Also under the title “Mortal Remains”
Book 13, in the Temperance Brennan series
This installment is pretty much the Kathy Reichs we know and we have come to expect. The story centers on the world of JPAC (Joint POW/MIA (Prisoner of War/Missing in Action) Accounting Command (US DOD) and how far the military will go to find and bring home the bodies of fallen soldiers around the world. Of course as in all the novels we have a family drama to spice up the mystery and all the forensic science knowledge and real life criminal investigations are once again brought forward.
With this as backdrop the puzzle start with Dr. Brennan called on the scene of a drowning, victim of bizarre auto-erotic asphyxiation stunt gone horribly wrong. The body is identified as being a long-dead Vietnam War veteran John Lowery presumed buried in his hometown in North Carolina. This kick off a case that will have Tempe turn circles and take her all the way to Hawaii looking into Vietnam vets and Hawaiian gangs.
The plot is full of drama however I found it to be far-fetched and rather contrived as it moved along. The narration is told in a very didactic manner, choppy with an over-use of acronyms and scientific jargon. Initially I did find the story interesting but it quickly fell apart and lost its appeal. I really don’t care how accurate police procedural are but give me outstanding characterization and I am a happy reader, here we have the dullest of characters and the most frustrating ones acting the same old way. The author has employed the same writing style over and over again, even if I was to some extend entertained I do think this formula is wearing thin and a change is highly needed, “Spider Bones” is far from being an exciting novel. Thank goodness it was a fast read….With this said I still will read further installments, I like the fact that the main plot is usual based on events that made the news at some point.