A Conspiracy of Bones

A Conspiracy of Bones

eBook - 2020
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#1 New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs returns with a new riveting novel featuring her vastly popular character forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan, who must use all her tradecraft to discover the identity of a faceless corpse, its connection to a decade-old missing child case, and why the dead man had her cellphone number. It's sweltering in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Temperance Brennan, still recovering from neurosurgery following an aneurysm, is battling nightmares, migraines, and what she thinks might be hallucinations when she receives a series of mysterious text messages, each containing a new picture of a corpse that is missing its face and hands. Immediately, she's anxious to know who the dead man is, and why the images were sent to her. An identified corpse soon turns up, only partly answering her questions. To win answers to the others, including the man's identity, she must go rogue, working mostly outside the system. That's because Tempe's new boss holds a fierce grudge against her and is determined to keep her out of the case. Tempe bulls forward anyway, even as she begins questioning her instincts. But the clues she discovers are disturbing and confusing. Was the faceless man a spy? A trafficker? A target for assassination by the government? And why was he carrying the name of a child missing for almost a decade? With help from a number of law enforcement associates including her Montreal beau Andrew Ryan and the always-ready-with-a-smart-quip, ex-homicide investigator Skinny Slidell, and utilizing new cutting-edge forensic methods, Tempe draws closer to the astonishing truth. But the more she uncovers, the darker and more twisted the picture becomes...
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2020
ISBN: 9781982138905
1982138904
Characteristics: 1 online resource (292 p.)

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e
emerge
Feb 29, 2020

This is a series I’ve dipped in & out of over the years & it’s been a while. But one thing obviously hasn’t changed. Tempe still has a gift for getting in over her head.

This instalment finds her on shaky ground, personally & professionally. She recently had brain surgery & is ready to return to work as a consultant for the medical examiner’s office. Unfortunately there’s a new ME in town & they have some history. Tempe’s made it known she views Dr. Margot Heavner as a glory seeking publicity hound. So it’s no surprise when Heavner lets Tempe know her services are no longer required.

But when a faceless corpse ends up in the morgue, it’s clear someone wants her involved. Tempe receives anonymous photos of the body. And that’s just the beginning. Cryptic texts, weird messages on the dark web, missing kids, night time prowlers…..hmmm. Only one thing to do really. ID the body & figure out how he got so dead. And if she shows up Heavner in the process, well that’s just a bonus.

Tempe begins her own investigation & ropes in a couple of accomplices including Skinny Slidell, a grouchy PI with an interest in the case. They may bicker like siblings but a grudging mutual respect means he has her back.

Initially there are a lot of separate threads to the story. Strange things are happening & it feels like Tempe is being lured down a dark rabbit hole. But because of her fragile state, we’re not even sure how much of it is real. Turns out neither is she. Personal issues, stress & too much time on her hands result in erratic behaviour & questionable decisions. And long hours spent with conspiracy theorists on the dark web certainly don’t help.

I think I would have enjoyed this more if I’d kept up with the series. My bad. At times I felt like I was missing some crucial background info that would have helped me understand her character better. We spend a lot of time in Tempe’s head as she grapples with doubt & paranoia. She veers from endless speculation about the case to acting on rash decisions that put her in danger.

When an author gets to book #19 in a series, you know they’re doing something right & I really believe this will appeal to faithful fans. The mystery behind the body in the morgue is clever & intricate but I think you’ll get more out of the story as a whole if you’ve been following along.

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