The focus of my blog is to review book series and not individual novels, but writers are going to continue writing novels within a series even after I have done my review, so I plan on reviewing the individual novels as they come into circulation. Kathy Reichs will soon be adding book #18, Speaking in Bones, to the Temperance Brennan series.
After reading the last novel in Kathy Reichs’ Temperance Brennan series, Bones Never Lie, I was eagerly waiting to read the latest installment of the series, Speaking in Bones, mainly to see what happens between Temp Brennan and Detective Andrew Ryan, especially after Reichs dropped a bit of a bombshell right at the ending of Bones Never Lie. I am beginning to believe that Reichs has a bit of a sadistic streak in her as she holds out on what is happening with our happy couple right to the ending of this latest novel. On top of that, Reichs keeps those of us that are interested in the Brennan/Ryan relationship on pins and needles throughout Speaking in Bones by teasing us with brief conversations between Ryan and Brennan with Brennan being very evasive on what her answer to Ryan’s important question might be. All I can say to that is Arrgggh.
So what about the rest of the novel? The story begins with an amateur CSI sleuth, that goes by the name of Hazel ‘Lucky’ Strike, on a quest to find Cora Teague, a missing person that was reported unofficially on an online ‘websleuthing’ forum by an unnamed source. Strike’s investigation leads her to Brennan who had analyzed some bones on a John or Jane Doe that ended up on the cold case shelf which Strike believes are related to Teague’s disappearance. Strike presents Brennan with a recording obtained from a miniature recording device that Strike discovered while canvasing the potential crime scene where Strike believes Cora Teague disappeared and Brennan’s bones were found. The recording is of a women in great distress that Strike believes is Cora Teague and she wants help from Brennan to find her. This leaves Brennan with a bit of a conundrum, as the information that Strike presents her is pretty skimpy in making a connection with the disappearance of Cora Teague, especially since the women has never been officially listed as missing. Of course, when Temperance Brennan’s curiosity is peaked she can’t let it go until she finds answers and so the story begins. Brennan then teams up with Avery County deputy sheriff Jeb Ramsey and latter with Brennan’s favorite homicide detective, Erskine ‘Skinny’ Slidell, to investigate what turns out to be a complicated murder investigation on not only finding out whodunit but also who was murdered.
The plot follows the typical Reichs’ style that is often presented throughout the series which means that Temp Brennan manages to get in trouble, not only once but twice, by putting herself in harm’s way because she is too impatient to wait for backup or doesn’t bother to carry a weapon. Typically things turn out OK in the end and Brennan just shrugs her shoulders and admits that it was a pretty stupid move, but the perpetrator was found and that makes it alright. Right? Wrong! Brennan is a well educated woman who seems to be reasonably intelligent, but yet time and time again she does really stupid stuff to the point I am really losing a lot of respect for this character. Kathy Reichs please stop this, there are plenty of other ways to create an exciting ending without making Brennan look really stupid.
Between the Brennan/Ryan tease and Brennan’s tomfoolery I was left with a feeling of frustration with this novel. However, on the positive side the storyline was interesting, the forensics fascinating, and the ending unexpected which means I will be back to read that next novel of the series when it comes out and for at least the moment, I’m still a fan.
Speaking in Bones will be released July 21st.
I received this as an advance reader copy from NetGalley
To learn more about the series check out Kathy Reichs’ Temperance Brennan Series.