Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Jenn's Review: Flash and Bones

Summary: Just as 200,000 fans are pouring into town for Race Week, a body is found in a barrel of asphalt next to the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The next day, a NASCAR crew member comes to Temperance Brennan’s office at the Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner to share a devastating story. Twelve years earlier, Wayne Gamble’s sister, Cindi, then a high school senior and aspiring racer, disappeared along with her boyfriend, Cale Lovette. Lovette kept company with a group of right-wing extremists known as the Patriot Posse. Could the body be Cindi’s? Or Cale’s?

At the time of their disappearance, the FBI joined the investigation, only to terminate it weeks later. Was there a cover-up? As Tempe juggles multiple theories, the discovery of a strange, deadly substance in the barrel alongside the body throws everything into question. Then an employee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention goes missing during Race Week. Tempe can’t overlook the coincidence. Was this man using his lab chemicals for murder? Or is the explanation even more sinister? What other secrets lurk behind the festive veneer of Race Week? 

Review:  Oh, how I've missed Temperance Brennan!  Though usually a serious lack of Andrew Ryan bothers me, it didn't seem as upsetting in this novel.  Perhaps because Kathy Reichs has returned to basics, a solid case with plenty of suspects, and lots of unanswered questions.

I have absolutely no interest in racing but as usual, Ms. Reichs kept me completely engaged with the subject and taught me a few things as well.  She balanced the racing with racism -an entire fringe racist group that may or may not have been involved in the death of the recently discovered victim, or the cold case disappearances. Oddly, I didn't find myself pushing to solve the case but found myself enjoying the discoveries as they came.  Though I did figure out the culprit before Tempe and Slidell, it was only by a few chapters.

As I mentioned at the beginning of my review, the only thing absent was any forward momentum in Tempe's love life -though some doors may be closing and some windows may be opening. Right now, Tempe doesn't really have time for romance, but I hope she'll make time for it.  (Obviously, I'm rooting for Andrew Ryan -I always have and I always will.)  And here I go, referencing Tempe as a real person not a character, but Kathy Reichs writes her so well, Temperance Brennan feels like an old friend to me.

I was really looking forward to a solid forensic mystery and Flash and Bones didn't disappoint.  Kathy Reichs seldom does.  Julie and I both highly recommend this series... or if you're looking for something a little lighter, try Kathy Reichs' new paranormal YA series.*

Final Take:  5.0/5

*I'll be reviewing newly released Seizure, the second book in the Virals series, before the end of the month.



Julie October 19, 2011 at 8:52 AM  

I really need to catch up on the series. I have Spider Bones to read and then Flash and Bones. I'll wait to get this one in Paperback since my whole series is in ppbk.

Alice October 19, 2011 at 12:48 PM  

I never had a desire to read any books in this series until now. If a non-racing fan enjoyed it. I'm sure I'll enjoy it too.

This is another novel to add to my future reading list.

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