by Kathy Reichs
Category: Crime, Mystery & Thrillers / Crime & Mysteries
Publication date: 30 March 2002
Number of pages: 464
A plane crashes high in the mountains of North Carolina. But a severed foot is discovered a good distance from the main crash site... Forensic anthropologist Dr Temperance Brennan is first on the scene. The task that confronts her is a sad and sickening one, and her investigation seems to be throwing up more questions than it answers.
Called to the scene of a major airplane crash, forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan's preliminary investigations put her on the trail of another mystery when she literally stumbles upon a severed foot that does not appear to belong to any of the passengers. Before she can make any real progress with either case, however, her life is disrupted by false accusations of malpractice, which lead to her suspension. Even worse, she cannot get in touch with her daughter, Katy, and has reason to believe she might have been on the ill-fated plane. Set in the forested mountains of North Carolina, as summer turns to autumn, Fatal Voyage is packed with detail of the physical landscape at the disaster scene and its surrounding environment, which effectively highlights the twists and turns of this intricately plotted thriller. This is not another formula crime novel: Reichs's heroine is fittingly moved by the trauma she witnesses, and never loses sight of the humanity of the victims whose untimely deaths she investigates. (Kirkus UK)
What the papers say:
Once again forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan is thrust into the centre of the action. This time set in America rather than Canada, the story focuses on a catastrophic plane crash. Caught travelling to a lecture, Tempe has to divert to the crash scene and report for business. Treading her way through the fragments of the crash site and what were once human beings, she strives to bring names to the remains to ease the victims families pain. During a respite from the traumatic findings she comes across a severed foot which she initially assumes comes from the crash. However, tests back at the morgue reveal the foot pre-dates the crash and opens up a whole can of worms for both Tempe and the people who want the matter hidden.. And so begins a story of secret societies, missing persons and forest hideaways, political intrigue and personal vendettas. Intermingled with the enquiry into the plane crash, the two stories twist and turn till the climactic ending in true Reich style. Tempe's complicated personal life simmers in the background, giving a human side to this gently self-mocking, professional woman. Reich's spine-tingling tension eventually emerges, with a tight, expert finish that will keep the reader both enthralled and in suspense till the final page. Written with Reich's personal experience of forensic pathology, the story is given the ring of veracity which makes this an even more compelling read. - Lucy Watson
Kathy Reichs is forensic anthropologist for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, State of North Carolina, and for the Laboratorie de Sciences Judiciaires et de Medecine Legale for the province of Quebec. She is one of only fifty-six forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Antrhopology, and served on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. A professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Dr Reichs is a native of Chicago, hwere she received her Ph.D at Northwestern. She divides her time between Charlotte and Montreal, and is a frequent expert witness in criminal trials.
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