Bones are Forever – Kathy Reichs


Title
– Bones are Forever

Author – Kathy Reichs

Published – 2012 (hardback)

Genre – Crime fiction

This is the fifteenth title in the Temperance Brennan series by Kathy Reichs, whose characters also feature in the TV series ‘Bones’. Brennan is a forensic anthropologist dividing her working time between North Carolina and Quebec.

The story starts with Brennan back in Quebec where she’s been called out following the discovery of the corpse of a newborn infant. Disturbing enough but this baby isn’t the only body uncovered at the scene. The mother has fled so as well as determining the baby’s cause of death the mother also needs to be found. A connection to a police initiative in Edmonton means brings Sergeant Hasty into the investigation. He’s a blast from the past for Brennan, which doesn’t help her (still) on/off relationship with Ryan. The search for the missing mother takes the three of them to the city of Yellowknife, a spot just 250 miles south of the Arctic Circle. A place historically associated with gold mining, it’s now diamonds that may hold the key to the area’s economic future, but there may be an environmental price to pay. The locals are as hostile as the weather and soon there are more bodies as Brennan puts herself at the heart of the action.

Reichs does bring some new aspects to the story but it’s hard for me to decide if I’m tiring of them or if they’re just not offering anything different enough. The Brennan of the books (rather than the TV series) is also quite infuriating and can often seem to be a pretty unsympathetic character.

I persevered with the first Kathy Reichs books even though there was a lot of time and text wasted on translation between French and English and lots of acronyms which needed explanation. As the series developed this became less noticeable but this does seem to have crept back in in her more recent titles. This book is also becomes bogged down in a lot of background information, as well as detailed explanations of bone structures and anthropology that’s probably pretty unnecessary. I understand that the technical information that will be the key to the story needs to be buried away to avoid becoming the ‘shotgun on the wall’ but volumes of explanation which don’t move the story along run the risk of being skipped. Which is a crime I’m guilty of!

You can see another point of view at Raven Crime Reads. This is book 15 in the series and there is a serious possibility that I won’t make it to number 16. Are there any series you’ve given up on? What was the final straw?

Score – 3/5

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2 comments

  1. I haven’t completely given up on Stuart MacBride’s Logan McRae series but I think I might very soon. They started off as dark crime novels with a touch of black comedy but as the series has gone on they’ve developed more into almost broad farce. The writing’s just as good as ever, but I’ve lost any sense of belief in the characters…

    1. I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot recently. it must be difficult for a writer to keep coming up with new stories and characters if they don’t go for the series opinion, but with a series there are limits to what you can do with the same characters.

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