24 April 2021

Review: THE BONE CODE, Kathy Reichs

  • this edition published by Simon & Schuster Australia 2021
  • ISBN 9-781760-858582
  • 351 pages
  • #20 in the Temperance Brennan series

Synopsis (Publisher)

NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author KATHY REICHS returns with her next edge-of-your seat thriller featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.

A storm has hit South Carolina, dredging up crimes of the past.

On the way to Isle of Palms, a barrier island off the South Carolina coast, forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan receives a call from the Charleston coroner. During the storm, a medical waste container has washed up on the beach. Inside are two decomposed bodies wrapped in plastic sheeting and bound with electrical wire. Chillingly, Tempe recognizes many details as identical to those of an unsolved case she handled in Quebec fifteen years earlier. With a growing sense of foreboding, she flies to Montreal to gather evidence and convince her boss Pierre LaManch to reopen the cold case. She also seeks the advice—and comfort—of her longtime beau Andrew Ryan.

Meanwhile, a storm of a different type gathers force in South Carolina. The citizens of Charleston are struck by a bacterium that, at its worst, can eat human flesh. Thousands panic and test themselves for a rare genetic mutation that may have rendered them vulnerable.

Shockingly, Tempe eventually discovers that not only are the victims in both grisly murder cases related, but that the murders and the disease outbreak also have a common cause…​​

My Take

It is some time since I have read one of this series. THE BONE CODE is set in 2020, acknowledging the presence of the Covid-19 pandemic. However it is not the pandemic that plays a role in this novel but a virus that is killing dogs. Is it possible it can also infect their human owners?

In South Carolina the two bodies washed up in a shipping container remind Tempe of an unsolved cold case in Quebec fifteen years earlier. In a secondary mystery she is trying to track down why the photo of a death mask many decades old looks so familiar.

Tempe calls in a number of favours to help her solve her problems, and eventually tracks down the reason for the similarity between the two sets of bodies separated, in discovery, by 15 years.

I did feel at a distinct disadvantage from having read so few of this series. For me, the book worked relatively well as a stand-alone.

My rating: 4.4

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