Speaking in Bones (Temperance Brennan #18)

speakingcover64128-mediumAuthor: Kathy Reichs

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Bantam Dell

Rating: 4 stars

Buy Links: Random House and Amazon

Type: Novel in Series

Provided by Publisher


Blurb: No one speaks the language of suspense more brilliantly than Kathy Reichs, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Temperance Brennan series. In Speaking in Bones, the forensic anthropologist finds herself drawn into a world of dark secrets and dangerous beliefs, where good and evil blur.

Professionally, Temperance Brennan knows exactly what to do—test, analyze, identify. Her personal life is another story. She’s at a loss, wondering how to answer police detective Andrew Ryan’s marriage proposal. But the matter of matrimony takes a backseat when murder rears its head.

Hazel “Lucky” Strike—a strident amateur detective who mines the Internet for cold cases—comes to Brennan with a tape recording of an unknown girl, held prisoner and terrorized. Strike is convinced that the voice is that of eighteen-year-old Cora Teague, who went missing more than three years earlier. Strike is also certain that the teenager’s remains are gathering dust in Temperance Brennan’s lab.

Brennan has doubts about working with a self-styled websleuth. But when the evidence seems to add up, Brennan’s next stop is the treacherous backwoods where the chilling recording (and maybe Cora Teague’s bones) were discovered. Her forensic field trip only turns up more disturbing questions—along with gruesome proof of more untimely deaths.

While local legends of eerie nocturnal phenomena and sinister satanic cults abound, it’s a zealous and secretive religious sect that has Brennan spooked and struggling to separate the saints from the sinners. But there’s nothing, including fire and brimstone, that can distract her from digging up the truth and taking down a killer—even as Brennan finds herself in a place where angels fear to tread, devils demand their due, and she may be damned no matter what.


Review: This was a very detailed, well-planned out thriller that meticulously described the chilling death of what at first appeared to be the remains of a young woman. But it was so much more than that at the end. When evil rules over ignorance, bad things happen…

Forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan works in Charlotte, North Carolina. In the beginning of this book, she’s approached by amateur detective Hazel “Lucky” Strike about an anonymous case in her office. Hazel’s convinced that bones found at a scenic overlook several years earlier are from missing local girl Cora Teague, and she’s found new evidence at the site–damning evidence–that she wants to share with Temperance. It’s a recorder with a terrified young woman’s voice  whispering desperately for help–with what sounds like several men in the background coming for her.

Problem is, Cora’s parents haven’t reported her missing. They’re part of an extreme Christian church, and they adamantly believe that she’s evil and has run off with a man. But Hazel’s discovery suggests a much more sinister and violent end to Cora’s disappearance.

When Temperance starts investigating, things get ugly fast. The people in the church and in Cora’s family are less than helpful, and as threats increase and the body count rises, Temperance begins to think maybe Cora isn’t the only one in danger–and she’s right. Scary things happen in those mountains in the dark!

This book was very twisty and complicated, and the main character’s mind was very funny–self-deprecating and intelligent. The author was able to explain complex concepts well and kept me involved in the story well beyond where I thought I’d want to go or even be interested in going. Squeamish details were handled with efficiency and tact, with no gratuitous detail. I think since this is a later book in the series, I missed a lot of the personal relationship details by not having read the earlier ones–but my ability to follow the case wasn’t marred at all. I personally wasn’t able to take the last leap the book took–otherwise, I really thought it was an excellent detective mystery with subtle nuances and human relationships that were realistic and interesting. Thanks for the great read!

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