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Devil Bones by Kathy Reichs
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Devil Bones (2008)

by Kathy Reichs

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2,554613,598 (3.6)53
  1. 22
    Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell (Larkken)
    Larkken: The situation in which Temperance Brennan is involved in Devil Bones (for example, the interaction of the forensic specialist with the police investigators) is very similar to that which develops in Cornwell's series.
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English (58)  French (2)  Danish (1)  German (1)  All languages (62)
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
Kathy Reichs' books have always held my interest. I was disappointed in Devil Bones. Some of the humor was there but the suspense was lacking. I have read the books in order of publication and will move forward with reading the next books. Hopefully, they will be written in the same manner as earlier titles. ( )
  godmotherx5 | Apr 5, 2018 |
voo-doo ( )
  kmajort | Feb 9, 2018 |
This book did not disappoint. Like all the rest of her books I could barely put this down once I started reading it. My only slight cavil is that it takes place in Charlotte, NC not Canada but I guess every once in a while Reichs has to throw a sop to her American readers.

As is obvious from the title, in this book Tempe is dealing with possible Satanism. She is called to a sub-basement that a plumber discovered in an old house. The plumber glimpsed a human skull and smelt decomposition and called 911. Tempe enters the sub-basement and quickly determines that the smell emanates from a chicken carcass but because the skull is human and there appear to be ritualistic shrines an investigation is started. Soon after a headless corpse is found outside of the city with a pentacle and 666 carved in it. A grandstanding local politician whips up fervour about these crimes and Tempe gets sucked into responding, with disastrous results for her career.

All is not work though and Tempe's daughter matchmakes for her since Ryan is trying to rekindle his relationship with his old girlfriend for their daughter's sake. Tempe's new swain is actually an old one as they went to highschool together and had a fling. We never do really find out what transpired between her and Charlie Hunt because, for the first time in all the books, Tempe falls off the wagon and blacks out.

I always learn something when I read Reichs' books and this time it was about syncretic religions which are a blending of "heathen" religious practices with Christianity. Santeria, voodoo, brujeria and Palo Mayombe are all examples of syncretic religions. Most of them are harmless but Palo Mayombe followers "use magic to manipulate, captivate, and control, often for their own malevolent purposes." (p. 72) These religions are different from Satanism and Wicca, both of which are also explored in the book.

There is an interview with Reichs at the back of the book in which she says her next book moves between Chicago and Montreal so I am looking forward to that. Keep on writing Kathy. ( )
  gypsysmom | Aug 9, 2017 |
In a house under renovation, a plumber uncovers a cellar no one knew about, and makes a rather grisly discovery

This set up seems familiar. Another Bones book started this way. But it was a different and enjoyable story. ( )
  nx74defiant | Apr 30, 2017 |
I'm always aware that Reich is working with a formula, but it was really obvious with this one. Still it got me through a miserable day with a cold. ( )
  mkunruh | Nov 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
The twists are tragic and a frightening commentary on current society. Top-notch as always!
 
As in Reichs' earlier novels, the plotting is sound, the suspense is intense but broken just often enough by dark humor, and the forensic education is graduate level. Reichs says she is not retiring Brennan any time soon, which is good news for readers of mystery fiction.
 
Though the alcoholic Tempe goes on a captivating bender, the mystery itself is all too predictable. And Reichs' moral — ''Americans have become a nation afraid'' — is spelled out so clearly it's almost condescending.
 
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Dedicated to:

Police Officer Sean Clark

November 22, 1972 - April 1, 2007

and

Police Officer Jeff Shelton

September 9, 1971 - April 1, 2007

And to all who have died protecting the citizens of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina.

Followed by a listing of 25 officers
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My name is Temperance Deassee Brennan. I'm five-five, feisty, and forty-plus. Multidegreed. Overworked. Underpaid.
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Book description
The bodies tell a story of
young lives cut short.
The bones tell a story of pure evil.

In Charlotte, North Carolina, a house under renovation becomes the site of a heated forensic investigation and unrelenting media attention when a plumber stumbles upon a forgotten cellar. There he finds animal and human remains -- including a teenage girl's skull -- cauldrons and religious artifacts, all arranged in a gruesome display. Then an adolescent boy's torso, carved with a pentagram, is found nearby. Panic over Satanism and devil worship has Charlotte's citizens on a witch hunt led by an evangelical politician. For Tempe Brennan, nothing about the murders is clear . . . and neither is her own heart, which has her tempted yet reluctant to move on from her departed lover. But as she digs deeper into contradictory evidence from the gruesome cellar, Tempe will unearth the truth darker and more frightening than she ever imagined.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0743294386, Hardcover)


Amazon.com Exclusive: Jeffery Deaver on Devil Bones
Jeffery Deaver is the bestselling author of The Broken Window, The Sleeping Doll, The Cold Moon, The Blue Nowhere, The Bone Collector, The Empty Chair, The Devil's Teardrop, and fifteen other suspense novels. His book A Maiden's Grave was made into an HBO movie starring James Garner and Marlee Matlin, and his novel The Bone Collector was made into a feature release from Universal Pictures, starring Denzel Washington. He lives in North Carolina.

It's always a pleasure to see a new installment in the saga of Temperence Brennan, the forensic anthropologist who plies her trade in both Charlotte, North Carolina, and Montreal.

Devil Bones, set in the U S of A, opens with a grisly discovery that offers a very different take on This Old House. Tempe is pulled from staid academia to investigate the troubling and mystifying scene, which involves cauldrons, ceremonial religious artifacts and, most troubling, the severed head of a teenage girl.

Another torso is located nearby, and the story is off and running.

Tempe and Charlotte police department detective Erskine "Skinny" Slidell, follow leads that take them through the seamier and the chicer sides of North Carolina's largest city--the worlds of Santeria, voodoo, the Wiccan religion (any witches out there: I'm not lumping them together!), and male prostitution. Our heroine also locks horns with a crusading minister turned politician, and there's a reporter who manages to show up at all the wrong moments.

Reichs juggles the questions of who done it (and who's gonna get done next) until the very end with consummate skill. In series books, readers treat characters as friends and follow those storylines as ardently as the ones involving murder and mayhem. Not content to keep things simmering on low boil, Reichs dunks her protagonist into a pressure cooker, with plenty of turmoil stirred up by a former lover, a--possibly--current one and, most significantly for this reader, yet another ghost of life past, about which I'll say no more here. Trouble on campus also surfaces for Professor Brennan, with whom we experience one of the most harrowing moments in the book: a meeting of professors and department heads (university politics as weapon of mass destruction). Oh, and we can't forget some brief appearances by the ex, who is behaving just like, well, an ex.

It might have been my imagination but I believe too that I saw the bones, if you will, of a possible subplot involving Tempe's daughter, Katy, who's working in the public defender's office. I'm looking forward to seeing Reich confirm or deny this in the next installment.

In Devil Bones we get plenty of what we've come to expect in a Reichs novel: engrossing details on forensic anthropology and anatomical science. Her mastery, and love, of those subjects, which Reichs herself practices (in both Montreal and Charlotte, by the way), is evident in her writing. We're also treated to plenty of esoterica about non-mainstream religions and history (I mean, I live in North Carolina and didn't know Charlotte was named for a seventeen-year-old German duchess). The author deftly negotiates that fine line between using such information to enhance the experience of reading a novel and padding prose. She gives us what we need to know--to enrich plot, character or atmosphere--and then gets back to the story.

And speaking of which: As an author writing in the same genre, I was impressed with Reichs's ability to keep the roller coaster on track and speeding along, page after page. She's a true master of cliff hangers--a neglected skill in a field where far too many lazy authors end chapters with people leaving rooms, falling asleep or offering hand-tipping foreshadowings of what's to come. I call this the question-mark factor and when writing my thriller I actually tally up the number of scenes that end in a compelling, unresolved issue that drives the reader forward.

Reichs has question marks aplenty.

My one complaint: I read the novel in one sitting. But I'm hoping that while poor Tempe may want a break after everything that happens to her in Devil Bones, author Reichs isn't giving her any rest and is hard at work on number 12.

--Jeffery Deaver

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:00 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A call to examine a skull found in a hidden floor space plunges forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan into a case that may involve ritual murder.

» see all 15 descriptions

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