206 Bones (Temperance Brennan Series #12)

206 Bones (Temperance Brennan Series #12)

4.0 275
by Kathy Reichs, Linda Emond

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Includes a Bonus MP3 CD of Kathy Reichs' DŽj‡ Dead

The #1 New York Times bestselling author and producer of the Fox television hit, Bones, returns with a spectacular new Tempe Brennan novel.

There are 206 bones in the human body. Forensic anthropologists know them intimately, can read in them stories of


Includes a Bonus MP3 CD of Kathy Reichs' DŽj‡ Dead

The #1 New York Times bestselling author and producer of the Fox television hit, Bones, returns with a spectacular new Tempe Brennan novel.

There are 206 bones in the human body. Forensic anthropologists know them intimately, can read in them stories of brief or long lives and use them to reconstruct every kind of violent end. 206 Bones opens with Tempe regaining consciousness and discovering that she is in some kind of very small, very dark, very cold enclosed space. She is bound, hands to feet. Who wants Tempe dead, or at least out of the way, and why? Tempe begins slowly to reconstruct...

Tempe and Lieutenant Ryan had accompanied the recently discovered remains of a missing heiress from Montreal to the Chicago morgue. Suddenly, Tempe was accused of mishandling the autopsy — and the case. Someone made an incriminating phone call. Within hours, the one man with information about the call was dead. Back in Montreal, the corpse of a second elderly woman was found in the woods, and then a third.

Seamlessly weaving between Tempe's present-tense terror as she's held captive and her memory of the cases of these murdered women, Reichs conveys the incredible devastation that would occur if a forensic colleague sabotaged work in the lab. The chemistry between Tempe and Ryan intensifies as this complex, riveting tale unfolds. Reichs is writing at the top of her game.

Editorial Reviews

For forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan, the 206 bones of the human body are the vocabulary of her work, the building blocks of evidence amassed to ultimately convict. In this crisp narrative, her pride in her work is undermined twice; first, when she is accused of mishandling an autopsy; second, when she regains consciousness in a small, totally darkened, very cold enclosure. "Bones" at her best.
Marilyn Stasio
Reichs isn't above a bit of melodrama, and her heroine is metaphorically tied to the tracks at one awkward juncture—until the forensic procedures take center stage, as they always do in this cleverly plotted and expertly maintained series.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
As the 12th novel starring Dr. Temperance Brennan opens, the forensic anthropologist awakens to find herself entombed and tied up. While struggling to free herself, she recalls her most recent case, concerning a potential serial killer of elderly women, and her gradual awareness that an unknown enemy is trying to undermine her professionally and personally. Linda Emond ably embodies the brilliant but socially awkward Temperance. She makes a subtle but effective effort to indicate other voices and produces a convincing French accent when necessary (much of the action takes place in Montreal). Emond also ensures that the pace doesn't flag when Reichs takes quick timeouts from the narrative for a human anatomy lesson. A Scribner hardcover (Reviews, June 15). (Aug.)
Kirkus Reviews
Dr. Temperance Brennan unaccountably begins making mistakes. Could the Cook County forensic anthropologist really have misidentified a murder as accidental death? An anonymous tipster insists on it to the deceased person's well-connected relative, which sends Tempe up to Quebec where the body was originally found. The death now seems tied to the fates of three other elderly women, all of whom perished violently. Det. Andy Ryan, Tempe's on-again/off-again boyfriend, tries to help, but her new lab tech is surly and uncooperative, and the lab's latest hotshot is quick to point out her failings, which include an overlooked bullet track, phalanges gone missing and no notice of telltale tetracycline staining on the teeth. Eventually, Tempe realizes that her competence isn't slipping; she is being sabotaged. Six cases will come into question, and her lab status will be thoroughly compromised before she almost succumbs to an abduction that leaves her trussed up and helpless in an old military burial ground. Nearly as many plots as there are bones in the body, some to please medical pedants, some to appease ghouls, and some to show off the smart-mouth repartee Tempe (Devil Bones, 2008, etc.) has been indulging in since she got her own TV series on Fox.
From the Publisher
“Outstanding.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication date:
Temperance Brennan Series, #12
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.08(w) x 6.00(h) x 1.16(d)

Read an Excerpt

206 Bones

  • COLD.



    I opened my eyes.

    To dark. Black as arctic winter.

    Am I dead?

    Obeying some limbic command, I inhaled deeply.

    Smells registered in my brain.

    Mold. Musty earth. Something organic, hinting at the passage of time.

    Was this hell? A tomb?

    I listened.

    Silence. Impenetrable.

    But no. There were sounds. Air moving through my nostrils. Blood pounding in my ears.

    Corpses don’t breathe. Dead hearts don’t beat.

    Other sensations intruded. Hardness below me. Burning on the right side of my face.

    I raised my head.

    Bitter bile flooded my mouth.

    I shifted my hips to relieve pressure on my twisted neck.

    Pain exploded up my left leg.

    A groan shattered the stillness.

    Instinctively, my body went fetal. The pounding gained volume.

    I lay curled, listening to the rhythm of my fear.

    Then, recognition. The sound had come from my own throat.

    I feel pain. I react. I am alive.

    But where?

    Spitting bile, I tried reaching out. Felt resistance. Realized my wrists were bound.

    I flexed a knee toward my chest, testing. My feet rose as one. My wrists dropped.

    I tried a second time, harder. Neurons again fired up my leg.

    Stifling another cry, I struggled to force order onto my addled thinking.

    I’d been bound, hands to feet, and abandoned. Where? When? By whom?


    A memory search for recent events came up empty. No. The void in recollection was longer than that.

    I remembered picnicking with my daughter, Katy. But that was summer. The frigid temperature now suggested that it must be winter.

    Sadness. A last farewell to Andrew Ryan. That was October. Had I seen him again?

    A bright red sweater at Christmas. This Christmas? I had no idea.

    Disoriented, I groped for any detail from the past few days. Nothing stayed in focus.

    Vague impressions lacking rational form or sequence appeared and faded. A figure emerging from shadow. Man or woman? Anger. Shouting. About what? At whom?

    Melting snow. Light winking off glass. The dark maw of a cracked door.

    Dilated vessels pounded inside my skull. Hard as I tried, I could not evoke recollection from my semiconscious mind.

    Had I been drugged? Suffered a blow to the head?

    How bad was my leg? If I managed to free myself, could I walk? Crawl?

    My hands were numb, my fingers useless. I tried tugging my wrists outward. Felt no give in my bindings.

    Tears of frustration burned the backs of my lids.

    No crying!

    Clamping my jaw, I rolled to my back, raised my feet, and jerked my ankles apart. Flames roared up my left lower limb.

    Then I knew nothing.

    I awoke. Moments later? Hours? No way to tell. My mouth felt drier, my lips more parched. The pain in my leg had receded to a dull ache.

    Though I gave my pupils time, they took in nothing. How could they adjust? The dense blackness offered not a sliver of light.

    The same questions flooded back. Where? Why? Who?

    Clearly, I’d been abducted. To be the victim in some sick game? To be removed as a threat?

    The thought triggered my first clear memory. An autopsy photo. A corpse, charred and twisted, jaws agape in a final agonal scream.

    Then a kaleidoscope sequence, image chasing image. Two morgues. Two autopsy rooms. Name plaques marking two labs. Temperance Brennan, Forensic Anthropologist. Temperance Brennan, Anthropologue Judiciaire.

    Was I in Charlotte? Montreal? Far too cold for North Carolina. Even in winter. Was it winter? Was I in Quebec?

    Had I been grabbed at home? On the street? In my car? Outside the Édifice Wilfrid-Derome? Inside the lab?

    Was my captor a random predator and I a random victim? Had I been targeted because of who I am? Revenge sought by a former accused? By a conspiracy-theorist next of kin? What case had I last been working?

    Dear God, could it really be so cold? So dark? So still?

    Why that smell, so disturbingly familiar?

    As before, I tried wriggling my hands. My feet. To no avail. I was hog-tied, unable even to sit.

    “Help! I’m here! Someone! Help me!”

    Over and over I called out until my throat grew raw.

    “Anyone! Please!”

    My pleas went unanswered.

    Panic threatened to overwhelm me.

    You will not die helpless!

    Trembling from cold and fear, and frantic to see, I shifted to my back and started bucking my hips, stretching my hands upward as far as possible, oblivious to the agony in my leg. One thrust. Two. Three. My fingertips scraped hardness little more than a foot above my face.

    I lunged again. Made contact. Sediment cascaded into my eyes and mouth.

    Spitting and blinking, I rolled onto my right side and shoved backward with one arm and both feet. The rough ground abraded the skin on my elbow and heels. One ankle screamed in protest. I didn’t care. I had to move. Had to get out.

    I’d advanced a very short distance when I encountered a wall. Rectangular contours surrounded by mortar. Brick.

    Heart hammering, I rolled to my other side and inched in the opposite direction. Again, I soon hit a wall.

    Adrenaline flooded my body as terror piggybacked onto terror. My gut curdled. My lungs drew great heaving breaths.

    My prison was no more than thirty inches high and six feet wide! Its length didn’t matter. Already I felt the walls pressing in.

    I lost control.

    Scooching forward, I began yelling and beating the brick with my fists. Tears streamed down my cheeks. Over and over I called out, hoping to attract the attention of a passerby. A worker. A dog. Anyone.

    When my knuckles grew raw I attacked with the heels of my hands.

    When I could no longer flail with my arms, I rolled and lashed out with my feet.

    Pain ripped from my ankle. Too much pain. My calls for help morphed into agonized moans.

    Defeated, I fell back, panting, sweat cooling on my icy flesh.

    A parade of faces marched through my mind. Katy. Ryan. My sister, Harry. My cat, Birdie. My ex-husband, Pete.

    Would I never see them again?

    Great heaving sobs racked my chest.

    Perhaps I lost consciousness. Perhaps not. My next awareness was of sound.

    A noise outside my body. Not of my making.

    I froze.

    Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.

    A cerebral crack opened.

    Memory slipped through.

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    Meet the Author

    Kathy Reichs is the author of eighteen New York Times bestselling novels featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. Like her protagonist, Reichs is a forensic anthropologist—one of fewer than one hundred ever certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. A professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, she is a former vice president of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and serves on the National Police Services Advisory Council in Canada. Reichs’s own life, as much as her novels, is the basis for the TV show Bones, one of the longest-running series in the history of the FOX network.

    Linda Emond's film credits include Stop Loss, North Country, and Across the Universe. Television credits include The Sopranos, all four Law & Orders, and American Experience: John & Abigail Adams. On Broadway she has performed in 1776 and Life x 3 (Tony nomination & Outer Critics Circle Award) and Off-Broadway in Tony Kushner's Homebody/Kabul (Obie & Lucille Lortel Awards).

    Brief Biography

    Charlotte, North Carolina and Montreal, Québec
    Place of Birth:
    Chicago, Illinois
    B.A., American University, 1971; M.A., Ph.D., Northwestern University

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    206 Bones (Temperance Brennan Series #12) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 275 reviews.
    Tidbitsofscott More than 1 year ago
    This is the 12th book in the series. Temperence Brennan is a forensic anthropologist who divides her time between Charlotte, North Carolina and Montreal, Quebec, Canada. In this book she is also in Chicago partly for business and also for a holiday visit with her Latvian ex-inlaws. The book opens with Tempe bound, injured and confined in a small underground space and the story is told in flashbacks. This book is both engrossing and entertaining and is better than her last two books. That being said, my only complaint would be the blindingly obvious suspect that went unnoticed until the end and tangents that serve only to slow down the reader and show off the author's researching and/or trivia skills. Also, the very, very end devolves into what feels like a self-serving (although probably justifiable) tirade about qualifications to be a forensic anthropologist. While she may have a point, it was about a subtle as an anvil to the forehead and brought the book to a screeching halt. Granted, it was the last page so halting is to be expected, but the tone just didn't fit in with the overall book. You decide. I was okay with it.
    harstan More than 1 year ago
    Forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan is confused as to how she got where she is. Somehow, Brennan is badly injured and tied securely in what appears to be an underground tomb. As she regains her senses, slowly flashes of what happened to her begin to appear in her mind. Based on an anonymous tip to authorities, Brennan arrived in Chicago with Andrew Ryan of the Serete du Quebec where she is being accused of erring in her autopsy of Canadian heiress Rose Jurmain. Meanwhile back in her Montreal lab, Brennan links Jurmain's death to the brutal murders of other elderly women by a particularly nasty serial killer. As she explores her premise further, she is just beginning to understand she is a trapped rodent in a deadly cat and mouse game. This is a super thriller that contains several strong subplots; especially intriguing is the challenge to the heroine's competency from an unknown source who seems to know forensics. Much more personal than usual, the courageous Dr. Brennan feels like a hunted animal who though wounded goes after her predator. Kathy Reichs provides a strong entry in one of the better mystery series of recent years. Harriet Klausner
    AuntLoLo More than 1 year ago
    This was a very exciting book and I read it very quickly, BUT I was gripping my chair when Bones found herself in the coffin. I should ask Kathy to pitch in to by me another dental appliance, as I ground my teeth to the nubs waiting for her ever Knight in Shining Armor to ride in on a white steed and save her. Kathy's writing is perfect for such a show as BONES and I am now watching all of the reruns. I never miss the TV show, BONES, and I will definitely buy any coming books written by this very talented author
    KateNJ More than 1 year ago
    206 Bones is a little different than the other books in this series, because it runs two parallel stories. The first has Tempe trapped, hurt, and confused - not knowing where she is or how she got there, but understanding she is in real trouble. The second tells us the back story of the case that led to her current situation. Both are terrific and when they come together? Powerful! As much as I enjoyed the complex story line, clever plot, and always intriguing personality Tempe displays, I couldn't wait to get this book to find out what happens next to Tempe and Andrew Ryan. Fans of the series will enjoy the format and the puzzles that abound in this book.
    Lannie More than 1 year ago
    Interesting, informative and exciting read! I love the Temperance Brennan character! I learned a lot reading this book. Thoroughly enjoyed it! A few others I thoroughly enjoyed, but were totally different, except you learn wonderful, feel good lessons in life that when you come away from them you kind of glow!......SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME, EXPLOSION IN PARIS, by Linda Pirrung, and THE HELP, by K. Stockett....
    Waldren_James More than 1 year ago
    Has Dr. Brennan lost her edge? She can't concentrate, has trouble relating to her staff. Have the years taken a toll? She has over looked evidence at a crime scene. She misses clues left on teeth. Items that a newly hired less exprianced pathologest easily finds. What is happeneing is telgraphed to the astute reader before Brennan finally figures it out, but this does not take away from enjoying this book. Kathy Richs once again takes us into the lab and the area of forensic pathology and teaches us that there is a lot to learn from a bunch of bones.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    The story 206 Bones begins with Forensic Anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan waking up in a cold, dark, and confined space. She realizes that her arms and legs are bound and that she is badly injured. Once she regains her composure, she sorts out the events that put her in this situation. She recently discovered the remains of Canadian heiress Rose Jurmain and linked her death to the brutal murders of a serial killer. However, based on a tip to the authorities she is accused of mishandling the autopsy. With more murders lining up in Montreal, it seems almost as Brennan is being framed. The plot and charracters in this book are very practical and it is a great read.
    CBH More than 1 year ago
    206 Bones is a thriller, a mystery, a medical lesson, a geography lesson, a history lesson, and contains all the enjoyment that comes with the Temperance Brennan character in Kathy Reichs series of books. While the story is probably mostly fiction the locations and medical parts are undoubtedly not fictionalized. Temperance give 206 Bones her normal humor and romantic twists with the reader never sure where her mind is all the time but definitely mostly on her work as a forensic anthropologist. 206 Bones begins with Tempe aware that she is in a dark, tight, dirty, moldy, and musty place surrounded with dirt. She has no memory of how she got there or where she is but she knows she must get out of this godforsaken tomb! The story then shifts to before her entombment and gets the reader up to what she is working on. Tempe's very close "friend" is Lieutenant detective Andrew Ryan who is on the police force in Quebec, Canada. With Tempe's knowledge of forensics and the crimes involved, she and Ryan work together quite a bit, in this case traveling to Chicago. In her position, Tempe works for Montreal and teaches in North Carolina. During the story she travels around between parts of Canada, Chicago, and North Carolina. The story shifts occasionally back to Tempe trying to get out of this tomb. Several bodies have turned up, several of which had been discovered after many years missing and the forensics can get very tough with bones this old. Tempe has troubles with things going wrong in the morgue/laboratory along with threats she seems to have received from someone. She has no idea if that someone was a fellow employee or an outsider that might be connected with one of the new found murders. The story is very interesting and mysterious and a great read. The only trouble I occasionally had were some of the many technical names for many things connected with her work and locations in Canada but these would generally explain themselves to the reader as time goes on. Tempe is a great character, as those of us that watch the television series "Bones" know. You never know what she will say or do, or what she will come up with to get a case on track-or not! Kathy, I love your vocation and your way of thinking. I have read quite a few of your books and have never been disappointed from beginning to end. I also enjoy your personal input that you use to let us readers know what you are all about in your life.
    Giiwanaadizi-Mindimooyenh More than 1 year ago
    Yet another wonderful addition to the Temperance Brennan Series. I am looking forward to the next.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This is a great book to join the others in the series. The characters are well rounded and the plote is one that makes you keep reading. This is a book that is hard to put down.
    Noticer More than 1 year ago
    The writing is enjoyable and found it very informative from a medical standpoint. Well worth reading especially since most people in our society today don't seem to know anything about biology and the human body.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Ms. Reich's previous books were page turners from the beginning and this latest book is no exception.
    7MAL More than 1 year ago
    Excellent always enjoy the Bones series and look forward to the next one
    KAT123KS More than 1 year ago
    I returned to reading Kathy Reich/Temperance Brennen after a couple book break and have to say I really loved 206 Bones. The balance of science, investigation, thriller and the humanistic side of the characters captivated me and was really well done. The mystery was unique and the vulnerability of the 2 main characters made this a favorite for me in this series. Guess the break was for the better as I look forward to next installment.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Between the writing style, plot twists, and the great scientific explanations, Reichs has created another hit. Can't wait for the next Temperance Brennan adventure.
    Jay-Fer More than 1 year ago
    In a real departure for this series, this book is a snoozer. While there is mystery and there is suspense, there is also an over-abundance of technical jargon, micro-detailed medicalese, irrelevant geographic and historical dialogue, long drawn-out discussions in French, and painfully slow, horribly exhaustive and descriptive soliloquies. The plot is disjointed, bouncing from Tempe's personal problems to her professional concerns, to a nasty neighbor, to a series of suspicious deaths, to her relationship with her ex in-laws, to her waking up battered and dazed in a burial vault. Even the descriptions of various characters are verbose to the point of no point, and we get to share numerous nasty moods and bouts of griping and moaning, both mental and verbal, of Tempe's as the book moves along. And those don't even include the mental calisthenics and freaking out that she does when she realizes she's buried alive. Little real excitement, as every situation is dissected and talked to death before it has a chance to play out in some more interesting manner.
    HEDI09 More than 1 year ago
    Love the suspense and the subject matter...Kept me turning pages long after I shoud have been asleep...but, that's okay! That's what I love!! Another spectacular find...EXPLOSION IN PARIS, by LINDA MASEMORE PIRRUNG...Oh! Yes! I want a sequel!! I loved it so much I can't get it out of my head!! Check out the reviews! They hooked me big time!!
    happyreader46 More than 1 year ago
    not the best in the series, but still a good book
    LivingMystery More than 1 year ago
    This is a good book. The last few in the series were ok. This one brings back the suspense and intrigue that was there in the beginning of the series. This book also does not have Tempe traveling back and forth from the U.S. to Montreal that much. It was a very enjoyable read.
    cewilch More than 1 year ago
    Without fail, This author knows how to write a good book! The complex plots are well-crafted and not a word appears to be wasted. I love the characters in these books and the interaction between them. The cover of this book notes its link to the Fox TV Series BONES . . . I wish that you wouldn't say this on the book covers as it detracts from the book; the series BONES is so "lightweight" compared to the sophistication of the Kathy Reichs books. I am eagerly awaiting Kathy Reichs' next offering on the life of Dr. Brennan.
    Anonymous 10 months ago
    A great listen to for fans of the show Bones.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    1.5 stars.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago