Uneasy Relations (Gideon Oliver Series #15)

( 3 )


Buried ceremoniously, high in a cave on the Rock of Gibraltar, lies the skeleton of a human woman, clutching the skeleton of a part-human, part-Neanderthal child. Fascinated, Professor Oliver jumps at the chance to visit the site. But two deaths, possibly murders, have rocked Gibraltar. As Oliver tries to piece things together, he's about to fall for some deadly tricks. After all, unlike the Gibraltar Boy, he's only human.

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Uneasy Relations (Gideon Oliver Series #15)

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Buried ceremoniously, high in a cave on the Rock of Gibraltar, lies the skeleton of a human woman, clutching the skeleton of a part-human, part-Neanderthal child. Fascinated, Professor Oliver jumps at the chance to visit the site. But two deaths, possibly murders, have rocked Gibraltar. As Oliver tries to piece things together, he's about to fall for some deadly tricks. After all, unlike the Gibraltar Boy, he's only human.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A solid mystery."

Dallas Morning News
Elkins is a master.
Publishers Weekly

In Edgar-winner Elkins's absorbing 15th novel to feature forensics anthropology professor Gideon Oliver (after 2007's Little Tiny Teeth), Oliver and his wife, Julie, are off to Gibraltar so he can take part in a conference honoring the discovery of the First Family, the skeletons of a human woman buried with her half-Neanderthal child. After he narrowly escapes death twice before he can take part in the program, however, Gideon becomes suspicious that other "accidental" deaths associated with the archeological dig may actually be murders. Gideon interacts with a small group of scholars who display amusing quirks while also showing enough professional vanity to make them suspects. When Gideon studies the bone evidence, he gets the job done without CSI gimmicks and glitz, and Julie presses him for explanations if matters get too technical. In addition, Elkins offers readers a pleasant tour of the Rock and its neighborhood. (July)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
VOYA - Valerie Ott
The latest in the Gideon Oliver series will not disappoint fans of the brainy, lovable physical anthropologist whose help cracking archeological mysteries earned him the name Skeleton Detective. The discovery of a pair of skeletons (aka the First Family) in Gibraltar sets the scientific world on its ear. One of them, a woman, was clearly a Neanderthal; however, the young boy buried with her has homo sapien characteristics, leading many to theorize that Neanderthals and homo sapiens interbred. After traveling to Gibraltar to help celebrate the anniversary of this important discovery, a misleading newspaper article about the speech Gideon plans to give results in two attempts on his life. Realizing that someone is desperate to keep something about the First Family a secret, the suspicious Gideon helps local police determine that two recent deaths-previously ruled as accidents-were murders linked to the discovery of the First Family. Eventually Gideon's acumen helps determine that the killer is his colleague Rowley Boyd, who was trying to cover the fact that the bones from the First Family were taken from two different excavation sites, debunking the "mixing-theory," and shaming those who had built their careers around it. This mystery has all the essential ingredients, such as suspense and good pacing; however, Elkin also manages to make anthropology fascinating by creating an accessible character with a penchant for forensics in Gideon. This series is capable of turning older teens who like science into mystery readers or mystery lovers into science buffs. Reviewer: Valerie Ott
Library Journal

The Rock of Gibraltar serves as the exotic site where anthropologist Gideon Oliver will be giving a talk on what might be the greatest paleontological hoax of all time. But two murders put Gideon into jeopardy. Mostly using a gentle tone and highly instructional when dealing with history, archaeology, and paleontology, Elkins (Edgar Award winner for Little Tiny Teeth) delivers a solid mystery.
—Jo Ann Vicarel

Kirkus Reviews
A trip to Gibraltar brings Dr. Gideon Oliver, the Skeleton Detective (Little Tiny Teeth, 2007, etc.), up against old bones and new. The Europa Point dig's discovery of the First Family-Gibraltar Woman, a Homo sapiens skeleton, and Gibraltar Boy, the Neanderthal skeleton cradled in her arms-raised the heady possibility that Neanderthals and humans lived in peaceful coexistence with each others' communities some time thousands of years ago. Unfortunately, Gideon, who's headed to a conference commemorating Europa Point, hasn't been equally successful at keeping the peace. He didn't keep a tight enough lid on his sense of humor when he was talking to a newspaper reporter covering his trip, and now headlines scream that he's going to unmask the biggest anthropological fraud since Piltdown Man. What Gideon finds instead is evidence of far more recent violence: the suspicious cave-in that buried Europa Point area supervisor Sheila Chan three years ago; the fiery death of wealthy amateur archeologist/TV personality Ivan Gunderson; and two nearly fatal attacks on Gideon's own august person. Which of the eminent conferees-Gibraltar museum director Rowley Boyd, tippling Europa Point director Adrian Vanderwater, schoomarmish archeologist Audrey Godwin-Pope, Gideon's old student Pru McGinnis-has been responsible for the carnage, and why?Beyond the sawdust exposition-Elkins catalogs his characters' professional credentials and physical appearance as conscientiously as any field anthropologist-lies a neatly turned puzzle with a didactic but painless use of the forensic expertise that's the Skeleton Detective's stock in trade.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425229088
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/4/2009
  • Series: Gideon Oliver Series, #15
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 1,016,681
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Aaron Elkins

Aaron Elkins is the author of the Edgar Award-winning Gideon Oliver mysteries.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Great mystery

    Physical anthropologist and homicide solver Gideon Oliver and his wife are attending the annual International Paleoanthropological Society Conference held in Gibraltar. Oliver, known as the Skelton Detective, is going to celebrate the discovery of the First family, a Homo sapiens mother holding her hybrid Neanderthal son. This find proved that the two humanoid species interacted, mated and had offspring.-------------- Although he never worked at the site, Oliver examined the bones of the Gibraltar woman and her son. While on the Rock, only luck saves him from being killed. He thinks someone deliberately pushed him, but is not fully sure if it happened or it was his imagination.. When he gets set to lecture, only the warning of a fellow scientist keeps him from being electrocuted. He thinks the attempts on his life are linked to a story planted by his editor in the newspaper about a revelation he will make. When it is discovered another group member Sheila Chin was not killed in a cave in but murdered also, Oliver concludes someone working the site is willing to commit two years ago but was murdered Oliver decides to start his investigation.----------------- In some ways Oliver will remind forensic fans of Scarpetta as he uses the latest scientific techniques and some intuition to solve homicides. In this tale, Aaron Elkins makes it easy for the lay reader to understand the science behind physical anthropology and the pressure the scholars are under to discover something. The whodunit is entertaining as the suspects are professionally gathered from around the world sharing the same motive and opportunity. Fans will appreciate the Bone Detective as he searches amidst UNEASY RELATIONS to find a killer.------------- Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted December 28, 2010

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    Posted December 21, 2010

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