Friday, November 12, 2010

Review: 206 Bones by Kathy Reichs

206 Bones by Kathy Reichs
Publisher: Scribner (Simon & Schuster)
Pages: 308
Received: Purchased For Own Collection
There are 206 bones in the human body. Forensic anthropologists know them intimately, can read in them stories of brief or long lives and use them to reconstruct every kind of violent end. 206 Bones opens with Tempe regaining consciousness and discovering that she is in some kind of very small, very dark, very cold enclosed space. She is bound, hands to feet. Who wants Tempe dead, or at least out of the way, and why? Tempe begins slowly to reconstruct...

Tempe and Lieutenant Ryan had accompanied the recently discovered remains of a missing heiress from Montreal to the Chicago morgue. Suddenly, Tempe was accused of mishandling the autopsy -- and the case. Someone made an incriminating phone call. Within hours, the one man with information about the call was dead. Back in Montreal, the corpse of a second elderly woman was found in the woods, and then a third.

Seamlessly weaving between Tempe''s present-tense terror as she''s held captive and her memory of the cases of these murdered women, Reichs conveys the incredible devastation that would occur if a forensic colleague sabotaged work in the lab. The chemistry between Tempe and Ryan intensifies as this complex, riveting tale unfolds. Reichs is writing at the top of her game.
I absolutely love Kathy Reichs! I am always enthralled with her writing. I love reading all about the forensic side of a case. Ms. Reichs describes scenes with so much imagery and detail, leaving nothing out. She always explains terms used by anthropologists in ways that the everyday person can understand.

206 Bones was intriguing right off the bat with Dr. Temperance Brennan waking up in a cramped,dark space. First I was thinking about how creepy and claustrophobic it would be and second I thought, "Who did she piss off this time?" Tempe always seems to be stepping on toes or pushing her way through investigations because she knows she is right. It tends to rub colleagues and suspects the wrong way.

The story switches back and forth between Tempe being in the tomb like encasement and the cases she was working on up until then. The fear emitted through Tempe's thoughts and reactions to being stuck somewhere left for dead were very heart wrenching and I felt her pain and her fear.

The storyline this time, has multiple cases they are working, one involving a few elderly women and one involving bones found in/near a lake that are very old. Most of the story takes place in Montreal this time, though Tempe normally spends her time between Quebec and North Carolina. The elderly victims were all found in different manners and died from different causes, though Tempe and Ryan believe they are linked, they just needed to figure out how. The second case is kind of an added part to help bring to light a saboteur. I always find it interesting how Tempe is really a forensic anthropologist, but also has amazing detective skills and always seems to help her fellow detectives figure out the crimes.

Tempe also had her reputation questioned as one of the top anthropologists, when someone anonymously told a family member that she messed up on a case. She knew she hadn't and this pissed her off. And along the way more of her cases were coming up with her having missed easy things, causing her to second guess her work and also her boss not being too happy with her. I thought I had it all figured out who was sabotaging her, but there was a twist I hadn't accounted for. I love when an author can completely blindside you like that.

The Dr. Brennan novels are written in a way that you can pick one up, have a short explanation here and there about different characters and their background and enjoy the book. Though I am sure if they are read in order, the relationships between the different characters would probably be a much more enjoyable read. This includes coworkers as well as family and love interests. The being said, I have a fondness for the Canadian detective she works with and has had a past romantic relationship with, Andrew Ryan. The chemistry between the two continues throughout this novel even though they are no longer a couple, though it seems like Ryan is trying his best to gain her affections again. I keep rooting for Tempe to let him back into her heart. 

For someone who has never read a Kathy Reichs novel, I highly suggest the series. The list below is the order in which they were published and make the most sense if read in said order, though not necessary.

Deja Dead, Death du Jour, Deadly Decisions, Fatal Voyage, Grave Secrets, Bare Bones, Monday Mourning, Cross Bones, Break No Bones, Bones to Ashes, Devil Bones, 206 Bones, Spider Bones and the newest Virals.

Also, the TV show BONES is based on Ms. Reichs character Tempe. I love the show as well as the books, though the show is not exactly like the books. I am sure things had to change character wise to make the show a little more appealing. And I am not complaining because I love FBI agent Booth (actor David Boreanaz).

The most exciting news is that Ms. Reichs just released a young adult novel called Virals.”The niece of famed fictional forensic scientist Temperance Brennan stumbles on a mystery at prep school. I can't wait to read it.

Kathy will be in Toronto on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. Reading and signing at Indigo – Yonge and Eglinton, 2300 Yonge St. and in Montreal on Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. Reading and signing at the Words After Dark Series, Librairie Paragraphe Bookstore, 2220 McGill College Ave.

I'm sad that I will be missing her book signing as I have all of her books.


  1. I read this book. I love Kathy Reichs! Can't wait to check out Virals!

  2. @Kelly - I'm actually on an ARC tour list for that one.... should get it in a month to read and pass along to the next one on the list. I can't wait to read it. I also need to go back and read the other Reichs books I've missed. I own them all excpet Spider Bones, but haven't read them all yet. I own them in hardcover too... have a few UK editions. Hope to see your review of Virals when you read it. :)

  3. I'd heard the TV show Bones was based on a book but I didn't know much about it. I'll have to check this one out! (And maybe her YA book Virals- that looks good too.) Thanks!

  4. @Ava - Ya it's loosely based on the Kathy Reichs books. They are both good! I'm behind on watching BONES though... must rent the DVDs to catch up. :)


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