Book Review: Bones Are Forever

Posted September 13th, 2012 by in book review / 0 comments

Title: Bones Are Forever
Author: Kathy Reichs
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: August 28th, 2012
Format: eBook
Pages: 304
Source: Other
Genres: crime, fiction, forensics, mystery, suspense, thriller
View Book At Goodreads
Kathy Reichs, #1 New York Times bestselling author and producer of the FOX televison hit Bones, is at her brilliant best in a riveting novel featuring forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan—a story of infanticide, murder, and corruption, set in the high-stakes, high-danger world of diamond mining. A woman calling herself Amy Roberts checks into a Montreal hospital complaining of uncontrolled bleeding. Doctors see evidence of a recent birth, but before they can act, Roberts disappears. Dispatched to the address she gave at the hospital, police discover bloody towels outside in a Dumpster. Fearing the worst, they call Temperance Brennan to investigate. In a run-down apartment Tempe makes a ghastly discovery: the decomposing bodies of three infants. According to the landlord, a woman named Alma Rogers lives there. Then a man shows up looking for Alva Rodriguez. Are Amy Roberts, Alma Rogers, and Alva Rodriguez the same person? Did she kill her own babies? And where is she now? Heading up the investigation is Tempe’s old flame, homicide detective Andrew Ryan. His counterpart from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is sergeant Ollie Hasty, who happens to have a little history with Tempe himself, which she regrets. This unlikely trio follows the woman’s trail, first to Edmonton and then to Yellowknife, a remote diamond-mining city deep in the Northwest Territories. What they find in Yellowknife is more sinister than they ever could have imagined. Crackling with sexual tension, whip-smart dialogue, and the startling plot twists Reichs delivers so well, Bones Are Forever is the fifteenth thrilling novel in Reichs’s “cleverly plotted and expertly maintained series” (The New York Times Book Review). With the FOX series Bones in its eighth season and her popularity at its broadest ever, Kathy Reichs has reached new heights in suspenseful storytelling.

Bones Are Forever is pretty sad. I know a lot of the things Tempe deals with aren’t pleasant, but infanticide is particularly depressing. It’s an issue that is beautifully handled in this book though, as are all the issues that Kathy Reichs puts into her books.


I enjoyed this more than the last one, although Tempe’s stubbornness tends to get her into a bit of strife – although in this case more with Detective Andy Ryan and another old flame, Sargent Ollie Hasty, who is with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The book deals with the rather shocking situations of the murder and exploitation of children and the childlike, which is always a heated topic. The book also mentions Project KARE, which started in Alberta, Canada and is a special group devoted to dealing with High-Risk Missing Persons – particularly young women who are mothers, and children. This group of dedicated police officers work together with the RCMP to try and solved these crimes in Alberta & the Northwestern Territories of Canada.

Turns out, that the babies’ mother has some form of mental disability, although we aren’t told what. Her name is Annaliese Ruben, and she has a half-brother and a half-sister, in Yellowknife – all three have the same father but different mothers. This whole thing was revealed slowly, and Annaliese’s ‘handicap’ (I don’t really like that word, but it works for this situation) was done very realistically and treated the way these things are often treated in small remote towns – she’s ‘special’ or ‘slow’ but there’s no nastiness to the information, it’s simply who and how she is.

Tempe follows several different leads throughout the book, although some of them seem like wild goose chases. The mystery is pieced together slow enough that it isn’t too confusing, but not so slow enough to make you wish things were going faster. I didn’t figure out who the killer was until just after Tempe because of all the twists and turns throughout the story.

The plot is well-planned, and as usual you have a few moments of wanting to bonk Tempe on the head for not informing someone of where she is going/what she is doing. The science is well explained, and not to hard to understand, which is something that Kathy Reichs has always done very well. If you are a fan of the Temperance Brennan books, then you will definitely enjoy Bones Are Forever – if you like a nice twisty mystery you should also enjoy this.

4 Stars

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