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Spider Bones Hardcover – August 24, 2010

275 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A perplexing death in Quebec occupies Dr. Temperance Brennan in Reichs's fine 13th novel featuring the forensic anthropologist (after 206 Bones). The fingerprints of a man who died during autoerotic asphyxiation indicate that the deceased is John Charles Lowery of North Carolina, but Lowery supposedly died in Vietnam in 1968. Unsurprisingly, Lowery's father is reluctant to allow Brennan to reopen old family wounds, but she's determined to find out who's buried in Lowery's grave if Lowery died in Quebec. Brennan heads to Hawaii to seek the help of an old friend at the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), whose mission is to find the remains of American war dead and bring them home. But instead of clarifying matters, Brennan's investigation only raises more questions, including parallel inquiries into a series of shark attacks and escalating island gang violence. Reichs, who once again uses her own scientific knowledge to enhance a complex plot and continually developing characters, delivers a whopper of a final twist.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan has a puzzle on her hands. A man has drowned under suspicious circumstances. His fingerprints identify him immediately, but here's the thing: the man apparently died more than 40 years ago. And if this is really him, then who is buried in his grave? The thirteenth Brennan novel is fairly typical of the series: a tightly plotted tale with engaging characters whose personal lives can be at least as interesting as the cases they're investigating. Reading a new Brennan novel is like hooking up with old friends: you know what to expect, but that's OK, because you also know you'll have a good time. Reichs, a former forensic anthropologist herself, whose early books were occasionally a bit clunky (it's not a smooth transition, apparently, from deconstructing bones to constructing sentences), has developed into a solid writer. Fans of the television series Bones, based on Reich's life and career, will note plenty of differences between the show and the novels, but they will find that Brennan on the page still offers much to enjoy. Fans of the books, of course, will soon be stampeding to the library to secure their copies. So stock up. --David Pitt

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; 1st edition (August 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439102392
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439102398
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (275 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #385,723 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

80 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Jill Meyer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a firm believer, when reviewing a book, in comparing a book to its predecessors. In this case, it's possible, because Kathy Reichs has written 12 previous Tempe Brennan novels.

The story she writes here, which takes place in locations from Montreal to North Carolina to Hawaii, involves a whole lot of different issues. Auto-erotic deaths, MIA/KIA's from Vietnam, shark-bitten bodies, Samoan gangs, daughters-with-problems, and an inactive love life are only a few of the diverse things Reichs touches on in "Spider Bones". The thing is, that as disconcerting as all this in-coming might be to a casual Reichs' reader, her fans come to expect it from her novels. I can't exactly compare Reichs' work with, say, Leo Tolstoy's, because she doesn't write as well. No one expects her to produce "War and Peace". She writes with workman-like prose and very odd plot lines. And does so fairly well.

It would be difficult to easily describe the plot of "Spider Bones". As I wrote above, there's a whole lot of "in-coming" and the reader never knows what's coming next. Reichs has the interesting/irritating habit of ending her chapters in cliff-hanging language. It's Reichs trademark and is present in every one of her books I've read.

"Spider Bones" is a good read for the Kathy Reichs fan. It might not appeal to more casual readers, but it is a good addition to her book list.
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83 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Brian Baker VINE VOICE on August 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In the usual Tempe Brennan novel, we have a crime that Tempe is called in to help solve through her skills in forensic anthropology, either by clearing up an identification of an old corpse, helping determine a cause of death, or something similar.

This novel is very different. Here we have what seems to be a parade of misidentified bodies, and Brennan's trying to clear up that confusion as pretty much just a routine procedural matter. There's no "crime" involved - at least at first - and in all honesty I felt I needed a scorecard to try to keep things straight. In fact, I had to keep going back and re-reading portions of the book, because I'd lose track of who was who on the slabs. It was like a weird version of the Abbot and Costello "Who's on First" routine.

Further, I kept trying to figure out why I should really care. After all... nothing was really happening here!

This story is 302 pages long (hardback version), and it was page 191 before there was anything at all that could be called "action". Even after that, it promptly fizzled back away.

There's way too much information about the military's efforts to identify war dead; some background on the Vietnam War (more on that in a moment); a whole lot of touristy travelogue-type stuff about Hawaii - WAY too much! - and the usual "do I love him, or don't I?" stuff about her boyfriends (Make up her mind for her, Kathy. It's getting old).

As a Vietnam veteran, I can safely say that some of the passages dealing with the war lack accuracy. Kathy, there wasn't any such rank in the Army as Sp2. Specialist ratings started at Sp4, and went up from there. A "Sp2" would have been an E-2, and that rank was actually a "Private".

Well, I didn't hate it, and I do like the series, so two stars.
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Tina on September 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
It has occured to me that Kathy Reich's books would have lots of potential to be 4 stars if only she would get off a few kicks - starting with describing, in minute and painful detail everything you can possibly want to know (and don't care about) very specific subject matters. IN this book, it is Vietnam and a huge, huge amount of geographical information about Hawaii - not to mention info on the army and their procedures. Frankly, the entire thing was one huge bore and I found myself skipping entire pages just to get to the "main storyline".

The other thing that was wrong with this book is that I got completely confused by all the dead people who may not be dead or then again may be. The amount of names being thrown around - was astounding, especially when you factor in that one person may have beem "posing" as the other one.

Finally, thanks to all of the above, the actual "thriller" and "suspense" part of the book was seriously toned down - leaving us with a huge number of pages of blah, blah - intermingled with one tiny little piece of the puzzle - it was extremely slow going.

Having said all that, Reichs has been known to write a fairly exciting whodunnit - and I could see some tiny bits of it in this book - but it is, for the most part, completely hidden in all the other stuff and frankly, I don' have the energy to dig through it all.

I also found myself wanting to pretty well smack both Tempe's and Ryan's children at some point in the storyline - both being completely annoying, not to mention ungrateful young adults who somehow ended up in beautiful Hawaii but choose to complain throughout the entire novel.

Really, the only thing I liked about this one was the humor surrounding Tempe's cat and bird - which, unfortunately, only occured at the beginning of this book.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Angela Risner The Sassy Orange VINE VOICE on September 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Kathy Reichs since before she was known to most people as the creative force behind the TV series, Bones. Way before, in fact.

I actually don't watch the show, because I experienced the books first and my idea of Temperance Brennan does not match what they have on the show. Yes, I know that they are using a "younger" version of Tempe on the show, but it's just not what I am looking for when I already know the character one way.

I always look forward to new offerings from Reichs. But this book is one huge disappointment.

1. I didn't care about the cases at all. Not one bit. There was no reason for us to care about the unidentified victims at all.

2. I was happy to have more Katy (Tempe's daughter) in the book, but again,we are thrown into trying to care about a character that only Katy knew and who doesn't seem to belong in the story at all.

3. I'm really tired of the dance with Andrew Ryan. Either commit or don't.

4. I think every chapter ended with about 20 questions written out. And the chapters were mostly short and meaningless.

5. Tempe solves the case - but that's not really what she does, is it? I mean she helps, but this time she was able to figure out something over 4 seasoned cops? Yes, she had medical knowledge that they didn't, but still.

I hope that Reichs can focus back on her books and realize that great storytelling was what drew her fans to her to begin with. And to keep it simple. This one involved so many different parties that it was hard to keep track of who was who.

Still better than Twilight.
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