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on June 13, 2016
A man dies in a lake, and his fingerprints are a match to a US serviceman who died in the 1960s in Vietnam. Thus begins the complicated web that is Spider Bones. This is fascinating, touching on identity of remains from past wars, and some of the challenges that can be encountered in trying to identify just whose bones might be, many years on.
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I'm a firm believer, when reviewing a book, in comparing a book to its predecessors. In this case, it's possible, because Kathy Reichs has written 12 previous Tempe Brennan novels.

The story she writes here, which takes place in locations from Montreal to North Carolina to Hawaii, involves a whole lot of different issues. Auto-erotic deaths, MIA/KIA's from Vietnam, shark-bitten bodies, Samoan gangs, daughters-with-problems, and an inactive love life are only a few of the diverse things Reichs touches on in "Spider Bones". The thing is, that as disconcerting as all this in-coming might be to a casual Reichs' reader, her fans come to expect it from her novels. I can't exactly compare Reichs' work with, say, Leo Tolstoy's, because she doesn't write as well. No one expects her to produce "War and Peace". She writes with workman-like prose and very odd plot lines. And does so fairly well.

It would be difficult to easily describe the plot of "Spider Bones". As I wrote above, there's a whole lot of "in-coming" and the reader never knows what's coming next. Reichs has the interesting/irritating habit of ending her chapters in cliff-hanging language. It's Reichs trademark and is present in every one of her books I've read.

"Spider Bones" is a good read for the Kathy Reichs fan. It might not appeal to more casual readers, but it is a good addition to her book list.
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Reason for Reading: Next in the series.

Kathy Reichs is in top form with this latest entry in the Tempe Brennan series. The first chapter starts out with an obscure and uncomfortable crime scene and continues on from there with an intricate mystery. One case leads to another, a fresh body leads to skeletal remains and soon Tempe and Ryan are trying to identify and determine the deaths of several bodies which send them to Hawaii. Tempe then finds herself called in by the local ME to help identify some odds & ends of human remains found from shark attacks. The addition of both daughters for the first time, making a foursome, adds some new dynamics to the personal relationships.

A fast paced case, with many trails to follow, and plenty of bodies. What first starts off as a weird death turns into identifying remains of soldiers from Vietnam and takes a turn toward organized drug crime and gangs in Hawaii. A very intricate and detailed case that gets bigger in scope as it goes along leaving the reader hard pressed to figure out. I did have a correct suspect in mind, but just where to place them, whether as a victim or villain of which case I couldn't quite put it all together myself. I found the solution very entertaining and the story more on par with her earlier work than some of the other more recent volumes (excepting 206 Bones, that is) . This was a quick, page turning read for me and for once I wasn't annoyed with Tempe and Ryan's relationship and it feels like the next book will be pivotal for them, and honestly Ms. Reichs I think the next book needs to settle their relationship once and for all. It has gone on long enough, already. Can't wait for the next book!
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon January 10, 2014
Also under the title “Mortal Remains”

Book 13, in the Temperance Brennan series

This installment is pretty much the Kathy Reichs we know and we have come to expect. The story centers on the world of JPAC (Joint POW/MIA (Prisoner of War/Missing in Action) Accounting Command (US DOD) and how far the military will go to find and bring home the bodies of fallen soldiers around the world. Of course as in all the novels we have a family drama to spice up the mystery and all the forensic science knowledge and real life criminal investigations are once again brought forward.

With this as backdrop the puzzle start with Dr. Brennan called on the scene of a drowning, victim of bizarre auto-erotic asphyxiation stunt gone horribly wrong. The body is identified as being a long-dead Vietnam War veteran John Lowery presumed buried in his hometown in North Carolina. This kick off a case that will have Tempe turn circles and take her all the way to Hawaii looking into Vietnam vets and Hawaiian gangs.

The plot is full of drama however I found it to be far-fetched and rather contrived as it moved along. The narration is told in a very didactic manner, choppy with an over-use of acronyms and scientific jargon. Initially I did find the story interesting but it quickly fell apart and lost its appeal. I really don’t care how accurate police procedural are but give me outstanding characterization and I am a happy reader, here we have the dullest of characters and the most frustrating ones acting the same old way. The author has employed the same writing style over and over again, even if I was to some extend entertained I do think this formula is wearing thin and a change is highly needed, “Spider Bones” is far from being an exciting novel. Thank goodness it was a fast read….With this said I still will read further installments, I like the fact that the main plot is usual based on events that made the news at some point.
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on January 1, 2012
I spotted this novel at the local book store and was immediately captivated by the story as well as the fact that I have become a pretty avid watcher of the tv series Bones of late. Realising that author Kathy Reichs is a producer and consultant on the show itself intrigued me into buying this book in the first place ... and then having trouble putting it down. The storyline was most intriguing and, in this case, gave me a good insight into Dr Temperance Brennan's life itself aside from the mysteries she tries to solve along the way. It also confirmed that, like her tv counterpart, the good doctor is not satisfied in simply performing her tasks as a forensic anthropologist but also delves into detective work that can cause her to become a target of someone not wishing (old) secrets revealed - in this case, even her daughter as well as her partner's offspring.
A most tantalising recount of deaths having occurred decades earlier with facts coming to light at a much later stage as is often the case. An accidental drowning triggering an identity mystery that Tempe simply cannot let go of and starts to investigate through her many connections. Kathy Reichs - a board-certified forensic anthropologist herself - also does not skimp on explanations where forensics are concerned, never leaving the reader in the dark as to what is going on and as to how and why the work is carried out.
This novel - written in fluid motion, easy to follow, with the reader never left wondering what is happening - inspired me to look into Kathy Reichs' previous books in the Dr Temperance Brennan series, of which this is the thirteenth adventure. Time to catch up!
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"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God." -- Revelation 2:7 (NKJV)

In the middle of a war, mistakes happen. Sometimes those mistakes cost lives. At other times, the mistakes launch improved lives. Spider Bones takes a long look at the difficulties of identifying remains from the Vietnam War and weaves a lot of good science into an intriguing story about a dead man who keeps dying, John Lowery. Along the way, some other little mysteries intrude . . . and Tempe tries to build a little love in Paradise (better known to those who live on Earth as Hawaii). The best-laid plans of all are quickly tossed into Fate's dumpster, and Tempe has all she can do to track down what's really been happening while unlimbering herself from some very awkward personal situations.

One of the high points of this book involves an explanation for a scientific phenomenon that occurs rarely that has always intrigued me. I was glad to find the explanation in the story to satisfy my curiosity about this quirky characteristic, but also to make the story a lot more compelling from a factual and plot perspective.

I just wish Tempe didn't have to suffer so much in her personal life. I suppose this is a plot device so we won't hate her for being so good, beautiful, talented, successful, etc. But it does get a little old.
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on August 24, 2010
Source: Received from publicist. Many thanks goes to Loretta from Simon & Schuster for sending me this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 5/5

Temperance Brennan returns in this, the thirteenth and latest, installment by renowned author Kathy Reichs. She needs to unravel the mystery surrounding three bodies, all having been identified as the same man. The cases have her starting out in Quebec, then heading out to North Carolina, and finally ending up in Hawaii. She is joined by her daughter, and by her colleague, Detective Andrew Ryan in Hawaii. The mystery deepens further while there, but Temperance will have to get to the bottom of things if she is going to find out the identities of these three men.
I love the show Bones, but I have to say that Reichs' books are absolutely my favourite of the two. I impatiently wait each year for Reichs' newest book, and this one does not disappoint. Tempe is thrown into the mix immediately. What seems to be an easy open and shut case ends up turning into an intricately woven web of deceit. Just when she thinks she's got things figured out, another layer presents itself. Reichs has done it again, she has created a masterful, and spellbinding book that you'll be hesitant to put down.
The relationship between Brennan and Detective Ryan plays well throughout the novel, and certainly adds dimension to the book. The secondary characters also add some familiarity and intense interaction which makes the read move along at a faster pace. The plot was intricate in detail and design. It was a true thriller and "whodunit". I'm almost sad that I finished the book as quickly as I did, but I eagerly await Reichs' next novel just the same.
All in all, an excellent addition to the Temperance Brennan collection. Fans of Reichs' novels will love this installment, and those who love the show Bones should give this one a read as it'll add to the whole Brennan experience. It'll take you on an exhilarating ride, and leave you breathless wanting more. I also have to say that this cover is absolutely stunning. I love it; almost as much as I love the book.
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on October 7, 2010
The latest installment in the Dr. Brennan series looks more like a script for an episodes of Bones than the high intensity and more twisted books in this series. It remains a fairly easy and enjoyable read but Kathy Reichs went light on the "fear factor" this time around. in most case previous books would put her in danger on several occasions and the "fear factor" would start much earlier in the book. This one is really more procedural and only has one main story line (side stories again takes much less center stage than in previous boooks).

Not bad, just different
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on September 6, 2011
I am an avid Kathy Reichs reader but this is the first time I was disappointed in one of her books. Although the plot and the forensics were interesting as usual, I found all the background historical information about the location a bit too much and the endless ups and downs in Tempe's relationship with Ryan (and this time both their daughters were thrown in for good measure) are beginning to wear on me. Get it together you guys!
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on September 25, 2010
More writers are published today and most shouldn't get past the copy editors. Kathy Reichs knows her subject and is qualified to write about it. She pulls you in from the start and keeps you hooked in Spider Bones until the last page. Her subject, her style and her voice makes her a true author.
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