Kathy Reichs' Dr. Tempe Brennan is, in Bare Bones, once again buried up to her neck in dead bodies and intriguing cases. The book begins with Brennan back home in Charlotte, North Carolina, investigating the charred remains of a newborn. Brennanís nemesis, Detective Slidell, strongly suspects the teenaged motherís involvement in this, but Tempe feels there is more to this case than meets the eye. Then Tempeís daughter forcibly takes her to a picnic, and their hyperactive dog Boyd makes a foul discovery. This is the last thing Tempe needs as her long-awaited weekend with possible lover, the too-handsome officer from Quebec Andrew Ryan, is almost about to begin. A plane crash and two dead bodies further complicate the life of this already overworked medical examiner.
As more mysteries pop up out of the blue, Tempeís mind reels as she sees a vague link connecting them all. The only trouble with her theory is that the missing links are all corpses -- headless in some cases, bodyless in others. A persistent Tempe and other hard-working detectives pursue various leads, coming closer and closer to finding a disturbing truth. The bad people are getting antsy, and they have Tempe and her family firmly in their sights. Will personal risk make Tempe desist, as the evildoers want her to?
In typical Reichsí style, the narrative of Bare Bones is skillfully woven with moments of tender romance as well as grisly medical details. There are many complicated facets to this story and more than one corpse, each with a mystery of its own for Tempe to solve. How Reichs links them all together is evidence of her skill as a writer and makes for compelling reading. Taut, suspenseful and chock-full of authentic medical details, Bare Bones is a must-read.