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Break No Bones: A Novel (Temperance Brennan Novels) Hardcover – July 11, 2006


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Product Details

  • Series: Temperance Brennan Novels
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; First Edition edition (July 11, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743233492
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743233491
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (177 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #658,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The success of the Fox TV show Bones, based on bestseller Reichs's series featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan (Cross Bones, etc.), bodes well for this latest installment, in which Brennan once again stumbles on a modern-day mystery inadvertently. While supervising a dig of Native American burial grounds in Charleston, S.C., Brennan finds more recent remains. Soon, her ex-husband, who's a lawyer, appears in town, pursuing leads in a missing persons case connected with a local church. Bodies start piling up at an alarming rate, and Brennan begins to suspect that the deaths are linked to each other—and her ex-husband's inquiry. Reichs's down-to-earth heroine is an appealing creation, who deftly juggles personal problems with professional challenges. Despite the somewhat obvious solution, this novel confirms the series' place in the front rank of the ever-expanding forensic thriller subgenre. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In this ninth in the popular series, forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan is spending two weeks in May on Dewees, a barrier island north of Charleston, South Carolina, where she is leading a student excavation of a prehistoric site when one of the bodies they find isn't so ancient. After reporting her find to her friend Emma Rousseau, coroner at the Charleston County Coroner's Office, Tempe learns that Emma is ill and unable to investigate; so Tempe fills in for her as a consultant. When another body is found in a different location, the forensic examination of the bones shows a similarity in the manner of death. As Tempe investigates further, another body turns up, leading her to a horrifying conclusion about the motive for these deaths. Complicating matters, Tempe's estranged husband moves into the house she has borrowed, and her boyfriend arrives unexpectedly from Montreal. Tempe must work through her ambivalence about divorcing her unfaithful husband, for whom she still has feelings, but she also cares for her boyfriend. Readers who enjoy Patricia Cornwell's mysteries will appreciate the forensic detail here, and more character-oriented readers will respond to Reichs' likable and well-developed cast, from the local sheriff to Tempe herself, a dedicated woman who feels compelled to provide justice for those who can no longer speak for themselves. An engrossing entry in a widely read series. Sue O'Brien
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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

Customer Reviews

Another well written and great story line book written by Kathy Reichs.
Rhea
The characters were flat, there was little tension in the story line, and the ending felt like the author was rushing to meet an editor's deadline.
Bergsteigerin
This is the first Tempe book I have read, but I will go back and read the earlier ones now.
Renee Shields

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
While Kathy Reichs' work bears undeniable similarities to Patricia Cornwell's, it is quite clear that Reichs has managed to find a balance between the private life of Tempe Brennan and Brennan's career as a forensic anthropologist serving in Quebec and North Carolina. Which means that the reader spends less time thinking about the heroine's propensity for dysfunctional relationships and more time enjoying a plot in which forensic detection plays a major role. Indeed, Brennan's relationships aren't particularly dysfunctional, just complicated. Which is a relief sometimes.

When an instructor heads for greener pastures, Tempe is asked to teach a field school in South Carolina. It's a very dull dig that has earned the antagonism of the builder who is impatient to develop the area. But other than that, the burial site is interesting, but not remarkable. Until, that is, one of the bodies found turns out to be much more recent. Her arms slightly twisted by an old friend, the archeologist consents to handle the case, which presents several unusual features, but no real clues. But the body count begins to mount, and the mysterious deaths point to something more than normally sinister.

On the personal side, Tempe's life is equally tempestuous. She had planned to have Ryan, her lover, show up to enjoy some time in the Carolinas, but the sudden appearance of her ex-husband complicates matters by no small amount. Ryan has realized that Tempe is avoiding any real commitment and Tempe discovers that her feelings for her ex-husband Pete are conflicted. When Pete is shot Tempe becomes completely distracted by her reaction. So not only is the trio going through a rough period, but Tempe comes dangerously close to missing the trail of a deadly killer.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Ben F. Small on July 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Little did Temperance Brennan realize when she led a student archaelogy class on an ancient Native American dig on an island off Charlesston, SC, that she was going to unearth more recent remains. Bugs, shells and the smell of death. Then another body is found, this one hanging headless in the woods. But both bodies bear the same strange marks.Tempe's asked by the coroner, a sick friend, to assist a county sheriff, a hard-boiled good ole boy no doubt last seen sweating Paul Neuman in "Cool Hand Luke." Convincing this sheriff that these cases are murder and that there are likely more bodies to be found will be no small task.

Enter Andrew Ryan and Tempe's estranged husband Pete, who are all bunking together in a friend's beach house. No three-way here. Just taunting, teasing and a desperate need for Valium.

But this is no Tempe-in-trouble-Ryan-to-the-rescue formulaic treatment. Ryan plays a bit role, actually more of a foil for Pete than a white knight for Tempe. And it's a nice twist.

For Tempe's got her hands full uncovering a pattern of crimes so horrific Anderson Cooper would slobber all over himself.

This is a return to Kathy Reichs at her best. The plotting is intricate and thorough, the pace whirlwind and the style less clipped than her last two books. And the characters are better developed. From Tempe herself; to Emma, her sick friend; to the county sheriff, and especially Pete, these characters are full and real. Even the dog is a well rounded character. I, for one, am celebrating that Kathy Reichs is back. Keep it up Kathy; you're best in class.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By frumiousb VINE VOICE on March 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I had kind of given up on Kathy Reichs after her first few books. Although I liked the forensic element in the novels, I tended to find her writing formulaic and a little bit reductive in terms of characters. I decided to give her books another go after becoming addicted to the television show Bones.

There were some pleasant surprises for me in Break No Bones. Reichs has clearly developed her feel for character since the first two books. I didn't love the oh-too-cute two men in one house routine, but still-- Tempe and her beaus are well-rounded and there was a lot of even believable dialogue.

The plot left me a little bit cold. It irritated me a little bit that even though Reichs has a main character who has an excuse to be digging up bodies she still needed to have her accidentally find a corpse. It doesn't stretch likelihood so much as rip it to shreds.

Anyhow, it was not too bad. Recommended if you like forensic mysteries but simply cannot stomach any more Scarpetta.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia K. Robertson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I have always enjoyed being on vacation and reading a novel set in my vacation destination. So it was only natural that I devoured Break No Bones by Kathy Reichs, written about the low country of Charleston, South Carolina.

Temperance Brennan is a forensic anthropologist who sidelights as a professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She takes a group of students to Dewees Island for a two week field course. Their goal is to excavate several Indian burial mounds before the area is to be developed. In the course of their digging, they uncover remains that were buried within the last five years. Brennan is friends with the Charleston County coroner, Emma Rousseau, but Rousseau reveals that she's very ill and asks for Brennan's assistance with the autopsy. Brenna finds disturbing marks on the skeleton. Several unrelated remains are later discovered in other locations with the same marks, and Brennan starts looking for the common denominator.

Reichs is knowledgeable about the low country. Charleston is a very charming city, but not without some warts. She knows not only the Holy City, but also, the surrounding areas--which she makes liberal use of in Break No Bones. Reichs also provides an interesting personal triangle. Brennan has started an affair with Canadian Inspector Andrew Ryan in previous books, despite the fact that she is not yet divorced from her handsome but unfaithful husband, Peter. But the circumstances in Break No Bones will make Brennan question her choices.

One of the things I like most about Reichs' writing is her knowledge of forensic anthropology. In Break No Bones, Brennan gives the reason for her career choice. "In my view, death in anonymity is the ultimate insult to human dignity....
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