Book Review: 206 Bones by Kathy Riechs

Author Kathy Reichs created the character Temperance Brennan and is the inspiration behind the TV show Bones.  Fans looking for those same characters of the Jeffersonian Institute crew are going to be a bit disappointed.  There is a witty detective that resembles Seely Booth but he’s called Ryan.  And that is pretty much all that this book has in common with the show.

The story is written as a flashback…which sort of works…mostly.There are just a handful of chapters written in ‘real time.’ So few that I wonder why it was used.  Maybe Reichs was bored and wanted the challenge?  Personally, I am not a fan of the flashback.  Just tell the story.  But this one works with only a few hiccups.  The biggest one being in how the book ends.

The story itself is good.  Multiple murders that somehow are connected.  Great science and good detective work.  It is a quick read and entertaining but not something that I would read again.  I’m even debating recommending it at all.

Spoiler Alert:

It’s not exactly a family-friendly book.  Language and situations are adult.   So it’s definitely a PG-13 read.

The larger issue is that it felt like the book was written with an agenda for the science community.  In short: there needs to be a board process for forensic professionals because so many people are being wrongly incarcerated.  I appreciate the passion.  I’m just not convinced that those who need to hear that message are sitting down to read Kathy Reichs’ books.  I also think that this agenda got in the way of telling a better story and being a better read.

Lastly, the ending is a huge letdown.  Instead of this big reveal, we get the clouded memories of Tempe.  We get told what happens by Ryan in a hospital room.  Very stoic and matter of fact.  Reichs spends hundreds of pages setting up this great story and then blows the delivery of the conclusion.  Very, very anticlimactic and it all means that if they had board certified forensic professionals – all of this could have been avoided.

I love the show and it’s obvious that Reichs can write but this one did not deliver the goods.  Not sure if I will pick up another one.

No promotional considerations were given for this review.  I bought this book myself.

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