‘Break No Bones’ by Kathy Reichs ( Temperance Brennan # 9)

This series written by North America’s leading forensic anthropologist has always been one of my favourites. I usually try to read one per year but I see that it’s been 6 years since Cross Bones (#8). Oops. No matter, it made me come in fresh again and realise what I like about the character of Temperance Brennan and Reichs’ writing.

This one focuses around a mysterious series of bodies that were all killed in the same and unusual way but the link between them remains unclear. Brennan examines bones of long decomposed bodies when it’s too late for autopsies or pathology. Forensic anthropology applies skeletal analysis and techniques in archaeology to solve criminal cases. It’s fascinating science. Reichs bases her novels on real cases in her work, both in the US and Canada. She explains that when she started her job, her field was not a very popular thing, but forensic science crime drama series on TV like CSI have changed all that, and Reichs even got her own series Bones, based on her books.

Aside from the mystery and crime drama, I love the humour and quick witty dialogue that is a hallmark of her writing style. In this one Tempe finds herself stuck on assignment in a house with her former husband and current squeeze which creates some additional tension and the banter is priceless. Hilarity aside, underneath there is real struggle as she is distracted by her own feelings for both men, especially when one of them is hurt during the investigation.

But what I like best about Reichs is her personal philosophical reason for doing what she does–she wants to honour the dead by finding out who they were and what killed them. She says that when bones are found it is the anonymity that is the ultimate insult. Her passion is to reunite the victim with the integrity of their name and cause of death and offer some kind of closure. The motivation for her devotion to her vocation and the fact that her writing is so real because it is extracted from her work, is why I keep coming back for more. But where she found the time to write so many books while advancing a crazy busy career is a mystery I will probably never be able to solve. Check out her website: click here.

2 responses to “‘Break No Bones’ by Kathy Reichs ( Temperance Brennan # 9)

  1. Do you take requests? I’m struggling to process Untamed by Glennon Doyle and would love to read your take on it.

    • I love requests so fire away anytime. I tried Untamed and couldn’t get into it. I didn’t finish it because I felt it wasn’t right for me at the time, but I’ve heard good things and has a high rating on Goodreads. It was awhile ago and I can’t remember quite why I bailed on it. But with no disrespect for the author, if I remember anything, I think I felt it had a self-indulgent tone that I couldn’t get past. It may have been because I was reading it at the start of the pandemic when everything was feeling very scary and heavy and we were all sacrificing so much during lockdown. Hope that helps, although I can’t say much because I didn’t finish. What are you struggling with exactly?

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