cover image Cold, Cold Bones: A Temperance Brennan Novel

Cold, Cold Bones: A Temperance Brennan Novel

Kathy Reichs. Scribner, $27.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-9821-9002-6

At the start of bestseller Reichs’s elaborately plotted 21st Temperance Brennan novel (after 2021’s The Bone Code), the forensic anthropologist finds a package on her doorstep in Charlotte, N.C., containing a human eyeball “impaled like a bug on a pin.” Her search to discover its provenance leads her to an abandoned outhouse on the campus of Belmont Abbey College, where a body matching the DNA of the eye is found. Other victims turn up, each in macabre circumstances. “Some psycho is imitating my old cases,” Brennan observes, and the killer’s violence is escalating. Brennan’s boyfriend, Andrew Ryan, a former Quebec homicide detective turned PI, shows up to help with the investigation. Meanwhile, Brennan’s daughter, Katy, honorably discharged from the Army after two stints in Afghanistan, has returned to Charlotte and is finding her way back into civilian life. Jim-dandy details about autopsies and the significance of bones compensate in part for a plot with too much rehashing of old cases and Brennan too often rushing into dangerous situations without calling for backup. Established fans will enjoy spending time with old friends. Agent: Deneen Howell, Williams & Connolly. (July)