An underground chamber is exposed in a seedy, dilapidated house with sagging trim and peeling paint. When a careless plumber accidentally knocks through a wall, he is horrified by what he uncovers. Called to the scene is forensic anthropologist Dr Temperance Brennan. Fighting her claustrophobia, and the unmistakeable sweet, fetid odour of rotting ...
An underground chamber is exposed in a seedy, dilapidated house with sagging trim and peeling paint. When a careless plumber accidentally knocks through a wall, he is horrified by what he uncovers. Called to the scene is forensic anthropologist Dr Temperance Brennan. Fighting her claustrophobia, and the unmistakeable sweet, fetid odour of rotting flesh, Tempe descends the precariously steep, makeshift wooden steps. What awaits her below is a ritualistic display: slain chickens and a goat - and a skull, ghostly pale, rests on a pedestal, the lower jaw missing, the empty orbits starring back at her. The forehead is darkened by an irregular stain the exact red-brown of dried blood, and lined with remnants of desiccated tissue. Two cauldrons stand nearby, beads and antlers suspended overhead. Age, race and sex indicators confirm the skull as that of a young, black female - but how did she die, and when? Then, just as Tempe is working to determine the post-mortem interval, another body is uncovered. The corpse is headless, the torso is carved with Satanic symbols. Could there be a connection? Must Tempe face the sickening possibility that Devil-worshippers are sacrificing human victims?
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If you look for my reviews of other Kathy Reichs books, you will find that I praise them highly. There is a reason: they are reaaly good stories told in an entertaining manner. I only wish I could find all of her novels in one place instead of having to roam the web and the brick and mortar stores.
Jan 30, 2010
"Is it God, or a trick of the devil." Anouith
In the 11th book featuring forensic anthropologist Temperence Brennan, a plumber is renovting a home and discovers a hidden room with signs of what might be devil worship. There is a skill at the center of an altar.
Brennan is called in and after analysis, learns that the skull is from a young girl. Her inquiry turns to finding out who the girl was and where she came from. She wants to discover if the skull is from a murder victim.
While working on the case, Brennan consults with Detective Ershine "Skinny" Slidell, a detective in the mode of Sam Spade, with few words and hard as nails.
As the investigators work on the current case, they learn of a headless body of a young boy is found by the side of a river. The body is marked by satanic symbols.
The author takes her readers on an adventure into the land of devil worship, Voodoo medicine, Wiccans and other superstitions as she searches for answers. It provides an interesting and unique story. There is plenty of action and the story moves with visual scenes as if the reader might be viewing an episode of "Bones," the TV show which is based on the same character.
We also learn more of Brennan as a character. The story relates some of her frustrations and lonliness. It adds to the reader's enjoyment to observe the character development and see her romantic interest.
Publishers Weekly, 2008-10-27 Linda Emond's crisp and dry vocal interpretation of Reichs's Temperance Brennan, crime fiction's second most popular forensic expert, is on target. The cool approach works fine when the "5'5", feisty and 40-plus" heroine describes stumbling into a dark basement and finding a witches' brew of pagan artifacts and human and animal remains. It lets Temperance and the listener calmly contemplate her jumbled, alcohol-prone, romantically impaired life. And it helps in sorting out the clues for several gruesome killings that may or may not be connected and may or may not involve what one character describes as a "murderous devil conspiracy." But even Emond can't make Reichs's endless side trips into North Carolina history, geographical key notes and descriptions of the roots of voodoo and the Wicca religion sound anything but academic. Spare us the lectures; there's more than enough plot without the unnecessary digressions. A Scribner hardcover (Reviews, June 9). (Sept.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 2008-06-09 Dr. Temperance Brennan's quest to identify two corpses pits her against citizen vigilantes intent on a witch-hunt in bestseller Reichs's exciting 11th thriller to feature the forensic anthropologist (after 2007's Bones to Ashes). While working in Charlotte, N.C., Brennan investigates remains unearthed during a housing renovation and discovers disturbing clues possibly pointing to voodoo or Santeria. She must determine if the bones, including the skull of a teenage girl, are linked to an unidentified headless torso found in a nearby lake. Intent on using the deaths as the cornerstone of his crusade against immorality, fundamentalist preacher turned politician Boyce Lingo claims that the bodies bear the mark of devil worshippers. With the help of Det. Erskine "Skinny" Slidell, Brennan unearths a tangled web of dirty politics, religious persecution and male prostitution. Reichs, whose work inspired the hit TV series Bones, once again expertly blends science and complex character development. (Aug.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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