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Fatal Voyage (Temperance Brennan Novels) Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

When forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan joins the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team mobilized to investigate an airplane crash in North Carolina's Smoky Mountains, she literally stumbles on a body part that doesn't match up with the remains of any of the plane's passengers. The leg she grabs out of the jaws of a coyote feeding on the carnage scattered around the site belongs to an unidentified elderly man, and seems to have no connection with the disaster. But an abandoned hunting lodge near the crash site does, although before Tempe can figure out exactly how they're linked, she's pulled off the DMORT unit and forced to stand idly by as her professional reputation goes up in flames. When Andrew Ryan, a detective familiar to readers of Kathy Reichs's earlier books (Deja Dead, Death du Jour, Deadly Decisions), appears on the scene, another mystery begins to unfold. There seems to be no trace of two men on the plane's manifest, Ryan's partner and his seatmate, a criminal who was being escorted back to Canada via Washington, D.C., the doomed flight's final destination, to stand trial for murder.

As usual, Reichs serves up a solid helping of forensic science as the DMORT operatives do their thing, and Tempe traces the remains of a man killed 40 years ago to a series of ritual murders of senior citizens, and further to those whose influence was responsible for her firing. Reichs keeps the narrative moving along despite the somewhat ponderous technical and scientific information; her pacing is brisk and her series heroine in fine form. Tempe's romantic life gets more interesting with every new adventure. A solid thriller that will please the best-selling author's regular readers and serve as a good introduction to new ones. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

With four crime thrillers to her name, Reichs (Deadly Decisions) seems to have settled into a comfortable routine with forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan, whose adventures grow more engrossing with each outing. Here, Tempe takes on an especially gruesome case in a richly plotted tale about an airline crash, missing body parts and cannibalism. The story opens in the rugged backwoods of North Carolina, where Tempe must identify the dead from the remains of a passenger jet that spiraled straight into the ground. While rummaging through the grisly debris, she comes across a foot that doesn't appear to match any of the 88 dead people aboard the jet. As investigators determine what brought the plane down, Tempe looks into the mystery of the foot. That seemingly well-intentioned pursuit gets her fired. Her ouster appears to be the doing of Lt. Gov. Parker Davenport, an ambitious politician taking an abnormal interest in the crash. Tempe, determined to restore her reputation, plows back into the case on the sly. What she finds is evidence of a chilling, depraved episode in local history that upends many common perceptions about North Carolina's political and business elite. Reichs, herself a highly accomplished forensic anthropologist, expertly directs a busy plot that moves with electrical force in the final quarter. She capitalizes on the morbid yet captivating aspects of the forensic trenchwork, yet never lets it overwhelm her story. But it is Reichs's ongoing development of Tempe a woman in her 50s with a mature understanding of human nature, and a self-deprecating sense of humor that truly lifts the book above many of its peers. (On-sale: July 17)

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Temperance Brennan Novels
  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Star (July 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671028375
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671028374
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.5 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (253 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Kaplan on December 13, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Kathy Reichs is back in the game with this exciting forensic thriller, a fast-paced mystery that echoes the brilliance of the first two books in this series.
This time, the venue is North Carolina, and the action begins quickly as Tempe Brennan is called to the scene of a gruesome commercial plane crash. The gritty realism of the crash site, combined with Reichs' usual unflinching descriptions of the victims' remains, forms the backdrop for a mystery that begins when Brennan finds a human foot she suspects is not part of the accident.
Suddenly, Brennan is yanked from the case, her name smeared across the press, and her professional reputation put in serious jeopardy as she is accused of "tampering with a crash site." Of course she has done no such thing--as followers of this series know, Brennan is a straight-arrow forensic anthropologist whose work ethic is scrupulous. So what's going on? That question forms the rest of the story, as Brennan struggles to solve the mystery of the foot and to save her good name. She has some powerful enemies bent on stopping her, not the least of whom is the state's attorney general.
There are some satisfying plot twists to this story as well: Brennan's cop friend Ryan is part of the investigation. Ryan's long-time partner was a passenger on the doomed airliner, and his remains cannot be found. The partner was escorting a well-known prisoner back to Canada for trial. Did the crash have something to do with freeing the criminal? Was he even on the plane? What caused the plane to go down? The theories are rife, and Brennan is itching to get back on the scene.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
'Deadly Decisions,' the predecessor to 'Fatal Voyage' was something of a disappointment when compared to Kathy Reichs' first two novels about Temperance Brennan. Too much attention was paid to family and emotional problems, too much of a 'pity me' attitude, and, to be blunt, a very monotonic plot. Reichs' writing carried the book through, but if the stories would have continued in that pattern the series would have suffered greatly. One Patricia Cornwell is enough.
This tale, which starts out with Tempe's arrival at a horrific plane crash in the mountains of North Carolina, is something else again. Not only is she writing much more like her old style, Reichs has also picked up the pace and cleaned up some of her characterization considerably. Tempe's involvement in the crash site as a forensic anthropologist assigned to the gruesome task of piecing together the remains of 88 victims is a fascinating study. Many of the victims are college soccer players, and the loss of life brings an almost overwhelming sense of grim tragedy to the tale.
To add to the mystery, one of Tempe's walks around the crash site precipitates her into a confrontation with coyotes over a human foot. Tempe is rescued by her old friend, and almost lover, Montreal detective Andrew Ryan. Ryan is in North Carolina because his partner, Jean Bertrand, was on the flight escorting a criminal back to Canada. Surrounded by tragedy Tempe and Det. Ryan find themselves thrown together in an uncomfortable intimacy. One which provides most of the humor in this macabre story. The foot, in the meantime, has it's own mystery - it seems to belong to no one who was on the plane.
Unexpectedly, Tempe finds herself being hounded by Parker Davenport, the Lt. Governor, and Larke Tyrell, the medical examiner.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on July 23, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The plane crash in the back wooded mountains of Swain County North Carolina is brutal as body parts are severed and tossed everywhere and with all eighty-eight people on board dead. The first non-sheriff department person to arrive at the grisly scene is Dr. Temperance Brennan, a forensic anthropologist working for the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team. Tempe has worked several nasty scenarios, but this one may be the worst yet as the nightmare turns potentially personal. She learns that the TransSouth Air plane carried the University of Georgia men and women soccer teams and some fans, which could include her daughter visiting a player. However, she soon finds out that her daughter is not on the deceased list.
As Tempe works along with other Feds, state and local officials, she finds a leg that does not belong at the site. She begins to investigate the extra body part, but soon is fired for “officiously” showing her interest in the limb. Desiring to regain her reputation shattered by the spin-doctors, Tempe continues her investigation in spite of pressures from high officials in the state and threats to her life.
FATAL VOYAGE, the fourth Brennan tale, is a powerful story that brings to life the grisly side of forensics at a disastrous crash site without allowing the details to overwhelm a strong plot. The story line is exciting, but the tale belongs to the heroine whose feelings run the gamut of human emotion during the novel. Kathy Reichs has written a terrific novel that will send the audience seeking the previous Brennan stories that are also well written, but not quite as great as this one is....
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