A deft hand at balancing the emotional light with the dark, Reichs links the enchanting Evangeline and her Acadian heritage to the unsolved cases of dead and missing girls that have stumped the police for years. And even now, 10 books into the series, Tempe's strung-out affair with Detective-Lieutenant Andrew Ryan still hangs on the tensions that confound lovers in an atmosphere of violent death.
The New York Times
Linda Emons brings the same high level of expertise to Reichs's 10th Temperance Brennan forensic thriller as its author does to the series. Both women understand instinctively that simply rattling off details of DNA matches and other scientific data isn't enough: it's making listeners believe in the people collecting that data. The cold case of a missing Quebec girl becomes a very personal quest for Brennan when she discovers that the bones in question probably belong to a childhood friend-a figure of fascination and sophistication who suddenly disappeared from Brennan's life at the age of 15. Emons brings both Tempe and her friend Évangéline Landry to vivid life. She's equally good in briefer scenes with Brennan's lover, Ryan, who investigates the dead girl's link to a predator who might still be active. Reichs, who might be the legitimate heiress to Patricia Cornwell's throne, has a winning partnership with Emons. Simultaneous release with the Scribner hardcover (Reviews, June 4). (Sept.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
In her Montreal office, forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan stares down at the old bones on her desk. Are they the bones of an old friend?Temperance Brennan (Monday Mourning, 2004, etc.) was eight when she met ten-year-old Evangeline Landry, who for the next four years was her closest friend. Both had been lonely girls, strangers in a strange land. Tempe had been transplanted from Chicago to Charlotte, Evangeline from Acadia, Canada. Abruptly, without a trace, Evangeline vanished, but Tempe has never been able to forget her. Thirty years later, a female skeleton is plaguing her with painful questions. How old is old? Was the death violent? Is it absurd to think what she's thinking just because the bones were found in Acadia? Answers are hard to come by, in part because Tempe's plate is piled even higher than usual. Detective Lieutenant Andy Ryan is handling the scary new case of five girls in their late teens to early 20s, three missing, two dead. Have they fallen victim to a serial killer? And of course there's Ryan himself, a lover acting uncomfortably cool. Tempe, beset and brilliant as always, buckles down to find answers, only some of which will be rooted in the death sciences. A bit of a jumble at the end-Reichs is a committed over-plotter-but Tempe is both deeper and funnier than she's ever been, making this her best outing to date.
From the Publisher
"Gripping, full of twists and turns." Ottawa Citizen
"Tempe is both deeper and funnier than she's ever been, making this her best outing to date." Kirkus Reviews
"Dr. Brennan is rock solid and this book is easily one of the series' best." The Globe and Mail
Read an Excerpt
Babies die. People vanish. People die. Babies vanish.
I was hammered early by those truths. Sure, I had a kid's understanding that mortal life ends. At school, the nuns talked of heaven, purgatory, limbo, and hell. I knew my elders would "pass." That's how my family skirted the subject. People passed. Went to be with God. Rested in peace. So I accepted, in some ill-formed way, that earthly life was temporary. Nevertheless, the deaths of my father and baby brother slammed me hard.
And Évangéline Landry's disappearance simply had no explanation.
But I jump ahead.
It happened like this.
As a little girl, I lived on Chicago's South Side, in the less fashionable outer spiral of a neighborhood called Beverly. Developed as a country retreat for the city's elite following the Great Fire of 1871, the hood featured wide lawns and large elms, and Irish Catholic clans whose family trees had more branches than the elms. A bit down-at-the-heels then, Beverly would later be gentrified by boomers seeking greenery within proximity of the Loop.
A farmhouse by birth, our home predated all its neighbors. Green-shuttered white frame, it had a wraparound porch, an old pump in back, and a garage that once housed horses and cows.
My memories of that time and place are happy. In cold weather, neighborhood kids skated on a rink created with garden hoses on an empty lot. Daddy would steady me on my double blades, clean slush from my snowsuit when I took a header. In summer, we played kick ball, tag, or Red Rover in the street. My sister, Harry, and I trapped fireflies in jars with hole-punched lids.
During the endless Midwestern winters, countless Brennan aunts and uncles gathered for cards in our eclectically shabby parlor. The routine never varied. After supper, Mama would take small tables from the hall closet, dust the tops, and unfold the legs. Harry would drape the white linen cloths, and I would center the decks, napkins, and peanut bowls.
With the arrival of spring, card tables were abandoned for front porch rockers, and conversation replaced canasta and bridge. I didn't understand much of it. Warren Commission. Gulf of Tonkin. Khrushchev. Kosygin. I didn't care. The banding together of those bearing my own double helices assured me of well-being, like the rattle of coins in the Beverly Hillbillies bank on my bedroom dresser. The world was predictable, peopled with relatives, teachers, kids like me from households similar to mine. Life was St. Margaret's school, Brownie Scouts, Mass on Sunday, day camp in summer.
Then Kevin died, and my six-year-old universe fragmented into shards of doubt and uncertainty. In my sense of world order, death took the old, great-aunts with gnarled blue veins and translucent skin. Not baby boys with fat red cheeks.
I recall little of Kevin's illness. Less of his funeral. Harry fidgeting in the pew beside me. A spot on my black patent leather shoe. From what? It seemed important to know. I stared at the small gray splotch. Stared away from the reality unfolding around me.
The family gathered, of course, voices hushed, faces wooden. Mama's side came from North Carolina. Neighbors. Parishioners. Men from Daddy's law firm. Strangers. They stroked my head. Mumbled of heaven and angels.
The house overflowed with casseroles and bakery wrapped in tinfoil and plastic. Normally, I loved sandwiches with the crusts cut off. Not for the tuna or egg salad between the bread. For the sheer decadence of that frivolous waste. Not that day. Never since. Funny the things that affect you.
Kevin's death changed more than my view of sandwiches. It altered the whole stage on which I'd lived my life....