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Bones to Ashes: A Novel [Hardcover]

Kathy Reichs
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 28 2007 Temperance Brennan Novels
Under the microscope, the outer bone surface is a moonscape of craters...'Preliminary diagnosis?'. 'Deformity of the bone. Maybe. Cortical destruction on a metacarpal. Maybe. Localised infection? Systemic disease process? Postmortem destruction, either purposeful or natural? A combination of the above? I don't have a diagnosis...'. The skeleton is that of a young girl, no more than fourteen years old - and forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan is struggling to keep her emotions in check. Coroner Yves Bradette is being evasive, insisting the bones are ancient and of no interest. But it doesn't quite add up, and a frustrated Tempe is convinced that Bradette is hiding something...It's not Tempe's case; she's overwhelmed with more urgent work in the lab...But the nagging in her subconscious won't let up. A memory triggered, deep in her hindbrain - the disappearance of a childhood friend; no warning, no explanation...Working on instinct, Tempe takes matters into her own hands. But she couldn't have predicted where this case would lead, or the horrors it would eventually uncover...Can Tempe maintain a professional distance as the past catches up with her in this, her most deeply personal case yet?

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From Publishers Weekly

In bestseller Reichs's entertaining 10th Temperance Brennan forensic thriller (after Break No Bones), Brennan, her relationship with Det. Andrew Ryan on the rocks, welcomes the distraction of an unidentified New Brunswick skeleton from Québec's cold case unit. But when the bones are determined to be that of an adolescent girl, Brennan is convinced they belong to her childhood friend, Évangéline Landry, who disappeared at age 15. Now Brennan must come to terms with Évangéline's possible death, while trying to ignore her feelings for Ryan as they investigate a series of teenage abduction murders that could be tied to the mysterious bones. With her usual blend of cutting-edge forensic science, nail-biting suspense and characters that pop off the page, Reichs, who's vice president of the American Academy of Forensic Scientists and the producer of Fox's Bones, has produced another winner in one of the genre's most satisfying series. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

With crisp prose, well-drawn characters, unflagging attention to detail, and a resonant emotional angle, Reichs' tenth Temperance Brennan mystery (after Break No Bones, 2006) featuring the forensic anthropologist finds the forensic anthropologist in top form. This time it's personal, when the skeleton of a young girl evokes memories of a deep, decades-old friendship with10-year-old Evangeline Landry, who sustained 8-year-old Tempe at a time of great personal loss only to disappear several years later. As Tempe works to identify the skeletal remains and cause of death, Detective Andrew Ryan seeks her help with several cases involving missing girls and unidentified bodies, raising the possibility of a serial killer. With her workload overwhelming, Tempe's life starts falling apart: her visiting sister's impulsiveness puts both of them at risk; her long-estranged husband, Pete, announces unsettling plans; and Ryan—the man in her life—makes a difficult personal decision. Reichs deftly provides enough background to make this a successful stand-alone, at the same time advancing relationships between characters for her increasing legion of fans, who won't want to miss this one. Leber, Michele

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4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Bones to Ashes reaches back to roots in Longfellow's poem, Evangeline, and Dr. Temperance Brennan's childhood to solve an old mystery, whatever happened to Tempe's missing Acadian friends, Evangeline and Obeline. To do so, literary analysis, forensic anthropology, breaking encryptions, and diatomic sampling will be required.

As the book opens, you are carried back to Tempe's youth and her friendship with Evangeline and Obeline. Quickly, the book returns to the present as Tempe returns to work in Montreal to find a backlog of bones to examine. At that, Hippolyte Gallant who works on cold cases persuades her to look at one more set: some bones sitting in a police station that don't interest the local coroner. That set fascinates Tempe because it seems to be from a girl about Evangeline's age when she disappeared. Could this be Evangeline? That concern leads Tempe to investigate with her sister Harry's help into what happened to Evangeline.

Meanwhile, Andrew Ryan, Tempe's estranged lover, is working on a floater who may be linked to three missing persons and two unidentified bodies. Could there be a serial killer involved? Bit by bit, Tempe and Ryan connect the dots in unexpected ways. Will they reconnect personally? Ryan is pretty busy taking care of his junkie daughter and is put off by having seen Tempe's husband put his arms around Tempe. But at least they still share a cockatiel, Charlie, who provides some of the humor in the story.

As usual, the science is wonderful and five star in this book. As occurred with Break No Bones, the story and the rest of the writing creak in several ways that are hard to discuss without giving away the plot. The main weaknesses show up in these areas:

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not top Notch May 1 2008
By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER
The discovery of a young skeleton in Acadia is for Temperance Brennan (forensic anthropologist) more to her than another assignment. Tempe believes the bones could be her childhood friend Evangeline Landry, who disappeared three decades ago without a trace. Looking back Tempe vaguely remembers being told to forget Evangeline ever lived. --------------Could this New Brunswick skeleton be part of a series of cold cases Temp and Andrew Ryan have been investigating? Flooded with memories and armed with the latest techniques in forensics, Temp penetrates the past while the hunt is on to find the serial killer.

Set in Canada, Ms Reichs gives us an insight into the Acadians living in New Brunswick and the "Chiac" dialect spoken there. The fast-paced story line is action-packed, as expected. The subplots are interesting; Ryan plays a big part in the book. Temp's totally irritating and over the top sister Harry shoes up playing Nancy Drew. There is a fair amount of mystery and suspense converging into an interesting conclusion. As usual with Reichs, the science is superb. The author details human decomposition, with specifics about the processes of putrefaction, mummification, and saponification. Great if you can stomach the details. This novel is not one I would describe as top notch but it is better than average.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Save the Acknowledgements for Last Dec 22 2007
Acknowledgements are sometimes put at the end of novels for a good reason – in case they spoil a plot point. The acknowledgements in this book were at the start. Lucky for the author, I didn’t know what a *L-word* was. Just in case your vocabulary is bigger than mine, I suggest you save reading the acknowledgements for last because, indeed, that *L-word* stuff was the most fascinating aspect of this novel. (It’s a medical something, by the way.) In non-spoiler news, the novel brings attention to the Acadian people, whom I’d never heard of before. Yay, I learned something! Also featuring are Tempe Brennan’s summer childhood friend, her somewhat trashy sister Harry, and a cockatiel who quotes the Black Eyed Peas and Korn. Good times!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dem Bones Oct. 28 2007
By Bernie Koenig TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
One of the things I like best about mystery series is how the character develops. To me that is even more important than the mystery. Of course, what I really like is when the character==because of her characteristics---solves the mystery.

Tempe is a great, complex character. Her character, along with her methods is what solves the mystery, but it is her relationships and family ties, and the moving back and forth between different locales, that sets this series apart.

After the last book, we saw her relationship with Ryan in trouble. This was in part due to a misunderstanding of Tempe's involvement with her ex husband and Ryan's involvement with his daughter. At the beginning of this book the two must work together but remain distant. Ryan is moving back in with his ex so he can be a father to his daughter.

But Ryan and Tempe still work well together. The story begins with a flashback to Tempe's youth in North Carolina where all of a sudden her friends leave. Of course, we know that these people will become important to the mystery confronting Tempe today.

The mystery is complex and involves not just bones of recently murdered young girls but a very old skeleton as well. And, of course, we know that old and new must be connected.

To say any more will away too much of the plot. But things do happen between Tempe and Ryan. But we must wait for the next installment to find out just what they will be.

Another satisfying read from Kathy Reichs.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
fantastic read, I couldn't put the book down.
Published 15 days ago by Jennifer Rachiele
5.0 out of 5 stars My most favourite author.
My most favourite author...what can I say dr.Tempe Brennan is brilliant irreverent at times but quite ethical. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Deborah Halliday
3.0 out of 5 stars Time to stop buying her books
Loved the early Reichs books but it may be time to stop reading her works for a few years (decades).
Published 13 months ago by Geordie A.
5.0 out of 5 stars very satisfied
havent read the book as of yet, waiting for the complete series - did enjoy the quick service and confition of the book
Published 15 months ago by Tina Limosani
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story line...
Too much detail about nothing..not as good as others of hers I have read...but interesting facts about leprosy.. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Marie Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Mary
Love the books when the stories hit so close to Quebec. Again Temperance at her best!
Published on Nov. 2 2010 by Mary
5.0 out of 5 stars A new mystery excellently solved!
Oh, do I ever adore Reichs's novels. Her novels show proof that there are no limits to one's imagination - especially when the author knows what she/he is talking about. Read more
Published on June 18 2008 by GinRobi
4.0 out of 5 stars A Peek Into Brennan's Childhood
This is the newest book in the Temperance Brennan series and it is right on track. The story starts with missing girls and unidentified bodies and ends in a web of pornography and... Read more
Published on Oct. 18 2007 by Nicola Mansfield
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