If you’re a mystery fan, and you’re not familiar with the Bones series, you should give it a try. Kathy Reichs writes the books on which the TV series Bones is based, and each of the books now has the word Bones in the title. (An excellent example of branding!) The TV series story has veered away from the characters in the books, and I have to admit I’ve only watched the show a handful of times. But the books are solid and I enjoy them greatly.
The main character, Temperance Brennan, is a forensic anthropologist – a specialist in old bones. She works with the police when a body is discovered that needs identification, or from which clues can be discovered about the identity of the killer. She often gets caught up herself in the hunt. Her police partner is Andrew Ryan, a homicide detective, with whom she’s had a relationship in the past and to whom she is still very attracted.
In Bones Are Forever, the bones that are discovered are of three newborns. The mother, a prostitute, is most likely the killer, but she seems to be on the run from – who? The father of the babies? Her pimp? Brennan and Ryan follow her to her home town in the Northwest Territories, a remote area of northern Canada populated mostly by First Nations descendants. The search for the mother of the babies leads Brennan and Ryan first to a pair of warring drug dealers, then to an environmentalist with a secret, then to a fourth dead baby. When they finally find the mother, she is not at all what they expect, and she isn’t running for the reasons they thought.
Bones Are Forever is a typical Bones book, and that’s a good thing. It has a twisty plot, interesting characters, and just enough autopsy-room action for us CSI fans. This Bones book contains a bonus: along the way, I learned much more than I knew before about Canada’s Northwest Territories and the people that live there. Did you know that Canada has diamond mines? I sure didn’t.
If you haven’t read any of the books in this series, it doesn’t matter. The characters carry through, but each story is a standalone. I can definitely recommend that you start with this one.