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Skeleton Dance by Aaron Elkins

Skeleton Dance (2000)

by Aaron Elkins

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286456,044 (3.74)8



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Showing 4 of 4
Gideon and Julie travel to France and help solve both a murder and a mystery ... the latter being a hoax designed to prove that Neanderthals were actually closer to humans than apes. Good read. ( )
  debs913 | Apr 2, 2016 |
Perfectly pleasant mystery with paleoanthropology overtones. ( )
  MikeRhode | Feb 21, 2014 |
Less forensic detail than I’m used to but it was still interesting. The bones were really badly beaten up but somehow Gideon was able to get some useful clues out of them. Not enough to make the things easy to solve though. It was one of the other scientists of course and the bones in the cave were Ely’s bones. He didn’t fly off in his plane and crash into the sea. That was a ruse.
  Bookmarque | Jun 12, 2009 |
This book is just OK. Too many people telling lies (or not telling what they know - lying by omission). Though figuring out who the skeleton was (just) before Gideon does (and using different criteria) was fun - figured out, not remembered, I think, though I've read it several times before. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Feb 6, 2008 |
Showing 4 of 4
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Once, the thing in the cave had been a man, but that had been long ago.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0380731630, Mass Market Paperback)

Forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver and his wife Julie have planned a relaxing four-week European jaunt that will allow Gideon to collect material for his upcoming book. But when a local dog digs up some very tasty--and very modern--human bones at a prehistoric site in the French Dordogne, Gideon gets a call for deductive assistance from old friend Inspector Lucien Joly. It appears that the bones are connected to the Institut de Préhistoire, epicenter of the academic debate on the proper place of Neanderthals in the progression of human evolution.

Years ago, the Institut's director, Ely Carpenter, found startling archaeological evidence that Neanderthal Man was a sensitive being with an appreciation of beauty and art: when that evidence was exposed as a fraud, Carpenter committed suicide. Or did he? These days, the remaining members of the Institut are still at dagger's (or perhaps Middle Paleolithic Acheulian cordiform hand ax's) edge. Half of them argue for the Neanderthals as card-carrying Homo sapiens, and the other half want to fling them from the family tree altogether. The academic debate is vicious, indeed--but when more bodies start to appear, Gideon must dig deep into layers of personal animosity and professional rivalry to determine which of his anthropological colleagues has more than a monograph at stake.

Aaron Elkins is the author of a number of Gideon Oliver mysteries, including the Edgar Award-winning Old Bones. It is a tribute to his skill that the dusty fragments of bone at the heart of this latest outing will capture his readers' interest, and that the ramifications of a scientific dispute seem the perfect motive for murder. Skeleton Dance carries as well all the touches that have made his previous novels successful: a genial protagonist who wavers between sharp-eyed precision and absent-minded obliviousness; an assortment of well-drawn minor characters (though their foibles may be sketched a bit too broadly, as Elkins stretches for a touch of humor); and a cozy evocation of local atmosphere. If the music of Skeleton Dance is a tune we've heard before, and the steps are a trifle well-worn, it doesn't really matter; Elkins is such a skilled partner that we'll find ourselves tapping our feet and turning the pages in easy rhythm. --Kelly Flynn

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:23 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In a small French village, home to the largest concentration of prehistoric fossils in Europe and headquarters of the prestigious Institut de Prehistoire, the local police inspector suspects foul play and calls his old friend, Gideon Oliver, the famed "Skeleton Detective."… (more)

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