Sunday, December 5, 2010
"If a dog's prayers were answered, bones would rain from the sky.' Turkish Proverb
There are many puzzles to be solved as Dr. "Tempe" Brennan, forensic anthropologist, works at her latest challenging endeavor. Temp arrives at the scene of a drowning near Montreal, Canada. She finds that the victim is wrapped in a manner that suggests an auto erotic sexual fetish.
After taking fingerprints, the victim is identified as John Lowery. What is remarkable is the United States authorities list Lowery as being killed in a helicopter crash in Vietnam, forty years earlier.
Politicians become involved when Canadian officials notify Lowery's family about finding Lowery's body. A Congressman in the Lowery's family's district, wants to know why Canada is claiming that Lowery must be a deserter and Lowery's father demands to know who is buried in Lowery's grave.
The author's writing style is very descriptive and has the effect of making the reader pause in the reading, just to experience the author's literary style. When Temp goes to North Carolina to examine the body in Lowery's grave, she meets Lowery's father, Plato. "Lowery's eyes were what grabbed you, black as wormholes in space. His gaze seemed to laser straight into your soul."
After removing the body from the grave in North Carolina, Dr. Brennan travels to Hawaii to the U.S. military command that tries to recover Americans who are missing from military actions. Brennan is accompanied by her daughter, Kathy, Brennan's ex-lover, Det. Andrew Ryan and Ryan's daughter.
In an interesting subplot that adds another part to the puzzle, Tempe assists in identifying bones found by divers. There is enough here to make a student pursue this field of study. Tempe finds that the bones are from a missing teen and now authorities must discover if the teen's death was from a shark attack or was he murdered.
Still another complication arises when another set of remains is discovered with Lowery's dog tags. Who are the other two people whose remains are found? Which set of remains is actually Lowery's? These questions must be answered.
The author also deals with important issues in this novel, such as the continuing effort by the government to identify the remains of servicemen who have been missing from United States conflicts. There is also the question of how servicemen who participated in the Vietnam war feel about their participation in the conflict so many years after the end of hostilities.
I enjoyed the story and the manner in which Dr. Tempe Brennan is able to solve a problem and find a murderer by using her intelligence rather than so many thrillers with the protagonists resorting to violence in order to get the answers they need.
This is the thirteenth novel in Kathy Reichs's series and represents a good accompaniment to the TV show, "Bones."
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