Top critical review
4 of 4 people found this helpful
Deftly Plotted Mystery, Lots of Pagan Religion, Jammed with Medical Details, and No Romantic Movement
on September 4, 2008
If you are a long-time fan of this series, I've written this review for you. You can skip this book if you want to. In terms of series continuity, I'm sure Dr. Reichs will be able to put in two sentences near the start of the next book to handle what happens in this one.
If you haven't read any books in the series, don't start with this one. Start with Deja Dead, a much better book.
If you like mysteries that are hard to solve as a reader, you will like Devil Bones much better than most readers. That's also true if you are fascinated by pagan religions and cannot get enough information about dead bodies.
On the other hand, if you want an entertaining story that's an easy read, you will probably think this is a two-star book. The book also features an easy-to-hate politician who makes the story less appealing. If you like to see Dr. Tempe Brennan's love life get somewhere, this book is pretty close to a zero.
Let's face it. We all have bad days. Tempe seems to be having one throughout this book. That also makes the book more of a downer than it had to be.
Tempe is called out when an apparent root cellar turns out to contain a human skull, associated with what looks like some sort of pagan religious rite. Tracking down the rest of that body becomes the focus of much of the story in Devil Bones. Soon thereafter, a body is dumped that displays satanic signs. Are the two events connected? How?
The investigation has many unexpected twists and turns, most of which wouldn't have happened if Tempe had been a little sharper in assessing one of the clues. If you are quicker than Tempe, you'll unravel the mystery faster than she did. But you'll probably miss the real criminal until all is revealed unless you have ESP.
I learned way too much about pagan religions and medical details from this book, but I liked the mystery being difficult to solve. So I rounded up from two stars to three.