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9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.
CUT TO THE BONE is a suspenseful, entertaining prequel to the su
The mystery involves a serial murderer to whom the reader is introduced early in the story. Reading in the killer's point of view gives the reader insight into why he kills, how he picks his murder weapons, and who he chooses as his victims, and the FBI profiler characters help Brockton understand what kind of killer he's facing.
If learning a little about forensic anthropology is a draw, loads of body identification techniques and scene forensics are explained in the story. Brockton describes to local authorities how studying a body's bones can uncover the skeleton's gender, age and possible trauma suffered before death and what to look for in time-of-death and post-death trauma. The story also describes the specific and sometimes boring research needed to build a strong, fact-based database which can be accessed by medical and law officials to help solve crimes.
Humor, a common emotional release for forensic anthropologists and anyone else mired in the business of death, is scattered throughout the book. The bantering and conversations between Brockton and his grad assistant are totally believable, and several of their interactions with local rural county officials are funny and pretty authentic. I particularly enjoy Brockton's phone calls with his new, already beleaguered secretary and with the chatty dispatcher at the Morgan County sheriff's office.
I also like that the settings' details pull the reader right into the scenes and that the authors made sure to include other senses (touch, sound, smell and taste) to enhance the visual descriptions. I have a slight advantage in imagining where the story takes place, as I grew up in Knoxville. I also spent a lot of time in the Anthropology Department as an undergrad and for a short time as a grad student during Bass's tenure as department chair. I remember the room layout in Neyland Stadium and the unpleasant odors that bombarded me when opening the door to the department's hallway. (But CUT TO THE BONE's detailed descriptions also bring up memories of good times in the labs and classrooms there.)
All in all, I would recommend CUT TO THE BONE to anyone who enjoys suspenseful murder mysteries, forensic science, anthropology and archaeology, or just good, entertaining storytelling. The book is fine as a stand-alone, but if this is your first time reading a Body Farm Mystery, then CUT TO THE BONE is definitely a good place to start if you want to continue this interesting series. Just make sure to take a big chunk of time to read. If you're like me, you'll want to read this story at one sitting.
If You Like This, You May Also Like --- Other BODY FARM MYSTERIES by Jefferson Bass, DEATH'S ACRE and BEYOND THE BODY FARM (both nonfiction, related to the real Body Farm) by Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson, TEMPERANCE BRENNAN MYSTERIES by Kathy Reichs, SCARPETTA MYSTERIES by Patricia Cornwell, DIANE FALLON FORENSIC MYSTERIES by Beverly Connor
* Read my other reviews on the Blue Moon Mystery Saloon blog.
** An ARC was provided by William Morrow and Edelweiss for an honest review.
posted by beckybh on October 14, 2013Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 4, 2014
Less than thrilling
The setting, crimes and characters were fairly interesting, but I quit reading with less than 50 pages to go. No professional investigators would make such ridiculous mistakes. I just loose interest in characters that are this dumb.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 13, 2014
Posted April 8, 2014
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