Speaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs
(advance copy provided by NetGalley)
Temperance Brennan is again in the middle of a pickle of a case. She’s also up against the wall in making decisions in her personal life. But there’s nothing like a new case to distract her from real life.
Brennan is contacted by Hazel Strike (“Lucky”) an amateur cold case sleuth who uses the internet to mine cases and who believes she solved a cold case and thinks the victim’s bones are in Brennan’s lab. Cora Teague has been missing for three years and Hazel is convinced she was murdered and she has a tape recording to prove it. But Brennan needs more than that. She needs bones, evidence, a body would be good.
Brennan finds herself dealing with an extremist religious group protected by a defrocked Catholic priest. The clues take Brennan deep into the Appalachian backwoods where she finds body parts scattered over three sites. All indications are these parts belong to Cora but then there’s another story twist and another and another that take us (and Brennan) back and forth like a winding mountain road with unanswered questions. There’s the fundamentalist family shielded by the priest, there’s a dead brother, a dead baby, a dead pet.
True to form, Kathy Reichs doesn’t let us rest till it’s all over. Including Brennan’s response to her Andrew Ryan’s marriage proposal.