Bones Never Lie, by Kathy Reichs (William Heinemann, RRP $37)
In this new Temperance “Tempe” Brennan novel from world-class forensic anthropologist and No 1 best-selling author Kathy Reichs, it appears that the blood-thirsty killer who escaped justice in 2004’s Monday Mourning is back.
Anique Pomerleau kidnapped and murdered a string of girls in Canada but she managed to get away, eluding the cops and disappearing, much to the disappointment and frustration of forensic anthropolgist Brennan.
Now, it seems she is back: there are two dead victims in Vermont and North Carolina and another child has been snatched.
After a decade of regret and frustration, Brennan is presented with the rare opportunity to have a second chance at stopping a psychopath before the is another trail of victims.
The story itself is a little formulaic, but the science is a interesting (and accurate) as one would expect and the plot moves along at a decent pace with a few good twists and plenty of suspense.
I was a bit of a late-starter when it comes to the Temperence Brennan novels, and wasn’t an instant fan even when I did finally pick up my first one. But once I persevered, I found the books are well worth the effort.
The books provide an interesting balance to the Bones TV series, based on the same character: the books tend to be a little more staid and serious, with less of the fun and friendship highlighted in the series. Both, however, feature strong science presented in an accurate but fascinating way and while the lighter approach works well for the small screen, the more serious feeling works for the books.
The author has based the character on her own, equally impressive life: Reichs is a forensic anthropologist—one of fewer than one hundred ever certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. A professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, she is a former vice president of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and serves on the National Police Services Advisory Council in Canada.