Published: August 27, 2013Publisher: ScribnerPages: 336Received: from publisher via NetGalley for honest reviewWhen Charlotte police discover the body of a teenage girl along a desolate stretch of two-lane highway, Temperance Brennan fears the worst. The girl’s body shows signs of foul play. Inside her purse police find the ID card of a prominent local businessman, John-Henry Story, who died in a horrific flea market fire months earlier. Was the girl an illegal immigrant turning tricks? Was she murdered?
The medical examiner has also asked Tempe to examine a bundle of Peruvian dog mummies confiscated by U.S. Customs. A Desert Storm veteran named Dominick Rockett stands accused of smuggling the objects into the country. Could there be some connection between the trafficking of antiquities and the trafficking of humans?
As the case deepens, Tempe must also grapple with personal turmoil. Her daughter Katy, grieving the death of her boyfriend in Afghanistan, impulsively enlists in the Army. Meanwhile, Katy’s father Pete is frustrated by Tempe’s reluctance to finalize their divorce. As pressure mounts from all corners, Tempe soon finds herself at the center of a conspiracy that extends all the way from South America, to Afghanistan, and right to the center of Charlotte.
Reichs has yet again written an amazing adventure for Temperance Brennan. I have yet to pick up a book from this series and not enjoy the journey. Tempe always seems to get the most interesting cases - this time mummified dog remains, a young girl in a hit and run and an overseas trip to Afghanistan to exhume bodies and clarify an incident for the military.
The case that had me wondering the most was the one with the hit and run. I always love seeing where Tempe will get her next piece of information from and how she solves seemingly dead end cases. I was sure this one might stump her as there didn't seem to be many leads - at first. A young girl hit on the road in the middle of a desolate area of town that Tempe ends up with a soft spot for. I think she worries that the girls family would be wondering where she is and wants to give both the girl and the family some peace and closure if possible. Her idea of what happened does not match that of officer Sliddell, who is working the case with her. They both have theories - could the both be partially right?
I enjoyed reading all of the facts discussed in this book about human trafficking and smuggling of antiquities. I found the figures fascinating and disturbing. Reichs always seems to fit in just the right amount of detail to make the reader really understand the complexity of the situation and the legal implications involved in her cases.
The trip to Afghanistan was interesting to read about - from her initial deployment on a helicopter with military troupes to the exhumation of some locals for analysis. I found learning a bit about the culture and the war in that area fascinating. I also like how Tempe's gut instinct on people is usually spot on.
Also, her personal life seems complicated in this book, but it sees to take a back burner to her cases. Generally I feel like you can pick up any Temperance Brennan book in the series and not totally have needed to read them in order, though I feel like I might have missed something as I did not read the previous book yet. It did not really take away from the story though as Reichs explains enough background on Tempe and the relationships in her life to get by.
Looking forward to the next Brennan novel! And I suppose going back and reading the few in the series that I have skipped over.