Book Review

The Bone Code – Kathy Reichs

I am thrilled to be joining the blog tour for The Bone Code, book twenty in the Temperance Brennan series by Kathy Reichs. Many thanks to Kathy and Simon & Schuster for providing me with a copy of the book, and to Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting me to be a part of the tour.


A storm has hit South Carolina, dredging up crimes of the past.

En route to Isle of Palms, a barrier island off the South Carolina coast, forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan receives a call from the Charleston coroner. During the storm, a medical waste container has washed up on the beach. Inside are two decomposed bodies wrapped in plastic sheeting and bound with electrical wire. Chillingly, Tempe recognises many details as identical to those of an unsolved case she handled in Quebec fifteen years earlier. With a growing sense of foreboding, she flies to Montreal to gather evidence and convince her boss Pierre LaManche to reopen the cold case. She also seeks the advice – and comfort – of her long-time beau Andrew Ryan.

Meanwhile, a storm of a different type gathers force in South Caroline. The citizens of Charleston are struck by capnocytophaga, a bacterium that, at its worst, can eat human flesh. Thousands panic and test themselves for a rare genetic mutation that may have rendered them vulnerable.

Shockingly, Tempe eventually deduces not only that the victims in both grisly murder cases are related, but that the murders and the disease outbreak also have a common cause…


Amazon US

Amazon UK

The Bone Code Cover


I used to love Kathy Reichs’s books, and I must have devoured the first ten or so Temperance Brennan books back to back. However, life and having too many books that I want to read mean that it has been a few years since I have read one. As such I was worried that, with this being the twentieth book in the series, I might struggle to pick up what had been going on for Tempe in the intervening years. I needn’t have worried though, as this book includes enough of recap that even the totally uninitiated would understand the inter-character relationships, without going back over so much old ground that her fans would find it boring.

In The Bone Code, we find Tempe once more splitting her time between South Carolina and Quebec, investigating mysterious deaths covering both years and miles. It is a carefully woven, intricate book as Tempe gently unpicks the evidence presented to her.

Although I largely read for pleasure, I do love a book that I can learn new things from. Kathy Reichs has a penchant for weaving real facts and historical figures into her fiction, and it wasn’t long before this book had me happily heading off to Google and saving websites to read up on once I have finished the book. Her books are also fairly heavy on scientific terminology, and I always leave them feeling a little cleverer than before I read them.

Although there is a lot of science and research in The Bone Code, it also includes its fair share of action, and had my heart racing on more than one occasion. The changing pace throughout the story creates a wonderfully balanced and intriguing book.

The Bone Code is fast-paced and complex, and reminded me just what a talented writer Kathy Reichs is – so much so that I am now planning to set aside some time to return to the beginning of the series and read it all over again.


Kathy Reichs Author pIcKathy Reichs’s first novel, Deja Dead, was a number one bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. The Bone Code is Kathy’s twentieth entry in her series featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. Kathy was also a producer of the hit Fox TV series, Bones, which is based on her work and her novels.

Dr. Reichs is one of very few forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. She served on the Board of Directors and as Vice President of both the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, and as a member of the National Police Services Advisory Council in Canada.





Why not pay a visit to the other blogs on the tour to read more about The Bone Code?

The Bone Code BT Poster

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