Bones Never Lie
Warning! Do not pick up Kathy Reichs’s latest suspense novel until you’ve checked off everything important on your to-do list. In the unputdownable BONES NEVER LIE, the only killer who got away has resurfaced. Forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan and her partner, Detective Andrew Ryan, are called to the Charlotte PD’s Cold Case Unit after the body of a young girl, missing for weeks, has been found. All evidence points to serial killer Anique Pomerleau. Brennan and Ryan had worked a case involving Pomerleau a few years earlier concerning three missing girls, but she had escaped after trapping Brennan in a burning building.
The Cold Case Unit enlists Brennan and Ryan to help them solve this latest murder, plus several cold cases of missing girls in their files. But Ryan, who is more than just a professional partner to Brennan, has gone off the grid for two months following the overdose death of his daughter. Brennan has received only one brief email from him, and then silence. Help in tracking him down comes from an unexpected source: Brennan’s brilliant but eccentric mother, now in an assisted living facility due to failing health and dementia, has been filling her days with a new computer craze that would put a hacker to shame.
"Warning! Do not pick up Kathy Reichs’s latest suspense novel until you’ve checked off everything important on your to-do list.... Like other truly gifted crime novelists, Reichs infuses her writing with accurate, often highly technical background material."
Brennan tracks the missing Ryan down to a small villa in Costa Rica following his IP address. She is off to drag him out of his alcoholic exile in the Central American jungles and back to the living. Their former romantic relationship appears to be history, but when he learns that Pomerleau may be back on another killing spree, he agrees to return to join in the hunt. The plot takes more twists and turns than a North Carolina mountain road as they assist local police. The search for Pomerleau takes them to Vermont and across the Canadian border to Montreal as clues surface in cold cases scattered along the I-85, leading them on the manhunt of their lives.
Reichs’s richly drawn characters, most of whom are familiar to her millions of fans, pull us into the manhunt as Brennan and Ryan, along with the curmudgeonly Detective Slidell, find themselves under the gun when another young girl disappears. Brennan’s mother, when in her rational moments is obsessing over the cases, has discovered a pattern of dates of the prior killings over several years. She calls her daughter with a prediction: Another is due to occur in a few weeks, and the urgency to hunt down and stop Pomerleau becomes paramount.
One of the fascinating things about being a Reichs fan --- and I profess to being a member of that large number --- is that she also oversees the creation and writing of the FOX series “Bones,” which features the same obsessive forensic anthropologist. The two share only the obsession with data and dedication to solving crimes. This is where the comparison ends; the two forensic teams couldn’t differ more, which is what makes it fun to keep up with both personnas. In a brief tongue-in-cheek aside, the Temperance of the novel comments on watching a rerun of “Bones” and that her cat, Birdie, seems to be mysteriously attracted to one of the characters, Hodgins.
While writing novels and overseeing a top-rated drama, Reichs’s full-time job is as a forensic anthropologist, one of only a hundred certified in North America. She practices in both the United States and Canada, and has aided the US military in identifying the remains of war dead, assisted at Ground Zero after 9/11 and testified before the United Nations.
Like other truly gifted crime novelists, Reichs infuses her writing with accurate, often highly technical background material. In other words, she is the real deal and can produce a spellbinder almost with one hand tied behind her back. Her personal relationships with her ailing mother and former lover/investigative partner are worthy of novels of their own.
Reviewed by Roz Shea on September 26, 2014