Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Devil's Bones by Jefferson Bass

As you all know, I'm a sucker for a good mystery story. Plus, I love Bones (except maybe season 10, because of a certain character's death). So when I saw this on sale at Popular, I figured that it was time to try a new author. Now, I just wish they had more of his books on sale so that I could buy them.

The Devils Bones follows Dr. Bill Brockton, a forensic anthropologist who works that The Body Farm, a place where bodies are left to rot under various conditions in the name of science. In this book, he basically faces three mysteries - a woman who was found burned (could her husband have killed her?), a urn of ashes that aren't really human (so where are the bodies?) and his nemesis, Garland Hamilton, who has escaped from custody and is presumably hunting them down.

While there are three more-or-less separate stories, it didn't feel like the book was overdoing it. The Garland case is a continuation from the previous books, and I thought the way the other two mysteries were integrated into the plot were well-done. I never felt confused by what was going on, and managed to keep up with everything, even though I had to stop a few times, since I was attending a conference and didn't have much time to read.

I liked Dr. Brockton as a character, and I really wish I've read the previous books in the series. I don't feel like I'm missing any particularly important information, but when he talks about a past character - well, it feels like that was a major turning point for him. I would have liked to read it. I should go see if the library has an e-copy for me to borrow.

Apart from Dr. Brockton, I liked his 'teammates', Art (police) and Miranda (his assistant). Both of them are fun to read, and they strike a good balance for me. They don't exist to show the reader how smart Dr. Brockton is (because that would be tiring), nor are they needlessly argumentative. The trio feel like a good team.

This book has a solid cast of characters, interesting mysteries that I thought were well-paced, and a great setting. I've never drunk sweet tea before, but while reading this book, I had the urge to try it.

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