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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

SPIDER BONES - Temperance Brennan Series No. 13

by Kathy Reichs - available in hardcover

Dr. Brennan, a forensic anthropologist, is called to investigate a floater in Montreal who appears to have died during a weird sex act.  Once the victim is identified from his fingerprints as John Lowery, nothing makes sense because Lowery was declared dead in 1968 while on duty with the U.S. Army in Vietnam. 

Temperance is teamed up with her old flame, Detective Andrew Ryan in her quest to figure out who was buried in Lowery's grave in North Carolina.  Working with JPAC, the U.S. military Joint POW/MIA Command, they're trying to identify the remains as even more body parts turn up in Hawaii that appear to be related to the search for the unknown person buried in North Carolina.  Reichs keep switching victims' identities; first the floater found is Lowery, then he's not, then he is again.  Add to the mix a Samoan gang and the unwillingingness of John's father to help in the investigation for entirely different reasons and the plot just gets muddier. 

Reichs' novel sent me to the internet to research JPAC.  This group is still working valiantly to identify the remains of fallen soldiers from past wars so that their families will finally have closure and the soldiers can have proper burials. 

The one bright spot in SPIDER BONES is Reichs' main character.  Usually so rigid, in this thirteenth of the Brennan series, it's nice to see that Temperance is finally loosening up, showing a little more humor and using a little more profanity.  But overall, this is a winding, confusing tale that only the most dedicated Reichs' fans will enjoy. 

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