I had rather lost track of author Kathy Reichs's Temperance Brennan series, so I leaped at the opportunity to read and review Bones Never Lie, the 17th in this series, which many consider the equal of Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta books. Tempe is a forensic anthropologist who divides her time between Montreal and North Carolina, where her mother still lives. In the opening of this book, Tempe's Montreal partner and sometime lover, Andrew Ryan, has taken an extended leave and dropped completely out of sight after the death of his teenage daughter from a drug overdose. The police in North Carolina desperately want his expertise and experience to help catch a serial killer who had previously eluded arrest in Montreal, so Tempe's first assignment is to track down Ryan and persuade him to return to duty.
The suspense tightens and the case expands, as unsolved disappearances of young girls throughout the eastern US and Canada seem tied to the current investigation. The author is very good at ratcheting up the suspense gradually in her books, and this one is no exception.
The team navigates its way through a variety of competing and sometimes grudging jurisdictions, until a surprisingly sticky twist that I will dream of for awhile turns the case on its head. Then a young friend who dog sits for Tempe in Charlotte disappears, and the case becomes both urgent and personal.
It will be interesting to see how––or if––Tempe's personal relationship with her partner develops after his tragedy. Her mother is a charming addition; I'd love to see Mama's new computer research skills featured in upcoming books. The series had become less suspenseful and, frankly, somewhat depressing in recent years, but Reichs is back on form in this one. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys forensics thrillers.
Note: I received a free review copy of Bones Never Lie, which will be released by Bantam/Random House on September 23, 2014.