Saturday, May 12, 2012

Julie's Review: Spider Bones

Summary: John Lowery was declared dead in 1968—the victim of a Huey crash in Vietnam, his body buried long ago in North Carolina. Four decades later, Temperance Brennan is called to the scene of a drowning in Hemmingford, Quebec. The victim appears to have died while in the midst of a bizarre sexual practice. The corpse is later identified as John Lowery. But how could Lowery have died twice, and how did an American soldier end up in Canada? Tempe sets off for the answer, exhuming Lowery’s grave in North Carolina and taking the remains to Hawaii for reanalysis—to the headquarters of JPAC, the U.S. military’s Joint POW/ MIA Accounting Command, which strives to recover Americans who have died in past conflicts. In Hawaii, Tempe is joined by her colleague and ex-lover Detective Andrew Ryan (how “ex” is he?) and by her daughter, who is recovering from her own tragic loss. Soon another set of remains is located, with Lowery’s dog tags tangled among them. Three bodies—all identified as Lowery. And then Tempe is contacted by Hadley Perry, Honolulu’s flamboyant medical examiner, who needs help identifying the remains of an adolescent boy found offshore. Was he the victim of a shark attack? Or something much more sinister? ~amazon.com

Review: I always order the new Kathy Reichs' novel when it comes out but then I end up getting behind again. So, I was thrilled when Spider Bones into the What's in a Name Challenge for 2012. I'm always sorry that I stay away from the books as soon as I pick one up. I love Tempe. I love how candid she is. She's not perfect, she's got her troubles but she's brilliant at her work.

Spider Bones is definitely jargon heavy, so if you don't like your "alphabet" when it comes to reading, then it's probably not going to be a pleasant read for you. I get so that I understand enough to keep track of what's going on but I don't feel the big need to keep a log of what it mean. Ms. Reichs does come back enough to it so you don't get lost.

While I didn't find this case itself as interesting as some others; what I found compelling was what our government does to try to find KIA/POW/MIAs from various wars. How even today we are still searching for men/women who served in World War I. What stunned me was how big these recovery teams are and how many people they do identify in a year!

Tempe travels from Montreal to North Carolina to Hawaii for the case. Her daughter Katy has received devastating news right before Tempe has to leave, so she encourages her to join her on the Hawaii leg of the trip. Eventually, Ryan and his daughter Lily join them as well since Ryan is assigned to the initial case out of Montreal.

What starts as a simple case of mistaken identity, escalates into something that spans decades, continents and years of scientific research. As with all of her books, Tempe gets herself into a situation which ends up with her life being in danger some how. I'm guessing this isn't really true to life in the realm of being a forensic anthropologist.

Things at the end of the novel still aren't resolved between her and Ryan. I can understand her trepidation about taking another chance on Ryan when she feels like he needs to focus on other things but I hope that it doesn't drag out for another 5 books.

I definitely have to catch up on her next novel Flash and Bones before yet another one comes out in August.

Final Take: 3.75/5

Jenn's Review

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