Saturday, July 18, 2015

Review: Speaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs



Title: Speaking in Bones

Author: Kathy Reichs
(Author Website) (Facebook)

Genre: Fiction: Thriller & Suspense

Publisher:  Random House Publishing Group– Bantam Dell – 7/21/15

Length:  320 pages

Source: Net Galley

About the Book: (from

For every case Temperance Brennan has solved, there remain innumerable unidentified bodies in her lab. Information on some of these is available online, where amateur sleuths sometimes take a stab at solving cases. One day, Tempe gets a call from Hazel “Lucky” Strike, a web sleuth who believes she’s successfully connected a body in Tempe’s lab to a missing persons report on an eighteen-year-old named Cora Teague. Since the bones in her lab do seem to match Cora’s medical records, Tempe looks into the case, returning to the spot where the bones were originally found. What seems at first to be an isolated tragedy takes on a more sinister cast as Tempe uncovers two more sets of bones nearby. When she then learns that the area is known as a viewing point for a famous unexplained light phenomenon with significance for a local cult, Tempe’s suspicious turn to murder by ritual sacrifice—a theory thrown into question when Hazel herself turns up dead. Still reeling from her mother’s diagnosis and the shock of Andrew Ryan’s potentially life-change proposal, Tempe races to solve the murders before the body count climbs further.

About the Author:  (from author website)

From teaching FBI agents how to detect and recover human remains, to separating and identifying commingled body parts in her Montreal lab, as a forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs has brought her own dramatic work experience to her mesmerizing forensic thrillers. For years she consulted to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in North Carolina, and continues to do so for the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Québec. Dr. Reichs has travelled to Rwanda to testify at the UN Tribunal on Genocide, and helped exhume a mass grave in Guatemala. As part of her work at JPAC (Formerly CILHI) she aided in the identification of war dead from World War II, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Dr. Reichs also assisted with identifying remains found at ground zero of the World Trade Center following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Dr. Reichs is one of only eighty-two forensic anthropologists ever certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. She served on the Board of Directors and as Vice President of both the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, and is currently a member of the National Police Services Advisory Council in Canada. She is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

Dr. Reichs is a native of Chicago, where she received her Ph.D. at Northwestern. She now divides her time between Charlotte, NC and Montreal, Québec.

My Review: Speaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs is one book in the Temperance Brennan series by Kathy Reich.  Kathy Reich is a new author to me.  Though Speaking in Bones is part for the Temperance Brennan  series, I read it as a stand alone book and found it very intriguing. There might have been some small connections between characters I may have missed due to not reading previous books, but they were not obvious to me.  So definitely can be read as a stand alone book.   Speaking in Bones is a forensic thriller, which is very well researched.  Considering the author is a forensic anthropologist, it is no surprise how well researched the books is.

The characters in Speaking with Bones are very compelling.  I am actually wanting to read previous books so I can get to know Temperance Brennan better.  She is an interesting character. Being the main character in all the books, there are many details about her that may have added to my reading of Speaking in Bones.  Another character that was interesting is Hazel “Lucky” Strike.  Who knew there is a community of amateur sleuths online that spend their time researching missing people and unidentified remains in hopes of finding a match and bringing the remains home to their family.  Hazel believe the remains she has found are that of Cora Teague an missing persons who disappeared at the age of 18.  Cora comes from a very religious community, almost zealots of sorts, they never reported her as missing. They said she ran away with a man…such wicked ways in their minds. 

My Rating: 4/5 –really liked it- I read Speaking Bones in a little over a day while camping in the middle of a State Park in Minnesota.  An ideal setting to read a psychological thriller, when you have to walk to the satellite toilet alone in the middle of the night.  I was very intrigued by the story and found it hard to put down.   The pace of the story was very good and kept you on the edge of your seats.   Temperance tends to make some bad decisions in the story, which puts her in dangerous situations and heights the intensity of the story.   I found myself liking the determination and character of Temperance very early in the story.  Temperance and I definitely need to get to know each other better.  

In Speaking in Bones, Kathy Reich tells a story of religious zealous, obsession and murder with a bit of psychological twist. 

My Rating Scale: 1 – didn’t like it; 2 – it was ok; 3 – liked it; 4 – really liked it; 5 – it was amazing

Speaking in Bones was also reviewed on the following blogs: A Thrill A Week, The Bookbag, and So, I Read This Book Today.

**Disclosure – Speaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs was received from and Random House Publishing Group– Bantam Dell in exchange for a fair review.

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