Bones to Ashes (Temperance Brennan Series #10)

Bones to Ashes (Temperance Brennan Series #10)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743566162
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication date: 08/28/2007
Series: Temperance Brennan Series , #10
Edition description: Unabridged
Pages: 9
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 5.40(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Kathy Reichs is the author of nineteen New York Times bestselling novels and the coauthor, with her son, Brendan Reichs, of six novels for young adults. Like the protagonist of her Temperance Brennan series, Reichs is a forensic anthropologist—one of fewer than one hundred and fifteen 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).


Charlotte, North Carolina and Montreal, Québec

Place of Birth:

Chicago, Illinois


B.A., American University, 1971; M.A., Ph.D., Northwestern University

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

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. My mother's eyes, always kind and often mirthful, were perpetually wrong. Dark-circled and deep in their sockets. My child's brain was unable to translate her look, other than to sense sadness. Years later I saw a photo of a Kosovo woman, her husband and son lying in makeshift coffins. I felt a spark of recollection. Could I know her? Impossible. Then realization. I was recognizing the same defeat and hopelessness I'd seen in Mama's gaze.

But it wasn't just Mama's appearance that changed. She and Daddy no longer shared a pre-supper cocktail, or lingered at the table talking over coffee. They no longer watched television when the dishes were cleared and Harry and I were in our PJs. They'd enjoyed the comedy shows, eyes meeting when Lucy or Gomer did something amusing. Daddy would take Mama's hand and they'd laugh.

All laughter fled when leukemia conquered Kevin.

My father also took flight. He didn't withdraw into quiet self-pity, as Mama eventually did. Michael Terrence Brennan, litigator, connoisseur, and irrepressible bon vivant, withdrew directly into a bottle of good Irish whiskey. Many bottles, actually.

I didn't notice Daddy's absences at first. Like a pain that builds so gradually you're unable to pinpoint its origin, I realized one day that Daddy just wasn't around that much. Dinners without him grew more frequent. His arrival home grew later, until he seemed little more than a phantom presence in my life. Some nights I'd hear unsteady footfalls on the steps, a door banged too hard against a wall. A toilet flushed. Then silence. Or muffled voices from my parents' bedroom, the cadence conveying accusations and resentment.

To this day, a phone ringing after midnight makes me shiver. Perhaps I am an alarmist. Or merely a realist. In my experience, late-night calls never bring good news. There's been an accident. An arrest. A fight.

Mama's call came a long eighteen months after Kevin's death. Phones gave honest rings back then. Not polyphonic clips of "Grillz" or "Sukie in the Graveyard." I awoke at the first resonating peal. Heard a second. A fragment of a third. Then a soft sound, half scream, half moan, then the clunk of a receiver striking wood. Frightened, I pulled the covers up to my eyes. No one came to my bed.

There was an accident, Mama said the next day. Daddy's car was forced off the road. She never spoke of the police report, the blood alcohol level of 0.27. I overheard those details on my own. Eavesdropping is instinctual at age seven.

I remember Daddy's funeral even less than I remember Kevin's. A bronze coffin topped with a spray of white flowers. Endless eulogies. Muffled crying. Mama supported by two of the aunts. Psychotically green cemetery grass.

Mama's relatives made the trek in even larger numbers this time. Daessees. Lees. Cousins whose names I didn't remember. More covert listening revealed threads of their plan. Mama must move back home with her children.

The summer after Daddy died was one of the hottest in Illinois history, with temperatures holding in the nineties for weeks. Though weather forecasters talked of Lake Michigan's cooling effect, we were far from the water, blocked by too many buildings and too much cement. No lacustrine breezes for us. In Beverly, we plugged in fans, opened windows, and sweated. Harry and I slept on cots on the screened porch.

Through June and into July, Grandma Lee maintained a "return to Dixie" phone campaign. Brennan relatives continued appearing at the house, but solo now, or in sets of two, men with sweat-looped armpits, women in cotton dresses limp on their bodies. Conversation was guarded, Mama nervous and always on the verge of tears. An aunt or uncle would pat her hand. Do what's best for you and the girls, Daisy.

In some child's way I sensed a new restlessness in these familial calls. A growing impatience that grieving end and life resume. The visits had become vigils, uncomfortable but obligatory because Michael Terrence had been one of their own, and the matter of the widow and the children needed to be settled in proper fashion.

Death also wrought change in my own social nexus. Kids I'd known all my life avoided me now. When chance brought us together they'd stare at their feet. Embarrassed? Confused? Fearful of contamination? Most found it easier to stay away.

Mama hadn't enrolled us in day camp, so Harry and I spent the long, steamy days by ourselves. I read her stories. We played board games, choreographed puppet shows, or walked to the Woolworth's on Ninety-fifth Street for comics and vanilla Cokes.

Throughout those weeks, a small pharmacy took shape on Mama's bedside table. When she was downstairs I'd examine the little vials with their ridged white caps and neatly typed labels. Shake them. Peer through the yellow and brown plastic. The tiny capsules caused something to flutter in my chest.

Mama made her decision in mid-July. Or perhaps Grandma Lee made it for her. I listened as she told Daddy's brothers and sisters. They patted her hand. Perhaps it's best, they said, sounding, what? Relieved? What does a seven-year-old know of nuance?

Gran arrived the same day a sign went up in our yard. In the kaleidoscope of my memory I see her exiting the taxi, an old woman, scarecrow thin, hands knobby and lizard dry. She was fifty-six that summer.

Within a week we were packed into the Chrysler Newport that Daddy had purchased before Kevin's diagnosis. Gran drove. Mama rode shotgun. Harry and I were in back, a midline barrier of crayons and games demarcating territorial boundaries.

Two days later we arrived at Gran's house in Charlotte. Harry and I were given the upstairs bedroom with the green-striped wallpaper. The closet smelled of mothballs and lavender. Harry and I watched Mama hang our dresses on rods. Winter dresses for parties and church.

How long are we staying, Mama?

We'll see. The hangers clicked softly.

Will we go to school here?

We'll see.

At breakfast the next morning Gran asked if we'd like to spend the rest of the summer at the beach. Harry and I gazed at her over our Rice Krispies, shell-shocked by the thundering changes rolling over our lives.

'Course you would, she said.

How do you know what I would or wouldn't like? I thought. You're not me. She was right, of course. Gran usually was. But that wasn't the point. Another decision had been made and I was powerless to change it.

Two days after hitting Charlotte, our little party again settled itself in the Chrysler, Gran at the wheel. Mama slept, waking only when the whining of our tires announced we were crossing the causeway.

Mama's head rose from the seat back. She didn't turn to us. Didn't smile and sing out, "Pawleys Island, here we come!" as she had in happier times. She merely slumped back.

Gran patted Mama's hand, a carbon copy of the gesture employed by the Brennans. "We're going to be fine," she cooed, in a drawl identical to that of her daughter. "Trust me, Daisy darlin'. We're going to be fine."

And fine I was, once I met Évangéline Landry.

And for the next four years.

Until Évangéline vanished.

Copyright © 2007 by Temperance Brennan, L.P.

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Bones to Ashes (Temperance Brennan Series #10) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 142 reviews.
ldailey More than 1 year ago
This book is almost impossible to put down! There are so many twists and turns, yet it is extremely easy to follow! I recommend this to anyone who enjoys the shows CSI or Bones! I also Recommend the entire Tempe Brennan series by Kathy Reichs... they are all amazing! Best of all, you dont have to read them in order to enjoy the book, yes they give you more details if you read them in order, but they also stand alone very well!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dr. Reichs gave me an insight into a culture I had only heard of, but knew little about, the Acadiens of New Brunswick. As a French speaker myself, I liked the occasional use of the 'Chiac' dialect, which looks little like French. FROM BONES TO ASHES offered gripping suspense from the beginning to the end. The book successfully weaves the story of unidentified dead girls with missing persons, Dr. Brennan's long lost childhood friend from the Acadie region of Canada, and the stigma of a now treatable disease into a moving read. I would highly reccommend this book to fans of history, anthropology, forensic science, and mystery.
tiger-100 More than 1 year ago
really got into this one, read all of it in 2 days!!! had to plug NOOK in so I could keep reading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is another amazing story from Kathy Reichs... I love all of her Temperance Brennan novels, and this one is a definite must-read! Fantastic inclusion of information about other fields of study (such as history and linguistics), and as always, excellent and interesting information about forensic anthropology!!! Great plot, with unexpected twists and turns right up until the end!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ms. Reichs included pages of mind numbing details that had nothing to do with the plot or character development. Speaking of the plot, it was the most ridiculous, convoluted, unbelievable mish-mash I've ever read. It was as if the author had a dozen pieces of nonsense rattling around in her brain, and then just squished them all together and called it an ending. My husband bought the book for me because I enjoy the television series 'Bones,' and I kept reading even though it was a dreadful disappointment. I wasted my time he wasted his money.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story line was good and it was something that I had never read about in a novel before but I was disappointed with the ending of the book. It leaves Tempe's personal life turned upside down and it gives you nothing to anticipate, after reading Break No Bones I was hoping this novel would shed some light on things but it didn't and actually just left her life more screwed up then what it was.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan needs a diversion as her love life seems to be collapsing with her relationship with Detective Andrew Ryan, shaky at its optimistic best. Thus, when she is asked to look at the remains of a cold case in New Brunswick, Canada, she leaps at the opportunity. The skeleton is that of a a teenage girl, which leads Tempe to believe that the bones are the remains of Evangeline Landry. Three decades ago when Tempe was eight, her fifteen year old friend Evangeline vanished without a trace. Looking back Tempe vaguely remembers being told to forget Evangeline ever lived.--------------- As she recalls the warning from her youth, Tempe wonders what caused the lesions on the bone structure. At the same time Ryan investigates three cold cases involving missing teenage girls eventually found dead with the same scenario as that of the Jane Doe that Tempe feels is Evangeline. Both think their cases are the result of the same serial killer and share the fear factor that this predator still operates freely after all these years. ------------- Tempe¿s tenth forensic whodunit is a superb investigative thriller that hooks the audience from the first moment that the heroine begins her inquiry. The fast-paced story line is action-packed with the two subplots tied together as much by the investigations as it is the relationship. No one plays with Bones better than Kathy Reichs does as the latest Temperance Brennan cold case mysteries retains the series trademark of fresh suspense enhanced by the latest forensic breakthroughs.-------------- Harriet Klausner
bilja on LibraryThing 18 days ago
Maybe not the best book ever written by Dr.Reichs, sometimes complicated, sometimes boaring in its details, shows a very interesting part of the Canadian/American history. Always departing from Tempe's personal life, her summer holidays with her little sis and 2 french canadian girls, develops a voyage into a corner of land, Tracadie, totally unknown to European people, but very significant in history. I truly enjoy the french/english culture comparison, at its highest point in this book. It really shows the two Canadian souls. Another excellent job Mrs.Reichs!
JoAnnSmithAinsworth on LibraryThing 19 days ago
Enjoyable. Storyline kept me interested, despite lots of technical info added. Satisfying ending, although I could have used more showing, less telling.
andreaslindblad on LibraryThing 19 days ago
A good page-turner (i read it whilst commuting to work). It is about a forensic antrhropologist who, confronted with the remains of both contemporary victims and those of victims that may be ancient aids with the investigation of a number of missing person cases which may be linked through one killer.Analogous to Patricia Cornwell's Scarpetta novels in both the forensic theme and a heroine being the main character - if you liked the former you'd probably like the latter. Since Cornwell's novels have lately become a bit (too much?) strained in the narrative Reichs' is still quite restrained in their boundaries.Anyway, a good book to read on airports, airplanes and the RER B in Paris.
kp9949 on LibraryThing 19 days ago
I enjoyed this story. Temperence is drawn into a mystery that may or may not involved a long lost friend. This Kathy Reich book and her previous one are thus far my favorities in the series. Because Temperence Brennan lives in several "worlds", her cases are intriguing and educational.
MichaelDeavers on LibraryThing 19 days ago
A bit weak for the Bones Series. I thought Bones to Ashes was a very good story for the Bones series. I wouldn't go so far as to say it was one of the best, but it was still a wonderful read. Temperance love life got a wee bit boring but I couldn't help but perk up with the portrayal of missing children. My feelings on the plot are mixed. Mainly I just wished that there were more scenes that revolved around the mystery of the bones and Ryan's cases.As always, Kathy Reich did an excellent job of describing in detail the police procedures, which I found very interesting.
cmeilink on LibraryThing 19 days ago
Since I normally purchase and read Kathy Reichs' books the moment they hit the shelves, I'm not sure how I missed this book when it was released in 2007 but better late than never.This Temperance Brennan installment takes place during one of her Montreal rotations, and it's non-stop from the first page through to the last.Homicide Detective Andrew Ryan, Temperance's love interest, is investigating cases of murdered young girls and calls in Tempe to identify them. As the investigation progresses and Tempe finishes her examinations of the bodies, they find that Ryan's cases and several of Sergent-enqueteur Hippolyte Gallant's cold cases are linked. Add to that Tempe's childhood friend, Evangeline, who has been missing for over 30 years, and Tempe's sister, Harry, who has offered her services as co-investigator, and you have a dynamite story.
chmessing on LibraryThing 19 days ago
A good, quick "filler" sort of book - for when you don't have anything else handy. I've read a couple others in this series and they're generally decently written and fast-moving with lots of forensic details (sometimes a bit too much).
Joybee on LibraryThing 19 days ago
Typical Temperance Brennan novel, a fun quick read. Set in Montreal. Forensic anthropologist, Tempe reminisces about a childhood friend who mysteriously disappeared, and is reminded of her when a set of bones come to her attention about the approximate age of the vanished girl. Meanwhile the body of a girl is found in a lake, and she may tie into another investigation of missing girls Ryan is working.
susanbunny on LibraryThing 19 days ago
I really got stuck into this book, but found it hard going with all the french names. I was enjoying the storey until it turned into a paedophile storey, why oh why did she need to do that, made it all a bit sad I felt. Also not a bit like the series bones, which I expected it to be as the main character shares the same name.
thotcriminal on LibraryThing 21 days ago
This was better than some of her last few. It had a lot more action and a lot better plot development. I liked it!
Pompeia on LibraryThing 21 days ago
Temperance Brennan, a forensic anthropologist, has lots of bones to study, little time and many personal problems. A skeleton of a young girl with weird lesions, nostalgia and curiosity about a childhood firend who went missing, several missing girls and suspicious photographs once again converge to a single case. And of course, spicing things up is the recurring cast: a boyfriend who seems to on his way to being an ex, an extrovert sister, a separated husband and a few pets.I like the early novels in the series, because the author clearly knows her subject and because the characters were likeable. However, in this book it feels as though she has run out of ideas. I didn't like the missing childhood friend -story, since it had a very forced feeling to it. In fact, I enjoyed the book most when I ignored the plot, which just goes to show that the descriptions of the lab work grip me much more strongly than the plot.In short, not a bad book but doesn't compare to the early ones in the series.
EowynA on LibraryThing 21 days ago
This is one of the series of books about Temperance Brennan, forensic anthropologist, upon which the "Bones" TV show is loosely based. This is the first of that series that I've read, though clearly it is not the first of the series written. The book threw me a bit because this Tempe Brennan is not in the same setting / situation as the TV show - they have clearly used this book series as a springboard, not as a blueprint. There are a series of stories, long and short, woven into this book. One thread follows Tempe through her life, with her relationships to her sister Harry, her former lover Ryan, and an off-stage guest appearance by her husband Pete, finally asking for divorce papers. Another thread follows the stories of the people whose bones she analyzes. Some of these stories are small, but the key thing is that though Tempe meets them as bits of skeleton, she does not lose sight of the fact that these are people with their own stories and connections. Through her eyes, we also connect to these bits of lives. And then there is the main thread of story, about Acadia, her childhood friend Evangeline, and a series of cases that point to young runaways and child pornography. The book is a swift read (I started it yesterday morning in the Dr's office), and reminds me somewhat of Patricia Cornwell's series about Kaye Scarpetta. Reichs has a knack for introducing us to the people behind the many bodies she introduces that sets her apart from Cornwell. This book also has an excellent sense of place, introducing us to the culture of Acadia and some of its history. Recommended.
missmath144 on LibraryThing 21 days ago
Enjoyable! Not quite as good as previous ones. It seemed like Reichs was stretching things to fill out an entire book. There was too much description of how things were done (although this might be why others like her books), such as forenciscs things, how e-mails can be sent by using an unprotected wi-fi network, a lot of things like: He was referring to. . . (It seems to me that you make an allusion, and if it has to be explained to the reader, it's not a very good allusion. Just say it and those who get it, do; those who don't, don't.) She even repeated the long list of long names of victims dozens of times in the book; it didn't seem necessary, and detracted from the flow. She translated almost every French word or phrase she used; again, non-French-speaking people probably appreciate this. My take is that she should either use the French phrases and expect people to know what they mean, or not use them. There's no need to repeate the same thing in two languages. All these asides detracted from the plot, and I didn't enjoy it as much as her other books.
nbmars on LibraryThing 21 days ago
Temperance Brennan, or ¿Tempe¿ works as a forensic anthropologist for the central crime and medico-legal lab for the province of Quebec. She has a sexy sister Harry, an on-and-off boyfriend/police detective/co-worker Ryan, an estranged husband Pete, a cat named Birdie, and a bird named Charlie. She is generally brilliant, but often didactic.In ¿Bones to Ashes¿ Tempe helps Ryan look for some missing young girls in the Acadia area, and tries to find out about her own Acadian childhood friend who disappeared. This is the tenth Temperance Brennan novel from Reichs, and the plots follow familiar patterns. Reichs¿ work on her television series seems to have affected her writing, however. Now each chapter ends like a commercial break: ¿His news rocked my world.¿ ¿The woman stepped into daylight.¿ ¿Her response stunned me.¿ And the all time Triteness Winner: ¿Something was dreadfully wrong.¿Nevertheless, if you¿ve followed the characters, you have a certain affection for them, and so as a reader you are a bit more lenient. You refresh your memory on the three forms of transformation in death, you learn a bit of Acadian history, and you wait for the next installment, hoping it will be a bit better.
seasidereader on LibraryThing 21 days ago
I disagree with other reviewers about the appeal of Tempe's childhood side story, and it felt it added immensely to the intrigue. (Spoiler alert:) It also helps to explain her irrational tenacity about pursuing the wrong perpetrator.Yes, some of the characters aren't fully drawn and all loose ends aren't tied up. That's not a bad thing, that's realism.A couple plot issues bothered me, though they are forgivable. And as always, Reichs gives us a glimpse of places we don't know.
M8lt on LibraryThing 21 days ago
I am quite a fan of Kathy Reichs, but couldn't really get into this one. There's too much attention for Temperance's private life and her dealings with collegues and too little focus on the investigated crimes. I don't like the fact that the crime story is part of Temperance's past and hope that the next book will be more of a crime novel than a character sketch (Cornwell has had the same tendency to let the main character's private life become part of the crime story instead of just investigating it and it doesn't really work for me... almost always, as in the case of BONES TO ASHES the story just becomes farfetched). I missed Temperance's positive energy. She seemed continuously depressed about her love life. In terms of the crimes that are investigated, I increasingly lost track which girl was victim of which crime. Finally, I found myself getting anoyed with Reich's way of ending a chapter, i.e. "What I saw, I couldn't have imagined", as if trying to create a moment of suspense to convince the author to eagerly turn to the next chapter..... All in all, not Reich's best.
ElizaJane on LibraryThing 21 days ago
This is the newest book in the Temperance Brennan series and it is right on track. The story starts with missing girls and unidentified bodies and ends in a web of pornography and pedophilia. This is a top-notch entry in the series. We are given a look at Brennan's childhood in this book and her sister Harry is back after an absence of several books. I find Harry incredibly annoying so wasn't too pleased to see her again. Brennan's personal life also takes a nose dive and I really don't like the path her relationship has taken. But now I find myself at the end of this series and in the position of having to wait for the next book to be published. I'll be looking forward to it.
redheadish on LibraryThing 21 days ago
Read this in 2011 after finding 3 of Reichs books at a thrift and buying then reading outof sequence I relized I had to read them all in order! I just love Kathy reichs books!