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Bare Bones
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"As I was packaging what remained of the dead baby, the man I would kill was burning pavement north toward Charlotte."

With this opening sentence, Kathy Reichs serves notice that her heroine, Temperance Brennan, is in for one of her scariest, most gruesome adventures yet. As fans of this popular series already know, Tempe is a forensic anthropologist: an expert in the human form (especially bones) who helps solve crimes. The abovementioned infant is only the first in a series of grisly remains, both human and animal, that Tempe must sort through and decode. Meanwhile, as several seemingly unrelated cases begin to intertwine, her sleuthing puts her in the crosshairs of a very nasty stalker who hides behind an e-mail alias.

Reichs knows how to keep the narrative ball rolling with a canny mix of plot developments, character delineation, and scientific detail, all relayed in Tempe's smart, breezy, sarcastic voice. In fact, Bare Bones has a few too many characters and plot lines for Reichs--or most readers--to keep perfect track of. But it's a fun ride anyway, enlivened by some steamy romantic scenes and some fascinating, appalling information about the illicit trade in endangered wildlife (did you know that bears' gall bladders fetch more money per ounce than cocaine?). Bare Bones is a crisp, enjoyable read that cements Kathy Reichs's standing as the best forensic-thriller writer at work today. --Nicholas H. Allison

From number one internationally bestselling author Kathy Reichs comes a masterful new novel of cutting-edge forensics and gripping suspense. It's a summer of sizzling heat in Charlotte where Dr. Temperance Brennan, forensic anthropologist for the North Carolina medical examiner, looks forward to her first vacation in years. A romantic vacation. She's almost out the door when the bones start appearing. A newborn's charred remains turn up in a woodstove. The mother, Tamela Banks, hardly more than a child herself, has disappeared. Did she kill her infant, or is an innocent teenager also about to become a victim? A small plane crashes in a North Carolina cornfield on a sunny afternoon. Both pilot and passenger are burned beyond recognition. Was it pilot error? Something more sinister? And what is the mysterious black substance covering the bodies? Most puzzling of all are the bones discovered at a remote farm outside Charlotte. What has Tempe's dog, Boyd, unearthed? The remains seem to be of animal origin, but Tempe is shocked when she gets them to her lab. With help from a special detective friend, Tempe must investigate a poignant and terrifying case that comes at the worst possible moment. Daughter Katy has a new boyfriend who Tempe fears may have something to hide. And important personal decisions face Tempe. Is it time for emotional commitment? Will she have the chance to find out? Everything must wait on the bones. What story do they tell? Why are the X rays and DNA so perplexing? Who is trying to keep Tempe from the answers? Someone is following her. Someone is following Katy. That someone must be stopped before it's too late. With the riveting authenticity that only world-class forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs can bring to her fiction, Bare Bones asks important questions and thrills us to its pulsating end. Fresh from the success of Grave Secrets, Reichs proves once again that she is the consummate crime-writing star.

Customer Reviews:

  • FOR THE PATRICIA CORNWELL FANS, KATHY REICHS WAS A FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGIST AND A WRITER
    She works with the dead but she works for the living.

    "Down time" is not a pharse in Tempe Brennan's vocabulary. A string of disturbing cases has put her vacation plans on hold: instead, she heads to the lab to analyze charred remains from a suspicious fire, and a mysterious black residue from a small plane crash. But most troubling of all are the bones....Tempe's daughter's new boyfriend invites them to a picnic--a pig pickin'--in the North Carolina countryside, where a cache of bones turns up. But are they animal or human? X-rays and DNA may link the crimes, but they can't reveal who is closing in on Tempe and her daughter--and how far they will go to keep her from uncovering the truth. ...more info
  • My first and last book I'll ever read by Kathy Reichs
    This is the kind of book you want to read ONLY if you are interested in forensic science in a college textbook sort of way. The characters were too numerous and boring. The only character I liked was Boyd/Hooch - the dog. The plots were also too numerous and boring. If you want to read about human bones, bear bones, bird bones, etc., this is the book for you. Me? I think I'll go start the 4th Harry Potter now....more info
  • Babies and Bears and Drugs, oh my!
    Reichs is adept at painting the scene and describing forensic details in vivid and graphic detail. Throughout the book, you will come across scenes where you may suddenly find yourself in a CSI-show zoom-animation sequence with lots of gory detail.

    Three cases are introduced in the first 100 pages: a newborn that was cremated in a woodstove, a small plane crash, and remains (animal and human) that are discovered during a picnic. Linking these three cases together is the focus of the rest of the book as Tempe shifts into sleuth mode. The plot follows Reichs' usual pattern of having Tempe charge off into dangerous situations without backup and ends up with Tempe badly injured in the hospital again. Instead of the normal question-and-answer-session-to-wrap-up-loose-ends taking place in the hospital, Reichs places Tempe and her new lover Andrew Ryan on the beach.

    Along the way, Reichs teaches the reader about methods of modifying small airplanes to aid in delivering drugs; the effects of leprosy on bone; the Melungeon people group; the plight of the rare Spix bird; the poaching of bears for their gallbladders and paws; goldenseal; Kleinfelter syndrome; neurotoxin; and a bunch of factoids about endangered plant and animal species.

    Overall an enjoyable book. Not Reichs' best, but neither her worst.

    --Lynellen.com...more info
  • Gladly Surprised...
    I was walking through a book store and the cover of this book interested me. Before this I have never heard of Kathy Reichs, but did follow the "Bones" series and enjoyed them. I started this book and couldn't put it down until I finished the whole thing! I was hooked on her material since...I believe I read 5 out of her 11 novels since. If you enjoy mystery and crime solving, you'll enjoy this and all of Kathy Reichs' novels....more info
  • Triangle Clues
    Only Kathy Reichs can plot a suspense mystery from bird feathers, goldenseal and bears then interweave a budding romance for Temperance Brennan. BARE BONES is a can't put down read for fans of this series. The title was the selection for our bookclub this month and it will be fun to discuss.
    Dr. Brennan is in North Caroline awaiting the arrival of a special friend to share the first vacation she's had in years. She goes to a picnic with her daughter and Boyd, her estranged husband's dog. Boyd digs up more than discarded hot dogs and a case of a burn baby gets complicated.
    Forensic mystery at its best as the reader acquires extensive new information.
    Writing as a Small BusinessQualifying Laps: A Brewster County NovelUnder the Liberty Oak...more info
  • Barely Tolerable
    I was disappointed in this offering, possibly because Reichs has kept me so interested in the past. Bare Bones seems to be very heavily edited, it's choppy. There's not a lot of content in this book, and I am a big fan of Reich's indepth discussion of forensics. In a nutshell, I will give this series one more read, but if the next book is as boring as this one, I'll have to let it drop. Reichs can write much better....more info
  • Bare and Bad
    Disappointing in the extreme. Reasons?

    --I couldn't suspend enough disbelief. Temperance, the main character, gets via e-mail several photos of herself going about her daily business. The photos have her in rifle sights, and the caption is "Back Off!" She is rather upset by this. So what happens next? Her Perfect Boyfriend (who recently set aside their long-planned vacation) LEAVES TOWN. That's right. He leaves town. This is so far out of character for him, my jaw actually dropped when I hit this section.

    --More disbelief. Temperance shows these photos, which clearly say someone is training a RIFLE on her whenever she leaves her house, to the police, and ALL the police offer to do is drive by her house more often. That's it. Nothing else. Not one person offers to use the photos to triangulate the position of the photographer or otherwise track down who sent them, despite the fact that this series is supposed to be all about forensic investigation. The supposedly smart cops don't even say, "Maybe you should stay inside, away from windows. And while we're at it, here's a Kevlar vest. If you must go outside, WEAR IT, you idiot."

    --Yet more disbelief: Temperance attends at dinner party a couple hours after she gets said death threats, and not once does she think about the incident. She's put it completely out of her mind. This despite the fact that a couple chapters earlier, she's so unable to separate her work from her private life that she breaks into tears in her Perfect Boyfriend's arms because the particulars of a case have upset her. Oookay.

    --Reichs is AWFUL at characterization. A character who is supposed to be annoying really IS annoying, in that you start hating to read about him. An expert on birds turns out to be--surprise!--bird-like herself. An expert on bears turns out to be--oh, can it be?--bear-like! This sort of cheating is usually found in the work of beginners who think they're being clever. Reichs (and her editor) should know better.

    --The author's dialogue is thoroughly realistic. Completely. Totally. And I mean that in a bad way. Her dialogue is everyday, dull, and pedestrian. It completely lacks any hint of snap, sparkle, or anything resembling color. It's extremely easy to lose track of the characters because they all talk alike, despite the fact that we have characters from Virginia, Boston, Washington D.C., and Canada. The closest she comes to interesting dialogue is when Perfect Boyfriend (the Canadian character) unsuccessfly tries to imitate cowboy slang, and it falls totally, utterly, embarrassingly flat. Reichs apparently went to great lengths to have her characters talk "realistically," and totally missed the fact that realistic speech makes for dull reading.

    Save your money.

    ...more info
  • Tempe is in Trouble Deep, Again
    Temperance "Tempe" Brennan is a no nonsense workaholic forensic scientist who is, thanks to Ms. Reichs excellent crafting, caught up in whirlwind plot after whirlwind plot. And in this one, the sixth one of the series, the pace is even faster than the previous five, faster, in my opinion, than "Bare Bones" and "Monday Mourning" which come after. And what really makes Ms. Reichs' books for me is the fact that the fascinating forensic science seems so real.

    The story opens with three puzzling cases that hit Tempe one right after the other. They seem unrelated, a baby's skeleton, the grandchild of someone she knows, is found in a woodstove, the child's mother is nowhere to be found. Then a light plane crashes and the pilot and the passenger are burned beyond recognition, their bodies covered with a strange black substance and while investigating that, her dog finds a cache of buried bones, that just might not be animal bones.

    Ms. Reichs' intertwines these three mysteries, plus deals with Tempe's personal and love life in a way that will have you reading the day and night away. Her characters are so real that they might as well be friends or neighbors, because you won't forget them for quite awhile. They will come back to please and haunt you long after you've finished the book and they will prod you onto her next bestseller....more info
  • A Snake Too Far
    Kathy Reichs has kept me as a fan. Cross Bones is another entertaining addition to the collection. I love the character Ryan, but when is her butthead daughter going to grow up? She's such a whiny brat. She's actually offended and angry that her mom worries about her; totally ignoring the reality of brutal crime that her mom sees as fact everyday in her job. Once again, grow up butthead, or let's just leave her out of the next novel. My only other objection was the ending. Tempe and Ryan on a beach promising they'll fight for the Greenpeace people together. When? They both have jobs with the police, forensics units in the States and Canadia, as well as Carcajou and God knows what else. Please don't add any more acronyms!!!! All kidding aside, the book was hard to put down and with every new entry I'm sure that Claudel will be uncovered as a bad guy.
    Can't wait for the TV show this fall!...more info
  • I agree to everybody rating 3 stars and lower
    Having read every prevoious Reichs novel unable to put the books down, I felt very disappointed by this one. I still like her style of writing, but the story was so ill-constructed and wannabe-intricate that it made me yawn. I totally agree to everybody who rated the novel 3 stars and less before me - you took the words right out of my mouth! ...more info
  • Coincidences weaken well-written story
    Dr. Tempe Brennan, forensic anthropologist, can't seem to get a break. She's counting the minutes to her long-awaited vacation with a possible new boyfriend, but she simply can't break away from her work. Her expertise is suddenly needed everywhere--first, to examine the charred bones of a newborn, who happens to be the grandchild of an old acquaintance. Then, it's the charred bodies of the pilot and passenger in a suspicious private plane crash. And even her irrepressible chow, Boyd, causes trouble by digging up a pile of suspicious bones. But it soon becomes apparent that these cases are intriguingly linked.

    The possible boyfriend, Montreal detective Andrew Ryan, takes the postponed vacation in stride. He helps Tempe investigate, fields nosy questions from Tempe's daughter, Katy, who is causing Tempe additional anxiety with a suspicious new boyfriend of her own. And Ryan bonds with Boyd, whom he insists on calling "Hooch."

    The stakes become higher than a canceled vacation when Tempe gets threatening phone calls and e-mails from a stalker who wants her to stop asking so many questions. But this only makes Tempe more determined to get to the bottom of the mystery. Along the way she's forced to work with her least-favorite detective, Skinny Slidell, who is a smoking, junk-food-scarfing, sexist neanderthal.

    You just can't fault Ms. Reichs's forensic-science details. Tempe's investigative techniques are rendered with so much verisimilitude that the reader feels as if he's reading an actual case study of a true crime. Ms. Reich is very much in the same league as Patricia Cornwell in that respect. The bits and pieces of trivia picked up along the way are downright fascinating--everything from the nuances of DNA testing and bone identification to the smell of a 50-year-old privy on a sweltering summer day.

    I do have a beef about this book, however. There was too much coincidence. In addition to the three separate cases that all ended up being parts of the same case, there were numerous smaller coincidences that dulled the believability factor. Tempe just happened to be at some obscure picnic out in the middle of nowhere where her dog dug up bones related to her current cases? And she happens to spot a fugitive drug dealer, the probable father of the dead baby, at a restaurant? And as the name of a missing person comes to Tempe's attention as a possible connection to the case, someone accidentally stumbles across his body floating in a lake--where he's been for five years. How convenient that he picks now to surface.

    That said, I will continue to buy and read Ms. Reich's books. Even with coincidences, Bare Bones is still a great read....more info

  • Kathy Reichs Does Not Get The Credit She Deserves
    I found the works of Kathy Reichs through a recommendation by Amazon. I instantly fell in love with her writing style and how quickly her novels read. Quite a few people compare Reichs to Cornwell, which I find insulting. Cornwell is a horrid author. However, if you think Cornwell is great, then I am sure you will like Kathy Reichs as well. Occassionally, her novels can start off a bit slowly, but once the plot kicks into high gear, there is no putting the book down. I recommend her works to anyone who loves a good mystery. "Deja Dead" is my personal favorite....more info
  • The Queen is Dead, Long Live the Queen
    Patricia WHO? I vowed never again to read Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta series. Rumour has it she has a new one out? I don't know and I don't care. Kathy Reichs is the reigning Queen of the Coroner Crowd: she weaves a first-rate forensic story - without bashing the reader over the head with Cornwellian agenda.

    In the current caper, Dr. Temperance Brennan, forensic anthropologist, is out to separate the bears from the boys. But what she'd really rather do is vacation with Ryan. From the killer opening sentence to the final "Bullwinkle in a body bag," it's a trip you won't want to miss. There is enough background information to start reading the series here, but, like Glenda told Dorothy in OZ: it's always best to start at the beginning.

    Caveat: Unless you are one of those readers who read the end first, Do Not Read the Acknowledgements at the beginning of the book until after The End. If you are an afficionado of the genre, they divulge too much of the upcoming plot. Reviewed by TundraVision...more info

  • Not my favorite story, but Reichs is still one of my favorite crime writers
    At the beginning of BARE BONES, Reichs' sixth outing featuring forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan, our heroine is looking forward to a long vacation with her lover, Canadian detective Andrew Ryan, who is set to meet her in Charlotte. But things never go as planned for poor Tempe, and before she and Ryan can escape to the beach she's involved with three cases that at first seem unrelated: The remains of an infant are found in a fireplace; a plane with two passengers crashes into a cliff face, the bodies burned beyond recognition and covered in a mysterious black gunk; and Tempe's capricious dog, Boyd, finds garbage-bagged remains in the woods during a backyard barbeque that may or may not be human. As Tempe delves further into the cases--with the help of hunky Ryan, who has decided to forego the beach to help his new love--she begins to see startling connections between the cases that involve drugs and another more illicit black-market trade...and she finds herself being stalked by a killer who will stop at nothing to keep his secrets.

    Once again, Reichs calls on her arsenal of forensic knowledge to create an exciting, intelligent new adventure for her heroine. Tempe remains a charming heroine, equal parts sensitive and sassy, smart and sarcastic. Reichs continues her tradition of cold scientific facts combined with warm characters, and Ryan and Tempe's burgeoning relationship is a welcome addition to the story (as are the particularly steamy scenes involving the two).

    But of the Tempe novels I've read so far, BARE BONES is the one I liked the least. Although Reichs' stories are always intricate, and there are always multiple plot lines to follow, this one seemed a little bit too convoluted for me; I found the story a mite complicated, and there were too many characters to keep straight. The story was harder for me to get into, and frankly, I was a bit disappointed overall with Tempe's sixth adventure.

    I think Reichs is one of the best crime fiction writers out there, and she's definitely created one of the most unforgettable heroines crime fiction has ever seen. Reichs' writing style is straightforward and distinctive, and her stories are impeccably researched with hands-on experience. Particularly interesting in this edition was the "From the Forensic Files" passage at the end of the book, detailing Reichs' real-life inspiration for Tempe's adventures. But sadly, I just couldn't get into BARE BONES like I could the others. I'm sure Reichs will be back on the top of her game in MONDAY MOURNING, and I'll look forward to reading it....more info
  • A BIT OF A DISAPPOINTMENT
    I have found all of Kathy Reich's books, with the exception of this one, very easy to read and totally riveting entertainment. Bare Bones started out awkwardly. I can't put my finger on it, but I found it difficult reading. It got better towards the end. And just too much of a coincidence that the bear bones turned out to be found on a farm where the missing girl's driver's license is found. Also, I had guessed that the gender-typing on the skeleton which ended up belonging to the woman who worked for the Wildlife Service, was incorrect. The woman was described as rather odd. It was an anti-climax when I turned out to be correct. The book did rather a lot of build-up to the discovery, when to me it was obvious at first. Looking forward to a better job in the next book....more info
  • Bring Back the Old Temperance!
    Bring Back the Old Temperance!

    The sixth in Dr. Kathy Reichs' wonderful Temperance Brennan series is a good story, but like "Grave Secrets," Reichs has found a new tone, and it's driving me crazy.

    The mystery is still engaging, even though, in this outing, it's a bit confusing as there are many evil perps. But Temperance is still herself, a brilliant forensic anthropologist (like Dr. Reichs herself). And her love interest, whose romantic fate in Temperance's life was left very much up in the air in the last book, is satisfyingly back in her life (I won't say who so as not to spoil the surprise for readers).

    BUT...the aforementioned new tone, about which I complained in the last book, is now in hyperdrive. It consists of a fast-paced series of pulp fiction groaners that had me, by the middle of the book, ready to throw it into a wall. Examples: "I felt trapped, stuck in town like a moth on a pest strip." "Nice, eh? Kinda Green Acres Gone Trailer Park." Or...when referring to a man he cannot find, a cop associate of Temperance says, "I'm thinking about setting up a s¨¦ance with his dead granny." Or..."To say she looked tense would be like saying Enron's accountants did some rounding up." And my favorite (NOT)..."I sat motionless, like a hunting trophy that's been stuffed and mounted."

    Dr. Brennan: stop! Yes, you were sometimes boring with your chapter-long lectures on the anthropology of bones. Yes, Temperance was sometimes too serious. But this is just awful, and not worthy of your very brilliant self. It got so I was tensely waiting for the next groaner (no more than a page away, usually) and forgetting the plot.

    Still, I liked the book and recommend it, although not with my usual enthusiasm for Reichs' work. I look forward to a slightly more temperate Temperance in the next one....more info

  • Awesome Forensics Again!
    Ms. Reichs books are wonderful because they are full of forensic information. Her knowledge of anthropological forensics is extensive and she puts a lot of it in books, but in a way that is interesting for the layman. I liked this book better than her last one that was set in Guatemala. In this Tempe is doing her thing in Charlotte. We also get to see more of Ryan and Tempe's relationship with him does pick up a notch. The book starts out very strong with Tempe examining the burned bones of a newborn. From there we go to drug tafficking and the illegal sale of animal parts. There are a number of seemingly unrelated incidents (and bodies) that clutter up Tempe's table, but it turns out they are all related in one way or another. That's where I feel the book falls down somewhat because of the incredible coincidences that keep happening, and the ending is rushed and disjointed. Still it's an excellent read and there's lots of excitement and a little romance too....more info
  • Unreadable!
    Very disappointing prose, littered with poor grammar and punctuation errors, distracts the reader's attention from the storyline. Unreadable!...more info
  • Kathy Reichs delivers again
    Read this one over and over. Love the characters and the plot line is outstanding....more info
  • The Bones of a Bear and People too
    Forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan, back from Guatemala, is ready for a romantic vacation with Canadian cop boyfriend Andrew Ryan, but like in any good thriller, things just keep getting in the way. A child is found dead.

    "As I was packaging what remained of the dead baby, the man I would kill was burning pavement north toward Charlotte."

    With an opening sentence like that, how can you not be sucked in from the get go? Then a couple lines later:

    "I felt a deep sadness as I tucked the tiny bundle of bones into its container, fastened the lid, and wrote a file number across the plastic. So little to examine. Such a short life."

    How can you not cry along with Tempe? And we're not even off the first page yet.

    The child is the grandfather of Gideon Banks, a retired janitor who had worked with Tempe for almost twenty years. Tempe has to tell the man his granddaughter has been burned to death in an over and that his teenage daughter is missing. Heart wrenching.

    Then a small plane crashes, pilot and co-pilot burned to a crisp. Then, at a barbecue, Tempe's dog unearths a bag of bones. Bear bones it turns out (bear bones - Bare Bones, get it). But a couple more bags are found and some human bones are in one of them.

    There goes Tempe's vacation, bad for Temp, but good for you, because you get to read all about what happens next, with drug smugglers, rare animal smugglers and a whole cast of characters too numerous to mention. Yes, at times it's hard to keep everybody straight in this five star thriller, sometimes you might find yourself going back and rereading, but it's worth it, because this is one heck of a book, a must read for Tempe fans.

    Review submitted by Captain Katie Osborne...more info

  • Fun Book
    Although the topics are not so much fun, the relationship developing here is. I really enjoyed the book....more info
  • When it Rains, it Pours
    Three seemingly unrelated crimes, coming one on top of the next, overwhelm forensic anthropologist, Dr. Temprence "Tempe" Brennen and all three are puzzlers. The story opens with Tempe examining the burnt skeleton of a newborn that was found in a woodstove. The child's mother has vanished. Then she's called out to the scene of a light plane crash. The plane crashed into a rock face and the pilot and passenger are as burnt as that baby, but they are covered with a strange black substance, and as if she didn't have enough on her plate now, her faithful pooch ferrets out a cache of what at first seems to be animal bones, but they're not.

    Kathy Reichs twists and weaves these three mysteries throughout the story like the master she is. I was kept guessing and on the edge of my seat, gnashing my teeth as I tore through the pages of this tense thriller that blends excellent forensic science with even better characterization. Tempe Brennen is a heroine to die for and if you haven't read about any of her exploits yet, it's high time you got started....more info
  • Reviews by Nan Kilar and Bobby Miller
    Dr. Temperance (Tempe to her friends and colleagues) Brennan is a forensic anthropologist who works in both Charlotte, NC and Montreal, Quebec. This story takes place during a particularly hot August in North Carolina. Tempe sometimes loves her job; but on weekends like this, she hates it because her colleague from Montreal, police lieutenant-detective Andrew Ryan, has arrived in Charlotte for their getaway to the beach (they're hoping to become more than colleagues).

    Friday: A newborn has been found burned in a wood stove. Tempe knows the child's grandfather. Saturday: Tempe and her daughter, Katy, are at a party in the North Carolina countryside. Her dog, Boyd, finds a bag of bones buried on the farmland. Tempe goes through the stuff only to find they're bear bones, but there are a few strange items in the mix, too. Sunday: Tempe's off to a plane crash and has to help put the human pieces together to figure out who they are. Monday: Tempe, Boyd, and Ryan are back at the farmland site. Boyd goes nuts at an old privy where bones are found (compliments to those in with the bear bones?). Other interesting items are found in the abandoned house on the property.

    Are all these incidents, murders, bones connected in some way? If you can wade through some of the technical subjects and descriptions, you'll get to a good mystery and Tempe's close encounter with the murderer....more info
  • There is nothing bare about this story
    Unlike the last book that I read by Reichs, "Grave Secrets", this one is hot and moves like a scalpel through body fat. Dr.Tempe (Temperance) Brennan is supposed to be going on vacation by herself for the first time in years. But animal and human body parts keep turning up faster than she can review them.

    She's been awaiting the arrival her long time friend (and now lover?) Canadian cop Andrew Ryan, so they can head for the beach near her hometown of Charlotte, N.C. Before he shows up, she's called in when a local janitor's infant granddaughter is found dead and charred in an oven. Some decomposing remains are discovered during a barbecue that she's been taken to by her daughter. While she there she finds out that her daughter has a new boyfriend and is moving out.

    Brennan's vacation is indefinitely put on hold when a small plane crashes nearby. Two people are dead, and there is a good chance they were involved in drug and exotic animal smuggling. Brennan suspects that all three cases are linked.to a drug-smuggling ring that also dabbles in poaching exotic animals. Ryan who is helping out matches Brennan for intellectual repartee. Their burgeoning relationship evolves the way you would expect one between two professionals to go.

    I look forward to the next book to see how their long distance romance continues....more info
  • This is an awful book!
    Since I do a lot of driving, I bought this as an audio book to hopefully ease the pain of sitting in traffic. This book is more irritating than traffic jams.

    The heroine in the book, if you can call her that, was not at all likable. She was arrogant and in my opinion, her arrogance made her foolish. For example, when a police detective she was working with telephoned her on her cell and asked her where she was she responded with a smart remark rather than tell him where she was. Why? Simply because she did not personally like him. Moments later she was knocked out and taken captive. Later when she woke up she bemoaned the fact that no one knew where she was. Dumb! And this is only one example of her stupidity. Ironically, earlier in the book she referred to this police detective and his partner as tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum. Later, this same policeman saved her life, but she still was unappreciative and belittled him even when it was pointed out to her that the man saved her life.

    The "heroine" also had a Canadian boyfriend who pretended he was a cowboy throughout the entire book. I thought maybe the author had just seen "Pillow Talk" with Rock Hudson pretending to be Rex Stetson while she was writing this book. It was bad.

    The "heroine" had been separated from her husband for years but failed to obtain a divorce. She seems to have a hard time taking care of unfinished business and she constantly complains about everything.

    The author bores the reader with long, drawn out descriptions to the point the reader or listener is screaming, "Okay, I get it! It's hot outside!" If that weren't bad enough, readers or listeners of this book are subjected to lectures on how we evolved from apes and endangered turtles. If I wanted to read about endangered turtles I would go to the non-fiction section. To add insult to injury, the big mystery in the book, the disappearance of an entire family, turned out to be a complete non-mystery.

    I was determined to listen to the whole thing but finally, on the last half of the tape, after enduring another political lecture, I could take it no more. I took the tape out and threw the entire thing in the trash.

    I have read thousands of books and I've listened to probably more than 60 audio books. This was the absolute worse of the lot. If you want to read or listen to a good forensic mystery, stick with Patricia Cornwell and her Dr. Kay Scarpetta series. Cornwell's books are worth reading!
    ...more info
  • Bare Bones: A Novel
    Stop already! How many characters and plot lines can you cram into one book, Kathy? Don't get me wrong--I'm a big fan of Tempe's forensic adventures and enjoy her more with every book. However, this is the first time I've not been able to keep the cast of characters straight in my mind. There should have been a "character map" on the first page! Please Kathy--do your readers a favor and keep it "leaner" next time....more info
  • First Reichs I've read...might be last
    I was very excited to read this book, as I studied forensic anthropology in college. Within the first chapters, I became very disappointed. The only reason for me to continue reading this is because I have no other books. I read the reviews that this isn't the best example from the author but I will hesitate when buying another one of her books. It is boring, easy to put down, and an overall slow read....more info
  • All Work and No Play, Puts Tempe in the Sights of a Killer
    Tempe Brennan is back from Guatemala and can hardly wait till she can start her vacation with Andrew Ryan, but as always she's bogged down in her work. She has to examine the burnt and charred remains of an infant, then tell the grandfather, a friend, his granddaughter is dead and his daughter is missing. Then there's the plane crash, pilot and co-pilot turned into crispy critters. Then her dog unearths some bones, bear bones (see the pun) as it turns out, but as her luck would have it, human bones are mixed up with them as well.

    Three different cases, somehow connected. No vacation for Tempe, fortunately Ryan's a cop who knows Tempe, so he's used to these kinds of distractions. Then Tempe starts getting threatening phone calls and e-mails from someone who thinks she's asking too many questions. But how can she not ask questions, She's Tempe and that's what she does, even when she's not supposed to, especially when she's not supposed to.

    And of course we get our usual dose of forensic science, it wouldn't be a Kathy Reichs' novel if we didn't. But nowhere does the wonderful description or the detailed science get in the way of the mood or the pulse racing heart of this five star novel.

    Reviewed by Vesta Irene...more info
  • Bring Back the Old Temperance!
    The sixth in Dr. Kathy Reichs' wonderful Temperance Brennan series is a good story, but like "Grave Secrets," Reichs has found a new tone, and it's driving me crazy.

    The mystery is still engaging, even though, in this outing, it's a bit confusing as there are many evil perps. But Temperance is still herself, a brilliant forensic anthropologist (like Dr. Reichs herself). And her love interest, whose romantic fate in Temperance's life was left very much up in the air in the last book, is satisfyingly back in her life (I won't say who so as not to spoil the surprise for readers).

    BUT...the aforementioned new tone, about which I complained in the last book, is now in hyperdrive. It consists of a fast-paced series of pulp fiction groaners that had me, by the middle of the book, ready to throw it into a wall. Examples: "I felt trapped, stuck in town like a moth on a pest strip." Or..."Nice, eh? Kinda Green Acres Gone Trailer Park." Or..."To say she looked tense would be like saying Enron's accountants did some rounding up." And my favorite (NOT)..."I sat motionless, like a hunting trophy that's been stuffed and mounted."

    Dr. Brennan: stop! Yes, you were sometimes boring with your chapter-long lectures on the anthropology of bones. Yes, Temperance was sometimes too serious. But this is just awful, and not worthy of your very brilliant self. It got so I was tensely waiting for the next groaner (no more than a page away, usually) and forgetting the plot.

    Still, I liked the book and recommend it, although not with my usual enthusiasm for Reichs' work. I look forward to a slightly more temperate Temperance in the next one....more info

  • A Super Read!
    I loved this one! Years ago I read the first two books in Reichs' series and I remember enjoying them, so it was like going home when I picked this one up. In need of relief from reading submissions (I'm a publisher) and this was close at hand.

    In this installment, Temperance Brennan is due for a vacation and is actually looking forward to it. At the worst possible time, Brennan's job kicks into high gear and bones begin dropping from the sky. And not just from the sky, while at a picnic with her daughter, their dog finds a bag of bones and Temperance has no choice but to put her personal plans on hold. Every time she thinks she sees a light at the end of the tunnel, more bones turn up. Each discovery puts another twist on an already puzzling and dangerous case.

    BARE BONES is a great read, with enough twists and turns to keep you going from page to page without hesitation. Kathy Reichs is a fantastic writer and I'm looking forward to getting caught up on all the books I've missed....more info
  • Not Up to Par
    Reichs usually writes a really good thriller, but this one falls absolutely flat. One feels like she dashed it off in a great hurry to meet a deadline and never got chance to revise her first draft. The characters are not well delineated and it is difficult for the reader to remember who is who [or to care] and the plot did not engage me at all. Even the romantic angle of the novel fell flat - it felt forced, not spontaneous. Normally I really look forward to Reichs' novels, but this one I could easily have skipped and not have minded a whit. Don't bother unless you like being bored....more info
  • One of her best!
    I love Tempe Brennan and the fact that she's never in just one place, that she has complex relationships both with her family, friends and at work. Unlike Kay Scarpetta, Tempe seems more reachable; you know more about her. She's not a super woman, she just a really smart person doing her job and living her life as we all do (although we certainly don't all have the same career!) And that knowledge expands and goes in different directions with each book. And now she's got a man in her life, and you see and feel the emotions as they work a case, and as she takes greater risks. Nifty book, great to curl around on a snowy winter eve! Can't wait to read her next one....more info