Bones of the Lost

Bones of the Lost (Temperance Brennan #16)
Kathy Reichs

Forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan is, as usual, busy with many different cases. She’s examining remains of dog mummies connects to an antiquities smuggling case. She’s trying to identify the body of a teen girl who may have been the vicitim of sex trafficking. And she’s been tapped by the US military to help solve a case involving a soldier who fired on civilians in Afghanistan. Each case requires her unique expertise.
Meanwhile, Tempe’s personal life is (as usual) complicated. Her ex-husband (ex-cop ex-Marine) Pete is in the throes of marrying his new trophy wife. Her long-time lover Ryan (Royal Canadian Mounted Police, aka Mountie, detective) is suddenly incommunicado. And her beloved daughter Katy is far away, stationed in Afghanistan after enlisting at the end of the last book.
Obviously Temperence Brennan solves the cases- all of them- although (no suprise to anyone who has read any other books in this series) most of them tie together in the end. One thing I don’t like about how Reichs writes these novels is that, in the crucial chapters when Tempe puts the pieces together, she is vague about whodunit. You get to the end like, what?! and then generally have to reread the last 6 chapters to understand.

I first met, and loved, Temperance Brennan on the hit TV show Bones. Naturally then I read the books. In my opinion, the first 6-8 books in the series were the best, but I’ve always likes the show better than the books.  I think I might have finally pinpointed why. The heart of the TV show Bones is the relationship between Brennan aka Bones and her FBI agent partner Seely Booth. They are often at odds, sometimes in love, and always hilarious. In the books, Tempe has no Booth- altho you can see in both her lovers, Pete and Ryan, ideas that grew into Booth. Often in the books, she is not “with” either of them, which just isn’t as much fun.
Also on the TV show, there is a solid cast of supporting characters. Parts of the show are often portrayed from their perspective. While the books feature recurring side characters, they are not nearly as fun as the TV cast. The books are always narrated entirely by Brennan, too. She’s brilliant, hardworking and even sometimes funny- but sometimes you wish for another narrative perspective.

I enjoy Reich’s books. I haven’t missed one yet, and I often recommend them to readers looking for a good forensic mystery.  But at the end of the day, I love TV Bones better than novel Tempe. I guess I’m just glad that Reichs could help give us both of them.


You might like: the Body Farm novels by Jefferson Bass. the Rizzoli and Isles novels by Tess Gerritsen.

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