24 February 2020

A Conspiracy of Bones / Kathy Reichs

In attempting to determine a faceless man's identity and cause of death, forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan comes across several cold cases of missing and abducted children and is drawn into the world of the Dark Web, conspiracy theories and underground bunkers. Aside from her accustomed allies, Andrew Ryan and Skinny Slidell, she joins forces with an unlikely sidekick: her mother.

When Kathy Reichs' debut novel Déjà Dead was released in 1997, it felt like a breath of fresh air. By telling a crime story from a point of view that had been little exploited at that time, seamlessly inserting complex scientific contents into a dramatic setting, and by transcribing her main character's disconnected, meandering inner dialogue onto the page in a relatable way, Reichs had found her own unique voice.

Alas, after the first few novels, it became all too obvious that this voice had morphed into a rigid template, turning each publication into a parody of itself...

So, in A Conspiracy of Bones, Tempe does it again: stumbling into a mystery, poking her nose in other people's business, facing challenges in her personal and professional lives, disregarding common-sense precautions, getting attacked, etc. Whether this constitutes a positive or a negative depends on your degree of tolerance for formulaic writing. Unfortunately, my own patience ran out around book #6 in this series. These ingredients made our early adventures alongside Tempe unexpected delights — but this dish has been warmed over a few too many times.

I was provided with a free electronic copy of this book through NetGalley by the publisher, Simon & Schuster, in exchange for an honest review.

rating: **

This novel will be released on March 17, 2020.

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