Envy, Murder, and 206 Bones

Filed in Gather Books Essential by on July 23, 2010 0 Comments

July 23rd, 2010 – After finishing “The Girl Who Played With Fire,” I needed something else to feed my desire for violence, mystery, and murder. How I got turned onto the television show, “Bones,” I’m not sure. I think the commercials of Emily Deschanel and her quirking smile, husky voice, and cerebral arguments with the non-cerebral David Boreanaz piqued my interest.

Netflix streaming “Bones” encouraged my interest through the first season. Midway through, I was addicted. Seasons 2 through 4 went by so fast and before I knew what happened, I was out of Bones. Now what?

Kathy Reichs is an executive producer on the television show “Bones.” In fact, the television show is based upon a character that she has created, a character that appears in a number of novels Kathy has written. These novels are based upon her experiences as a forensic anthropologist, and her primary character, Temperance Brennan, coincidently enough, is also a forensic anthropologist.

Perhaps Reichs’ books would be worth checking out, since I enjoyed the series so much? Walking through the big blue giant department store late one evening, I noticed “206 Bones” on sale. I nabbed it.

Published in 2009 and now recently in paperback, “206 Bones” finds Temperance B. muddied-up in a couple of murder cases. One case appears to be committed by a serial killer. The other case involves victims killed decades ago, their bodies only now found. Tempe’s expertise is called upon to help figure out the multiple deaths attributed to a serial killer, and also to help determine just who these old bones once belonged to.

Problems arise as Tempe’s usually diligence and attention to detail are undermined by anonymous messages that lead her boss to lose faith in her. Who is behind these malicious calls? Who is trying to ruin Tempe’s reputation? Or, is the stress of illness and multiple case load turning a mole hole into a mountain? Is she really performing sloppy work? Or, is someone gaslamping her, moving and removing her forensic evidence?

Maybe. You’ll have to read the novel yourself to find out.

Being the first Kathy Reichs I’ve had the pleasure of reading, I was a little concerned at first. I was familiar with all of the characters from the television series. If this is your first Reichs novel, be prepared; other than Tempe, don’t expect any characters from the TV series to appear in this novel. In fact, most of the action in this novel occurs in Canada. No “Booth,” but “Ryan” is pretty much the same character going by a different name, and working for a different Canadian law enforcement agency. Also, Tempe’s character is pretty much identical to her TV persona, aged a few years. She has a grown daughter, for example.

“206 Bones” was a good read not only for the details of forensic science covered, but also that Kathy offered an essay regarding forensic science after the novel’s end. Being a Board Certified Forensic Scientist, she is concerned by the lack of credentials and education people have who practice forensic science. She reports that, “most jurisdictions do not require forensic practitioners to be certified by legitimizing organizations.” People then run the risk of being imprisoned due to “imperfect testing and analysis, or on imprecise, exaggerated, or false claims.”

Looking for a good, suspenseful, witty read that you may also learn something from? Read “206 Bones.” You might spawn a new brain cell.

About the Author ()

One of my favorite words is "polymath." Our daily lives are aggregrates of many fields and disciplines, economics, sociology, psychology, biology, history, culture, and I am fascinated by all. Books make up a good part of my life, reading them,

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