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Cut to the Bone: A Body Farm Novel Hardcover – September 24, 2013

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Cut to the Bone: A Body Farm Novel + Jordan's Stormy Banks: A Body Farm Novella + The Inquisitor's Key (Body Farm)
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Product Details

  • Series: Body Farm Novel (Book 8)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (September 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062262300
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062262301
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (330 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

In this long-awaited prequel to his New York Times bestselling series, Jefferson Bass turns the clock back to reveal the Body Farm's creation—and Dr. Bill Brockton's deadly duel with a serial killer

In the summer of 1992, Arkansas governor Bill Clinton and Tennessee senator Al Gore begin their long-shot campaign to win the White House. On a sweltering hillside in Knoxville, Dr. Bill Brockton, the bright, ambitious young head of the University of Tennessee's Anthropology Department, launches an unusual—some would call it macabre—research facility, unlike any other in existence. Brockton is determined to revolutionize the study of forensics to help law enforcement solve homicides. But the scientist's plans are derailed by a chilling murder that leaves him reeling from a sense of déjà vu. Followed by another. And then another: bodies that bear an eerie resemblance to cases from Brockton's past.

The police chalk up the first corpse to coincidence. But as the body count rises, the victims' fatal injuries grow more and more distinctive—a spiral of death that holds dark implications for Brockton himself. If the killer isn't found quickly, the death toll could be staggering. And the list of victims could include Brockton . . . and everyone he holds dear.

About the Author

Jefferson Bass is the writing team of Jon Jefferson and Dr. Bill Bass. Dr. Bass, a world-renowned forensic anthropologist, is the creator of the University of Tennessee's Anthropology Research Facility, widely known as the Body Farm. He is the author or coauthor of more than two hundred scientific publications, as well as a critically acclaimed memoir about his career at the Body Farm, Death's Acre. Dr. Bass is also a dedicated teacher, honored as U.S. Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Jon Jefferson is a veteran journalist, writer, and documentary filmmaker. His writings have been published in the New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today, and Popular Science and broadcast on National Public Radio. The coauthor of Death's Acre, he is also the writer and producer of two highly rated National Geographic documentaries about the Body Farm.

More About the Author

Jefferson Bass is the writing team of Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson. Together, they wrote Death's Acre, a nonfiction account of the Body Farm, before tackling forensic under the pen name of Jefferson Bass. Their debut novel, Carved in Bone, reached # 25 on The New York Times Best Seller list and was followed by Flesh and Bone, The Devil's Bones, and a second nonfiction title, Beyond the Body Farm. Of the six Body Farm novels already in print, five have been New York Times bestsellers. Their seventh novel, "The Inquisitor's Key," comes out May 8, 2012.

Jefferson and Bass bring their own unique set of strengths to the partnership. Dr. Bass, the duo's scientific expert, is a legend in forensic circles. In 1980 he created the world's first laboratory devoted to human decomposition: the University of Tennessee's "Body Farm." Dr. Bass has authored or coauthored more than 200 scientific publications, most of them based on the research facility's work. During half a century in the classroom, Dr. Bass taught tens of thousands of students, including many of the foremost forensic anthropologists practicing in the United States today. He's been featured on numerous network television news programs, as well as in documentaries for National Geographic and the BBC. CBS was not exaggerating when it called Dr. Bass "America 's top forensic scientist."

Jon Jefferson, the "writer" half of Jefferson Bass, is a veteran journalist, science writer, and documentary filmmaker. His journalism credits include work for The New York Times, National Public Radio, Newsweek, and USA Today. Jefferson learned the art of combining scientific material with compelling human stories during a decade as a science writer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In the 1990s he began writing and producing television documentaries, mainly for the History Channel and the Arts and Entertainment Network, covering topics ranging from World War II fighter planes to ancient art treasures at the Vatican. While making a two-hour A&E special about the Vatican in 1998, Jefferson first visited Avignon; thirteen years later, he returned to Avignon to research the richly layered new Body Farm novel, The Inquisitor's Key. The Jefferson-Bass collaboration began in 2001, when Jefferson wrote and produced two National Geographic documentaries about the Body Farm--films that earned high rating around the world. The rest, as they say, is history--or, in this case, memoir and crime fiction!

Customer Reviews

It's story is based on facts but it is a fictional story.
I would recommend this book to any one who likes misteris.he is one of the best authors I have read.
Montie Hopkins
The story was very good with all the twists and turns, keeping the reader excited.
ron kiser

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By C_Whitworth on September 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Prediction: You will either read this novel in one sitting, or its mysteries and creepy characters will call out to you throughout the day until, at last, you sit down to read once more. That's how masterfully plotted/paced/developed the story & characters & conundrums of this Body Farm novel are, in my opinion.

The hero, Dr. Bill Brockton, has more to lose in this story than in any of the preceding novels, and Bass seems to enjoy tightening the screws on the affable forensic anthropologist. The villain in this story, on the other hand, is at once sympathetic and utterly disturbing, and Bass shows the world through the killer's prism of understanding in a way that left me feeling like I needed a shower. Without overdoing it, though. By leaving some of the gore and violence to my imagination, Bass effectively reeled me in, line by line, word by word, saving the most explosive material for the ending.

While it's the prequel fans of Bass's seven Body Farm novels have been patiently waiting for, "Cut to the Bone" is also a perfect introduction for a first-time reader of the series. What's fun about that? After reading this novel, you'll have a good few months' worth of reading material to keep you satisfied. I'm actually rereading "Carved in Bone" now.

Who should read this novel? You should -- if you're a fan of shows like Bones & CSI and the novels of Kathy Reichs; if you're interested in forensic anthropology, the Body Farm, serial killer/whodunit/fast-paced/well-written stories.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Phyllida Howe on October 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am devoted to the "Body Farm" novels for many reasons. The forensic tracking of criminals is, on its own, fascinating. Taking fact and weaving it into fiction is not easy, and "Jefferson Bass", the pseudonym for the main writer and the real "Bone doctor" does it spectacularly well. The science drives the plot, but the humanity and complex interactions of the characters make the story. As the prequel to the entire series, "Cut to the Bone" reflects the maturation of the writing coupled with an important groundwork laid about the main characters' motives and choices. It is absolutely hair-raising as a serial killer murders women as a method of revenge against protagonist Dr. Bill Brockton whose early work deeply impacted the killer's life. There is real evil in the killer yet he is depicted as a victim of his own early life experiences as well. More to the point, the killer's victims - prostitutes - are shown in three-dimensional detail. They are not just superficial parts of the story. The anguish, hopes, and terror are very real. Throughout the entire novel, the question of women's victimization is held constant, and the compassion of the protagonist and the men around him toward these victims is a critical element in the story. It was not easy to read. I usually can move through "Body Farm" novels smoothly, but this was disquieting. It was necessary now and then to step away and take a breath. It's not unduly graphic - but it is very disturbing as it should be. The final scenes are incredibly powerful. It is a solid foundation for those who've never read this series, and it's an amazing look back to the origins of the events for those of us who have. It's simply amazing.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read all of their Body Farm books and loved them. They are very well done forensic murder mysteries. The preface on this book was superb. BUT this book they changed their format to what I call a 'serial thriller'--basically a serial killer thriller not mystery. You know who the murder is. The murder is a serial killer. You spend every few chapters with the serial killer. AND...the first chapter with the serial killer he is torturing a poor animal in detail--I don't do animal torture. Yes, it lets you know how messed up this guy is but I don't want to read about it. I like mystery. I like forensic information. I only made it a few chapters in. I was sitting on my edge of my sofa waiting for this book to come out and I was so disappointed. I really, really hope they go back to their old format for the next book or I've lost some great writers.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Literary R&R on October 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Mandy's Review:

This is another instance where I decided to give an unheard-of author (by me) a chance. After reading this novel I found out that this is part of a series. There are at least nine other Body Farm novels out there. I don't usually like reading a book that's in the middle (or end) of a series without reading the others first, but this was a rare instance of where this book takes the readers back in time to where it all began. Thank goodness! Now, if I choose to read the rest of the novels, I know the beginning.

From the summary above you know who Bill Brockton is and what he does. What you don't know is that the identity of the killer is known by the reader as soon as he's introduced into the novel. That takes away some of the suspense that I love, but the writing is still engaging and kept my interest. Throughout the entire cat-and-mouse plot, I wondered how much further and how much more gruesome the killings would go. I did find it interesting how anthropologists deduce facts about a homicide. The smallest, minute details that would go unnoticed by a medical examiner can be found by an anthropologist. Fascinating!

There was one point towards the end of the novel where I missed an important clue. It was one of those niggling facts that stay at the peripheral of your thoughts just waiting to spring out into the open with arms stretched saying, "Tada!!!" A few pages before the detectives figured it out I stopped reading and literally said, "Oh my God! I can't believe I overlooked that!" That, in itself, redeemed the story of having some of the suspense missing.

I'd be interested to read at least one more Body Farm novel to see how the series progress.
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