This is the ninth books in the Dr. Temperance Brennan series. Brennan, like Reichs, is a forensic anthropologist, which means she studies the bones of corpses to verify who they are and how they died. The popular TV series Bones is based on these books. However, Dr. Brennan in the book seems to have a very different personality from her TV counterpart, so don’t expect the books to be exactly the same as the show.
Dr. Brennan is working on an archaeological dig at a development site and finds a Sewee Native American burial ground. Then she finds a more recent burial which may just tie in to a missing persons case her estranged husband is in town working on. Enter a megachurch with dubious accounting policies, and a poorly run free health clinic, and you have the workings of a horrific conspiracy.
I’m not sure if it because I came in during the middle of the series rather than starting at book one, but I found parts of the books a little dull. We are not given much of a chance to get to know Detective Ryan until near the middle of the book, which made it difficult to understand his reasons and motivations. Perhaps if I already knew him from the previous books, I wouldn’t have struggled so much with that. Otherwise, it was an alright jumping in point. The story takes place in Charleston, rather than Brennan’s home base of Charlotte, so it can almost be taken as a stand-alone.
I felt the start of the book was on the slow side, but it certainly picked up around the midway point. By the end I wasn’t sure which way we were heading at all. I enjoy a good surprise ending like that.
Review by Jessica A.