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Bare Bones: A Novel (Reichs, Kathy) Hardcover – July 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Series: Reichs, Kathy
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; First Edition edition (July 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743233468
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743233460
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #443,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"As I was packaging what remained of the dead baby, the man I would kill was burning pavement north toward Charlotte."

With this opening sentence, Kathy Reichs serves notice that her heroine, Temperance Brennan, is in for one of her scariest, most gruesome adventures yet. As fans of this popular series already know, Tempe is a forensic anthropologist: an expert in the human form (especially bones) who helps solve crimes. The abovementioned infant is only the first in a series of grisly remains, both human and animal, that Tempe must sort through and decode. Meanwhile, as several seemingly unrelated cases begin to intertwine, her sleuthing puts her in the crosshairs of a very nasty stalker who hides behind an e-mail alias.

Reichs knows how to keep the narrative ball rolling with a canny mix of plot developments, character delineation, and scientific detail, all relayed in Tempe's smart, breezy, sarcastic voice. In fact, Bare Bones has a few too many characters and plot lines for Reichs--or most readers--to keep perfect track of. But it's a fun ride anyway, enlivened by some steamy romantic scenes and some fascinating, appalling information about the illicit trade in endangered wildlife (did you know that bears' gall bladders fetch more money per ounce than cocaine?). Bare Bones is a crisp, enjoyable read that cements Kathy Reichs's standing as the best forensic-thriller writer at work today. --Nicholas H. Allison

From Publishers Weekly

Feisty forensic anthropologist Temperance (Tempe) Brennan is supposed to be on vacation, but body parts keep turning up. At the start of her sixth adventure, she's awaiting the arrival of her current flame, Quebecois sleuth Andrew Ryan, so she can head for the beach near her hometown of Charlotte, N.C. Before he shows up, she's called in to use her world-class forensics skills when a local janitor's infant granddaughter is found dead and charred in an oven. Then some strange, decomposing remains (" `Human?' `I'm not sure' ") are discovered by Brennan's dog during a barbecue at a local lakeside resort. Ryan finally arrives, but Brennan's vacation is indefinitely put on hold when a small plane crashes nearby. Two people are dead, and her expertise is required yet again ("The skull had suffered massive communitive fracturing on impact. The fire had done the rest"). Brennan eventually realizes that all three cases are linked to a drug-smuggling ring that also dabbles in poaching exotic animals. As she pursues her investigations, she is forced to work with "Skinny" Slidell, a redneck cop who rubs her the wrong way, but tension is defused by the presence of Ryan, who gamely gives up his vacation to pitch in. He matches Brennan quip for quip, and Tempe's dog, Boyd, provides extra comic relief. Reichs has built a reputation on cut-to-the-chase writing and swift plotting, and this latest effort delivers everything her fans have come to expect.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

Very good book, with twists and turns...interesting and hard to put down once into the plot.
Ms Melon
This book is terribly laid out, with many incomplete or all too conveniently wrapped up plot twist options, with little tie together and wrap up.
Thomas C. Neal
This is the third book I've read in the Temperance Brennan series and I just ordered 3 more.
Music Lover in Omaha

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is another of Kathy Reichs painstakingly plotted stories about Dr. Temperance Brennan, who like the author, manages to be a forensic anthropologist practicing in both Montreal and Charlotte, North Carolina. This time Brennan is in Charlotte, coping with a burnt newborn infant, an unusual plane crash, bones in the privy, and a whole host of other misadventures that spell trouble no matter how you arrange them. To make things more complicated, Brennan is spending time with Andrew Ryan, a detective with the Montreal police. And lest I forget, Katy, her daughter is in love, and Temperance isn't sure if it's her intuition or mother hen instincts, but she is not completely sure of the suitor.
Typical of Reichs, she gradually weaves these disparate threads together into a tightly linked whole, climaxing in an ending which isn't completely surprising, but which takes the reader through a bit of a rollercoaster rider on the way to the conclusion. Also typical of the writer, there are countless tiny forensic details to distract, baffle, and, eventually, illuminate the reader. Of course, people who read forensic mystery stories dote on details, and Temperance Brennan seems to have a library full of unusual information
This story has a bit more action in it than is the norm for Reichs. It is so complicated that Brennan is perpetually changing scenes and crimes. The effect is to make the story interesting, although just a mite too hard to follow. The advancing love interest gives the tale an interesting spin. Her feelings for Ryan have never been particularly secret, but they come pretty much out of the closet in this story.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By N. Lee on July 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I found Bare Bones to be a quick and easy summer read. Enough action and plot to keep me decently interested and some interesting information along the way.

My two major sticking points, and minor one, are the incessant product placement (Diet Coke, Sam Adams, Diet Coke, Fig Newtons, Diet Coke, Heineken, Diet Coke... did I mention Diet Coke?) and the chapter-long environmentalist soap box that is the final chapter. Yes, poaching is bad. Using endangered species for profit is bad. We got that in the main body of the story, Reichs should have rethought the overkill (pun intended).

Also, a lot of readers have mentioned how whiny Tempe is and I must concur. Yet another comparison that can be made between Tempe and Scarpetta (of Pat Cornwell's novels). Not as bad in Bare Bones, but it was definitely there. And Ryan's cowboy act has GOT to GO.

Despite my criticisms, Bare Bones is a pretty fun read, with interesting characters and some nice witty moments. Reichs knows her stuff, and if sometimes it comes off a little textbook-ish (as one reviewer complained) it's only because she wishes more people really knew the real work that anthropologists and law enforcement officers do -- not just what's on TV. I'm looking forward to settling in with another Reichs novel soon.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Like others, I found too many characters, sub-plots, and confusing detail to be able to get engrossed. I suspect the author did too, as she twice resorted to having her characters review the situation thus far, on one occasion, having Tempe write a character and event list - a device I found clumsy. Disappointingly she also seemed to end several chapters with a line that set the scene for an exciting big "event" to apparently immediately follow - that didn't. Well, not until later, by then too late, and a bit disappointing. The author also over uses the "eye rolling" lines - they are in almost every other chapter. Finally, the end rant was overkill (excuse the pun). As another reviewer suggested, it would have been better confined to an epilogue. I did however, very much like her descriptions of the dog, Boyd/Hooch, I thought those very funny, well observed, and uncontrived. Full of worthy aspirations, sorry to say I found this book quite a disappointing addition to an otherwise first class, enjoyable series.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sheri Melnick on July 21, 2003
Format: Hardcover
In her sixth Temperance Brennan novel, art once again imitates life as Kathy Reichs writes about forensic anthropologist Brennan, who, like Reichs, is employed in North Carolina and Quebec. When Tempe goes to a picnic near Charlotte, North Carolina with her college-aged daughter Katy, Boyd, Tempe's estranged husband's dog, digs up skeletal remains. With the discovery of human bones amidst bear remains, Tempe's anticipated vacation with Montreal detective Andrew Ryan, comes to a sudden halt.
With the beach trip on the back burner, Ryan joins Tempe, as she investigates the burned remains of the baby belonging to a drug dealer's girlfriend, a fiery plane crash, and more bear and human remains in a latrine pit near Boyd's initial skeletal discovery. While the various investigative sites seem unrelated, Tempe's intuition tells her that they are all somehow connected, as she comes across a complex weave of drug trafficking and illegal exporting of animal parts.
Ms. Reichs' technical knowledge of forensic anthropology adds fascinating information to this novel chock full of murder, mystery, and a dash of romance. With so many twist and turns and death threats against Tempe, this novel is a sure winner with fans who want a no-holds barred suspenseful mystery.
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More About the Author


Kathy Reichs, like her fictional creation, Temperance Brennan, is forensic anthropologist for the province of Quebec. She is Vice President of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, serves on the Canadian National Police Services Advisory Council, and is one of only fifty-six forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. A professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Dr. Reichs now divides her time between Charlotte and Montreal. Deja Dead, her debut novel, brought her fame when it became a New York Times bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. In 2007 Break No Bones was short- listed for the Ellis Award for Best Novel. Kathy Reichs is the inspiration for the television drama Bones; her latest novel featuring Temperance Brennan is Devil Bones. Her newest release, 206 Bones, is due out in the summer of 2009


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