Typical Kathy Reichs. Kick ass mystery and Tempe’s brain synapse works overtime figuring out another case that looks impossible.
Publisher’s Description: For every case Temperence Brennance 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.
Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. (In other words… SPOILERS)
Normally, I read nothing but paranormal. I make exceptions for about three authors. One is Sue Grafton (she’s my hero) and another is Kathy Reichs. Kathy Reichs writes her books with such a flair that it’s practically impossible to predict where the twists and turns in the road to her ending will take you.
The Good: Tempe is in turmoil. Andrew Ryan has asked her to marry him. Usually, I’m all about “woot woot!” But I understand where her reluctance comes into play. Ryan’s a good guy, but he’s left her before. How do you override those self preservation instincts? She’s then thrown into the deep end of a very cold missing person’s possible homicide case. She’s also learning about the world of web sleuthing. It seems there are armchair detectives out there in the world that put hours and hours of time, personal funding and lots of thought into solving cold cases. Missing persons, possible homicides and homicides. Hats off to these folks even if they may be a pain in the backside to the professionals.
The Bad: There are very few hints or leads to help Tempe and Zeb Ramsey, deputy sheriff figure out what the hell is going on. Somehow, through four years of weathering on a mountain, she finds remains…actually,..Gunnar the cadaver dog finds them.. Whose remains is remaining to be seen. (See what I did there? Hee…ok. Not funny. Sheesh) Anyway, Tempe runs into people who are close mouthed, secret keeping and UBER God fearing. The parents of the missing kids won’t help. The parents of the dead children won’t help. It’s totally amazing to me how a person can be swayed into a way of fanatical thinking resulting in harm coming to their own child.
The Ugly: Spotlight rests on religious fanaticism of one defrocked priest and what happens to children when their parents are convinced by said priest that their children are inhabited by a demon. It’s a sad outcome for those children.
The Takeaway: I really liked this book. I didn’t love it, because it has no paranormal, but that isn’t the author’s fault. That’s just me. I really enjoy Tempe Brennan and she and I go way back to the first book Deja Dead in 1997. Long live Dr. Brennan.
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