Monday, June 14, 2010

Devil Bones Reveals Tempe's Vulnerable Side

I've been reading the entire Tempe Brennan series for the past few months, and sadly I've almost finished. Over the weekend, I read the eleventh (and next-to-last in the series thus far) book in the series. At this point, I have only one book left... But it's actually perfect timing, because Kathy Reichs will release another Tempe book in August. So one left to enjoy, and then a new book to read soon.

Devil Bones is the book Reichs has been leading up to with all of her other books. Reichs stated in a Q&A section at the end of the novel that her hope is that Tempe is both a professional with a depth of knowledge and an approachable character with whom readers feel a connection. She accomplishes this in various ways -- Tempe's constant romantic struggles, her unwavering devotion to her job, her alcoholism, and her conflicts with and love for her daughter. In Devil Bones Tempe finds herself in situations which address all of these real, human struggles.

While Tempe is in Charlotte for the fall UNCC semester, a plumber finds a gruesome discovery in a local basement. The organization and placement of the bones found are reminiscent of rituals, possibly from the fringe religion Santeria. Although the house has been empty for some time and is undergoing renovations by the new owners, Tempe and police investigators Slidell and Rinaldi soon find that the former tenant was a Santero, or healer. When two separate bodies turn up with signs of Satanism present in the killings, the team is led to investigate a local Wiccan man. The murders and bone discoveries, along with the possibility of them being linked to Satanism, stir up a political storm unlike anything Tempe has faced. Her temper flares, with disastrous results. To complicate matters, Andrew Ryan enters into the picture all the way from Montreal, and an old flame returns through Tempe's daughter Katy. Tempe is tempted more than ever by the warmth and numbing effect of alcohol, and for the first time we see her fail in her attempt to refrain from drinking.

Definitely one of Reichs's best entries in the Tempe series, the book also gained fame for being more than a good piece of literature. United Kingdom man Roshan Dantis cited the novel as inspiration for a murder he committed. In fact, Dantis renewed his library copy of the book just after murdering his friend's wife. In a statement about the murder and the claim that her book had anything to do with Dantis's actions, Reichs denied such a connection.


  1. I have read one book in this series. I can't remember which one now. It was enjoyable, but I haven't gotten back to any of the others. You make me want to start at the beginning. 12 books seem manageable when some seroes have so many books. Looks like i should start now if I want to catch up.

  2. You definitely should -- I am an OCD series reader (have to read them in order), but honestly there are books in this series that you could skip if you really didn't like them. I actually didn't finish Cross Bones because I simply didn't enjoy it. The others are fantastic, though!



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