Skip to main content

Spider Bones by Kathy Reichs


I just finished Spider Bones--the latest release in Kathy Reichs' Dr. Temperance Brennan series.  It was on my own personal list of (in some cases very highly) anticipated summer blockbuster book releases.  I look forward to some book releases with a higher degree of trepidation, anticipation and excitement than I do most movie releases.  In some cases (this means you Karin Slaughter, S.J. Bolton, John Connolly and this summer, Tess Gerritsen), I'm nearly beside myself with obsessing over what the next book will be about and what will happen to the characters (this is especially true for the series I read).

This summer was an especially busy summer of book releases.  It began in May with Brunonia Barry's The Map of True Places, her follow up to The Lace Reader (which in the end didn't live up to her debut but was still good nonetheless).  Then came Broken by Karin Slaughter--it did not disappoint.  Karin Slaughter never disappoints.  John Connolly's The Whisperers and Tana French's Faithful Place both dropped the same July day.  I've read The Whisperers and just received Faithful Place this week (it's on the pile at home to read).

Joshilyn Jackson's Backseat Saints was released in early June.  I haven't read it.  I had it for several weeks and when I finally bit the bullet and started it, I couldn't finish it.  A review I'd read earlier turned me off of that one, and I couldn't abide the narrator so I ditched it after a couple chapters.  I may come back to it later or I may not.  Spider Bones finally came in.  I'm now only waiting for Ice Cold by Tess Gerritsen.  I'm number one on the reserve list so someone better hurry up and return their copy so I can get it already.  Ice Cold is the title that I've been beside myself about ever since I read Amazon's synopsis a few months before its release.  I hope that what it says is going to happen in that book is a big fake out or that review will be one long freak out and sob fest the likes of which haven't been seen since I read Slaughter's Beyond Reach.  No one saw that twist coming and its reverberations are still being felt two books later (and I still can't believe Slaughter did what she did!  Karin Slaughter, you know what I'm talking about!).

On to Spider Bones.  Much as I love the series--book and TV--I'm beginning to think that Kathy Reichs isn't half the writer that Karin Slaughter or John Connolly are.  This suspicion has been sneaking its way through my brain for the past few installations of the Brennan series.  I can't help but wonder if the early books are the same as the later ones or if its just that my tastes and critiques have become more discerning.  One thing I must say for the series: the books are quick reads.  I read Spider Bones in two days.  It is a fast developing, page turning read.  I've decided that Brennan is neurotic at times and when this quality comes through it grates a little on my nerves.  She's at her best when she's not quite so chipper and neurotic.

The body of John Lowery, a Vietnam veteran, is pulled from a lake in Quebec, Canada.  He's the victim of a bizarre autoerotic asphyxiation stunt gone horribly awry except Lowery returned from Vietnam in a flag draped casket and is currently planted in the cemetery in his hometown in North Carolina.  Thus begins the mother of all complicated story lines.

Brennan is called in to identify the remains in Quebec and then to exhume the remains in NC and then to accompany them to the military's Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Hawaii.  Their mission is to identify remains of unidentified soldiers and locate the remains of unaccounted for soldiers from past military conflicts in which the US has been involved and then return them home.  Upon arrival at JPAC Brennan is tasked with assisting in the re-identification of the remains exhumed in NC.  Before long more digging and research yield another set of unidentified remains left in storage at the facility since the '70's that are also linked to Lowery, whose dog tags are found with remains.

So.  Who does this third set of remains belong to?  How much more complicated can this plot get?  It turns out--a lot.  I'm still not sure I have it all straight.  And to top it off there are two other subplots vying for attention in this novel--three if you count the off-again, possibly heading toward on-again, romance between Brennan and her boy wonder detective Ryan.  It all adds up to one jam packed, over stuffed story that careens toward a rather quick and tidy resolution that comes off as implausible and a little rushed.

This will not disappoint long time Brennan/Reichs fans.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Broken by Karin Slaughter

Before I begin the formal review there are a few things I need to get off my chest in the wake of finishing this book; I'll do so without giving away too many (or any) spoilers.
The OUTRAGE!: the identity of Detective Lena Adams' new beau; the low depths to which Grant County's interim chief has sunk and brought the police force down with him; agent Will Trent's wife, Angie's, sixth sense/nasty habit of reappearing in his life just when he's slipping away from her. Thank God for small miracles though because while Angie was certainly referred to during the book, the broad didn't make an appearance. One sign that I've become way too invested in these characters is that I'd like to employ John Connolly's odd pair of assassins, Louis and Angel, to contract out a hit on Angie; do you think Karin Slaughter and John Connolly could work out a special cross over?
Hallelujah: Dr. Sara Linton and agent Will Trent are both back. There is no hallelujah for…

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

When the end came, it seemed to do so completely out of the blue, and it wasn't until long afterward that I was able to see that there was a chain of events leading up to it. Some of those events had nothing to do with us, the Morrisons, but were solely the concern of the Pyes, who lived on a farm about a mile away and were our nearest neighbors." from page seven
I must confess that it took me longer than it really needed to in order to finish the novel Crow Lake by Mary Lawson. The entire story is building up to the big catastrophe that forever destroys all the hopes and dreams the Morrison clan ever dared to hope and dream for its future. In the eyes of the narrator, it is even worse than the tragedy of the car crash that claimed both parents' lives one evening on the heels of some good news the family has received and celebrated. Now you can see why I dreaded getting to the end of a book that drips in foreboding like nobody's business. What can be a worse tra…

In The Woods by Tana French

"What I warn you to remember is that I am a detective. Our relationship with the truth is fundamental, but cracked, refracting confusingly like fragmented glass. It is the core of our careers, the endgame of every move we make, and we pursue it with strategies painstakingly constructed of lies ... and every variation on deception. The truth is the most desirable woman in the world and we are the most jealous lovers, reflexively denying anyone else the slightest glimpse of her. We betray her routinely ... This is my job ... What I am telling you, before you begin my story, is this--two things: I crave truth. And I lie." opening lines of In The Woods chapter 1, pages 3-4
In The Woods by Tana French, an Irish writer, is an extremely well-written and well-crafted mystery novel. The downside is that this is French's debut novel, and her website (located at http://www.tanafrench.com/) does not offer any insi…