Before I begin the book review, I'd like to point out that this is my 100th blog post. Whoa. That is a lot of posting of reviews, news of new arrivals and notices of new YouTube videos. Here's to the next 100 posts. I hope my fingers don't get too sore.
Ever since I found out the title of Kathy Reichs' next Tempe Brennan novel and then stumbled across its listing on amazon.com with a release date attached, I was counting down the days 'til I could get my hands on the next installment of Brennan's adventures. And I was obsessively checking amazon.com nearly every day for an updated Devil Bones listing with a blurb attached. Then the book came out in August, and as soon as the title appeared in the Lebanon County Library System, I put my name on the Hold Queue. And I obsessively checked my account on its status to see if it was finally on its way. It arrived one day last week... Thursday or Friday. I finished it Saturday, and since I reviewed the last Brennan novel on this blog last year, I am now reviewing the new one. Can I just say that Reichs never ceases to amaze me? The woman puts out a new Brennan book nearly every year--on top of teaching at a university in NC, consulting for the Montreal, Quebec, Canada medical examiner office, producing/consulting on the show Bones, and travelling for book promotion, speaking engagements and any other anthropological work she does. How does she do it?
The new Tempe Brennan novel is Devil Bones. It is the eleventh novel in the series. Brennan is back in North Carolina to teach at the university and consult with Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner office. When a plumber discovers a skull on a Santeria altar secreted in a room below a basement in the city, Brennan is called in to solve the mystery. Shortly after that a headless body with satanic symbols carved into its flesh is found on the shore of a nearby lake. Are these two incidents connected or are they separate mysteries? Before long the investigation is complicated by a fanatic, Christian county commissioner who agitates and fear mongers by plying the public with descriptions of witches, devil worshippers and human sacrifice, claims that the justice system is broken and fails to protect the public. The case, goaded by the media and the shooting of a police officer, careens out of control, threatening to destroy lives and Brennan's career in the process. Andrew Ryan, the Canadian detective who broke Brennan's heart in the last novel, returns and while hope is resurrected for their relationship, that issue is still unresolved and will continue to be worked out in the next Brennan novel.
Brennan voice and humor are strong in this novel; though at times her humorous way of launching into a scientific explanation of, say, dental development, became a little too cutesy for my taste as the novel progressed. The resolution(s) to the investigations seemed a bit rushed and convoluted... and in some ways, a little predictable.
There is a short Question + Answer section with Reichs and small preview of what we can expect in the next Brennan novel at the end of this one. Though this novel had its (minor) annoyances for me, it was a quick read, and I still look forward to the next one. If you are a fan of Reichs and Brennan, I recommend you check out this novel. It is available upon request from Annville Free Library, Myerstown Community Library, Palmyra Public Library, and Richland Community Library.
--Reviewed by Ms. Angie