clunky at times.

On an altogether lighter note, Brennan finds herself torn between two lovers as a couple of former suitors flex their muscles and vie for her attention, with the inevitable butting of heads that always ensues in these situations, and with rather a surprise announcement by Brennan's daughter Katy to add to her personal chagrin, there is a nice balance as usual between Brennan the professional forensic anthropologist, a concerned mother and quite possibly a lover...no spoilers here!

I must confess after not having read a Kathy Reichs for a while it was quite nice to revisit a familiar character- like pulling on a comfy pair of slippers- and despite its flaws it was great to spend some time in the company of Temperance Brennan. I'd rather missed her!

(And it goes without saying, extra points for the adaptation of a Bond movie for the title...!)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 February 2013
wow...first of all let me say that I actually professionally idolize Kathy Reichs, and have read every one of the Temperance Brennan books, and watch Bones with frightening regularity.
Dr Reichs has a working formula: In every book she lovingly describes the locations with aplomb ...she makes you want to visit Charlotte S/C or Montreal, Quebec, or even both!
You can smell the magnolias and feel the arctic cold. Then she interacts with her wonderfully HOT on-again-off-again paramour Andy Ryan, her playfully consistent ex-husband Pete-whimsical daughter Kathy and of course cat Birdie.... yes
And she is uncannily curious and her brain rearranges information she has given you to bring the twist in the tale...boom! Bye bye baddies.
In all this, she manages to pour the real issues and stories and it sets to become a unique thing-each book standing apart-even if Ryan always MIRACULOUSLY saves her from her startlingly (even after 14 odd books) un-clever almost Scooby Doo like meddling--still fans love it all!

Until now. Sadly this time she laid the frame and did nothing else! On the whole, this gives the impression of a book written in a rush. Pillar characters to her personality are mentioned in an almost check-box manner (-right XYZ introduced, and done!)

Spoilers are unkind to new and old fans, but I must say Dr Reichs must up the ante considerably in the next book.
New fans will doubtless find it flat-as a lot of background is assumed as known-I used to find the excessive rehashing of her background a bit tedious but now I see why it was done!

Furthermore, even when the laudable main motives are revealed, there is a primal disconnect with the (rather high number of) victims which she has never ever been guilty of....in the end we didn't really care as much as we thought we would?
Let it stew a bit better next time Dr K, we'll wait, honest.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
"And when she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby wept. So she had compassion on him," -- Exodus 2:6 (NKJV)

Before discussing this story, let me just note that if you find it hard to read books about cruel things happening to babies ... skip this one. I mention that just because so many detection books today contain details that many people don't want to read ... and are there mostly for plot purposes, rather than for educating or uplifting the reader.

If you like unusual plots with unexpected connections among characters and events, you'll think Bones Are Forever is imaginative. In fact, you may be quite impressed by how your sympathies for various characters change during the course of the book.

If you want the Tempe parts of the story to be personally engaging and to develop the character, you'll be disappointed in many places. If you also want some surprises about her role in the story, you may also be disappointed. If you like fascinating forensics, I doubt if this book will be the top of your list.

If I had known what I know now, I doubt if I would have read the book. But don't let me run you away from it. It may just be that I like different kinds of stories than you do.

I find the aspects of these stories where she is victimized to be annoying. If you do too, prepare to be annoyed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 8 June 2013
The Reichs novels seem to be trying to go the same way as the Cornwall novels - and they have become so 'plot driven with bad people trying to kill her' that she has lost a bit of focus on the book. Just write a book - like you used to. We loved them. Stop trying to be too fancy. Still enjoyed the book, but I don't think it is as good as previous ones.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 27 October 2012
I am a devoted fan of Kathy Reichs, having read every one of her books. This time, however, I was in for a surprise. Lack of suspense, denouement and pace flaw this non-page-turner from the start. I had to struggle to finish it. Not at all up to Reich's skill with intrigue and interesting plot development.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 November 2012
Kathy Reichs has managed to keep the pace and quality of her novels very consistent until now. However, this really disappoints - the plot is pretty predictable and rather contorted. I also think that Tempe is becoming an increasingly unlikely character pushing herself more and more beyond the likely role of a forensic anthropologist. Frankly, she comes over as rather silly, irrational and headstrong rather than professional. I also find her relationship with Ryan increasingly baffling - it would be far more believable and interesting if they moved towards a more committed relationship.
What I do congratulate Kathy Reichs on is presenting the science extraordinarily well and in a manner which is both understandable and does not interrupt the flow of the novel. Also, whatever else, Tempe is not arrogant or self-opionated. In all these facets, Reichs does far better than Patricia Cornwell does with Kay Scarpetta.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I hate to write this, I really do, but Reichs' Brennan books are just getting all the same now. At some point in the plot, usually near the end, Tempe will be grabbed by the bad guys but will get away/be saved (usually by Ryan). Early on, she will have at least one accident causing her physical injury - if it were real, she would be scarred horribly! There will be increasing amounts of technical and scientific detail that most of us (a) don't care about and (b) don't understand. The latter is what started killing off my interest in Cornwell's Scarpetta novels, by the way.

The only saving grace is that Brennan is NOT Bones. That's just a money-spinning travesty that Reichs should be ashamed of, IMHO. How you could create a character like the book Brennan and turn her into the TV Bones is just beyond me. I can't think she needs the money that badly. The (early) novels as they stand would make excellent films or mini-series rather than the US tosh.

I do like Tempe and would like to see her with Ryan. The current on/off (but mostly off, except when it's on) status is getting very wearing. Either get it on or get it gone.

Another bonus for me is that the cat Birdie continues to be safe!

I hope she doesn't go down the same sad road Patricia Cornwell has gone because it will then be one series fewer for me to read. I'll buy the next one but if the plot is basically the same, it'll be my last.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2012
I have been a devoted fan of Kathy Reichs for many years.
This book, however, is very disappointing. I wasn't gripped at any point and was frustrated by the lack of scientific background and description, which is usually something that puts Kathy Reichs head and shoulders above the rest.
Since the release of her Tory Brennan series 'Virals' I feel Kathy Reichs' ability is diminishing from trying to write too many things.
Better to have a handful of excellent books than lose your reputation as a great writer by being greedy. Focus on one thing and do it well, please.
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