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on March 23, 2017
I love this series!
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"She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness." -- Proverbs 31:26 (NKJV)

Flash and Bones is an unusually good title for this book, but if you are like me you'll just think it's a pun about "flesh and bones" until near the end when Dr. Reichs reveals more about that aspect of the story.

For those who would like to see the romance with Ryan develop, this book will be a disappointment. Those who enjoy "Skinny" Slidell, however, will have plenty to amuse themselves as Tempe and he team up to find out what happened to several missing persons. Much additional humor comes from Tempe being asked to consult with her "ex" husband's small-brained fiancee, Summer, about the details of their wedding.

Dr. Reichs fits as much NASCAR into the story as she can without turning Tempe into a race driver, and those who love NASCAR will mostly appreciate the tribute . . . even if the track area becomes involved in crimes you won't see at any NASCAR race.

For those who like puzzles, this one starts out with some pretty unusual remains and spreads out to include some exotic poisons.

The story's main weaknesses come in two areas, the right person just naturally turning up at the right time and in the right place to push the story along . . . and a motive for murder that I didn't find all that convincing.

The story moves swiftly along and provides the kind of good relaxing entertainment that makes late summer murder mystery reading so much fun.

I'm sure, however, that Flash and Bones will be far from your favorite book in the series. Do read it. There are hints here of character developments to come that will undoubtedly make a lot more sense if you've read Flash and Bones.
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Reason for Reading: I read all the author's books. I've got myself slightly behind but will get caught up shortly.

First I'll start by saying I enjoyed the book very much. It was actually quite refreshing. Reichs seems to have removed herself from the cookie cutter mold she had let herself slip into lately, not that I don't always enjoy her books to a 3 or more but they do follow a pattern. Here we have Tempe entering a new world, one she isn't familiar with, that of Nascar Racing and she has to deal with some bones found in fairly obscure condition. As often happens a past and present corpse bring ideas of a relationship to their deaths and the investigation gets underway both into the current deaths and into the John Doe case. I kind of kicked myself when the perpetrator was found as it should have been easy to solve but it didn't come to me this time. I enjoyed Reichs usual details and it ended up being a surprising and sad case.

On the other side, Tempe's continual personal life is always an ongoing theme of this series and I was pleased with its direction. It was not what I had expected as Andrew Ryan does not appear in the book at all. We do hear of him, through email letters and Tempe does still care about him, Charlie Hunt(?) her other suitor has been busy on an all important case and may perhaps be finding interest somewhere else. Meanwhile Tempe meets an ex-cop whom she works with on this case who makes her heart go pitter-patter in a completely different, new and exciting way. On top of that her ex and his fiance, 24 -year-old Summer, are driving her insane.

A good all around mystery with a new fascinating setting, but for some reason I felt this a very slow read. It was not hard to put down and it would take time for me to pick up again. Personally I think this was me,not the book's fault. It was just a slow reading week for me.
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on February 17, 2012
Not the best of the bunch, so to speak, although the case itself - as in Plot A - is nicely fleshed out as always and as true a 'Who Dunnit' as ever. This case takes the reader into the world of motorcar racing, FBI involvement and seeming cover-up of a case several years old that is unearthed due to a body being found in a barrel right next to the local race course. Naturally, our heroine will not be 'fobbed off' with excuses and/or shut down by FBI 'encouragement' but ploughs right ahead trying to get to the bottom of her case, body 'accidentally' incinerated or not! In that, Kathy Reichs succeeds in creating another interesting case containing intriguing details of the world of motor racing.
What did not really work for me was the incessant hysterics of her ex's fiancée and their seeming incapability to resolve their issues without Temperance needing to get involved. After all, who in their right mind would ask their fiancée's ex to help them organise their own wedding? So, essentially, the overall relationship issues Tempe usually deals with in this series does take a nose-dive in this particular adventure, making Flash and Bones not so much a 'must read' but a 'read it and done with it' instead.
Well, I guess, there's always the next case to look forward to ...
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon October 2, 2016
Book # 14, in the Temperance Brennan series

The plot in short and sweet words: Brennan is called to examine a body found in a barrel of asphalt beside the racetrack in Charlotte, North Carolina.

A Reichs novel has always been a quick and light read filled at great length with explanations. In “Flash and Bones” the history of NASCAR is her topic with the impact it has on the American culture. There is some suspense of course when Tempe’s investigation leads into dangerous territory while probing for evidence and with her presence the heat is turned up. In this installment her on-again, off-again romance with a Canadian detective and her tribulations with her former husband still complicate her personal life. As always the protagonist shares center stage with science, Ms. Reichs loves to include her speciality in her novel and does it without including gory details for grisly sensationalism. The plot is an intriguing puzzle that never go unsolved, Tempe risk her career, the wrath of the FBI to get answers.

A 4 years hiatus from this series was a good move in my part. Series tend to get stale after a while as they follow the same old beat….one loses interest….Glad I stepped away to be able to enjoy “Flash and Bones” at its fullest.
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on June 1, 2013
I love Kathy Reichs' "Temperance Brennan" novels, all of which I have read, but this one was a decided disappointment. Maybe it was too much "forumula" - some of her classic lines have become too repetitive (e.g."Sidell wiggled his fingers. Give me more."). Maybe it was the almost total absence of Andrew Ryan, with whom I personally want Tempe to hook up again. Maybe it was the dominant presence of a cop character whom I (and apparently Tempe, at least until now) dislike. It just wasn't good enough to hold my interest. I hope that changes next time.
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on December 1, 2011
a sure buy if you like the adventures of Tempe

better than the last book

so nice to listen in the car while stuck in traffic
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on August 29, 2011
Reichs' latest keeps you engaged and turning pages, but you find yourself skimming and even skipping bits. Much too much on NASCAR; much too little of the forensic science I expected. The plot works to keep you reading, but when you finish it's a let-down. Another case of a good, established author trying something new (I suspect for the sake of sales) and not meeting her own benchmark.
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on June 13, 2016
A body in a barrel found near a NASCAR track. Trace of ricin. Then the FBI take the body. A cold case from over a decade ago. A militia group. So many disparate elements come together for a racing collision of epic proportions.
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on July 6, 2015
I like Kathy Reich's characters and plot lines. Her books draw the reader along and her characters leave the reader wanting to learn more about each one. Great read!
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