Cold Cold Bones is the 21st in the series by Kathy Reichs featuring Temperance (Tempe) Brennan. I was once a devotee of this series but have seemingly missed a few recently. Her latest for example, features Tempe’s daughter Katy who’s recently left the army and I’m trying to remember if I even knew she was in the army. I kinda remember her being at university but then again I have a memory like a sieve, so….Cold, Cold Bones
by Kathy Reichs
Series: Temperance Brennan #21
Published by Simon & Schuster AU
Source: Simon & Schuster
Genres: Crime Fiction
Winter has come to North Carolina and, with it, a drop in crime. For a while, temporarily idle forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan is content to dote on her daughter Katy, finally returned to civilian life from the army. But when mother and daughter meet at Tempe’s place one night for dinner, they find a box on the back porch. Inside: a very fresh human eyeball.
GPS coordinates etched into the eyeball lead to a Benedictine Monastery where an equally macabre discovery awaits. Soon after, Tempe examines a mummified corpse in a state park, and her anxiety deepens.
There seems to be no pattern to these random killings, except that each mimics in some way a killing that a younger Tempe witnessed, analyzed, or barely escaped. Who or what is targeting her, and why?
Helping Tempe discover the answers is detective Erskine “Skinny” Slidell, retired but still volunteering with the CMPD cold case unit—and still displaying his gallows humor. As the two penetrate a bizarre survivalist’s lair, even Skinny’s mood darkens.
And then Tempe’s daughter Katy disappears.
I very much enjoyed the ‘case’ under investigation here. I did guess the whodunnit part but am not sure if it’s obvious or I’m exceptionally talented ( 😉 ). Actually the latter isn’t true but I read a lot so am probably more cognisant (than many) of nuances of language or plot devices that leave the door open to a last minute twist.
Tempe makes a lot of deductive leaps here. She’s targeted initially with the delivery of an eyeball, but then becomes involved in cases that date back several years with vague – but not direct or obvious – similarities to her own earlier cases. She’s working with mostly-retired cold case cop Slidell who’s less convinced of the connection. It does seem highly coincidental – bodies that are years old, uncovered now… AND Tempe being involved in the investigation in some way. It seems unfathomable that someone is targetting Tempe as it would mean they’re playing the long game, having patiently waited years for their chance to seek revenge or payback (or whatever motivates them).
In the background Katy is adjusting to life outside of the military. She’s prickly and her moods variable and Tempe suspects PTSD, so when Katy goes AWOL her mother is worried.
I should mention fans of former Canadian cop, Andrew Ryan )and Tempe’s love interest) will be relieved he appears here, only briefly but when needed.
Cold Cold Bones by Kathy Reichs was published in Australia by Simon & Schuster and is now available.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.