From Publishers Weekly
Forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance "Tempe" Brennan gets caught in mysteries past and present when she's called in to determine if illegal antiquities dealer Avram Ferris's gunshot death is murder or suicide. An acquaintance of Avram suggests the former: he hands Tempe a photograph of a skeleton, taken in Israel in 1963, and insists it's the reason Avram is dead. Tempe's longtime boyfriend, Quebecois detective Andrew Ryan, is also involved with the case, so the duo head to Israel where they attempt to solve the murder and a mystery revolving around a first-century tomb that may contain the remains of the family of Jesus Christ. This find threatens the worldwide Christian community, the Israeli and Jewish hierarchy and numerous illegal antiquity dealers, any of whom might be out to kill Tempe and Ryan. Not that Tempe notices. She has the habit of being oblivious to danger, which quickly becomes annoying, as does Reichs's tendency to end chapters with a heavy-handed cliffhanger ("His next words sent ice up my spine"). The plot is based on a number of real-life anthropological mysteries, and fans of such will have a good time, though thriller readers looking for chills and kills may not find the novel quite as satisfying.
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In the eighth entry in Reichs' popular mystery series, forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan spends more time contemplating biblical history than modern-day murder. A preface sets the stage, providing a bit of factual context for the puzzle that emerges when Tempe is given a photo of an articulated skeleton, which she is told is the key to the suspicious death of a slightly shady Orthodox Jewish merchant. The legend on the back of a photo leads to the bones themselves, 2,000-year-old remains that excite not only Tempe but also her friend Jake Drum, a biblical archaeologist, who suggests that the bones might even belong to Jesus himself! Unlike Tempe's previous forays into the world of crime, this episode isn't long on thrills. Instead, we get a fairly complicated lesson in biblical history, some radical theory to ponder, and the itch to read real-life religion professor James Tabor's upcoming book about Masada and ancient bones, The Jesus Dynasty,
to which Reichs refers in an afterword. Yet another read-alike for Da Vinci Code
fans. Stephanie ZvirinCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved