by Kathy Reichs
Category: Crime, Mystery & Thrillers / Crime & Mysteries
Publication date: 1 March 2003
Number of pages: 448
Guatemala, in the searing heat. The bones of a child no more than two years old are uncovered when mass graves are excavated. Twenty-three women and children are said to lie where forensic anthropologist Dr Temperance Brennan is searching for remains, in what is one of the most heartbreaking cases of her career. Then four young girls go missing from Guatemala City...And when a skeleton is found in a septic tank at the back of a run down hotel, only someone with Tempe's expertise can deduce who the victim was and how they died. But her path is blocked: it appears that some people would prefer that Guatemala's 'dsappeared' stayed buried. And others seem to want the missing girls kept the same way...
Dr Temperance Brennan is a forensic archaeologist working in Guatemala on the graves of victims of past military regimes. Her important work is interrupted by a local investigation into the disappearance of four young girls, but as she is reluctantly dragged into this new mire, another archaeologist is murdered and she realizes that she may be next. Brennan is a fine central character, expert but vulnerable, clued up but unsure of herself with a new colleague whom she can't help finding attractive. Reichs's writing is of the spare procedural variety familiar to fans of the genre, pacey and eager to let the reader paint in the details while she gets on with outlining the next move. The wider characterization is less accomplished - Guatemalans seem largely made up of simple peasant folk (good, but with a tendency to be victims) and corrupt officials (bad, murderous and on the make). But there's a couple of good, honest, sexy, cops both in Quebec (Brennan's home patch) and Guatemala who threaten to skew her judgement. Reichs's fans (of whom there are many) will love this novel. (Kirkus UK)
What the papers say:
'Compared with Patricia Cornwell, Reichs is actually in a different league' Sunday Times
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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