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Devil Bones (Temperance Brennan Series #11)

Devil Bones (Temperance Brennan Series #11)

3.9 154
by Kathy Reichs

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Now in mass market from the bestselling author, forensic anthropologist, and producer of the FOX television hit Bones—the riveting #1 New York Times bestselling Temperance Brennan novel.

In a house under renovation in Charlotte, North Carolina, a plumber discovers a forgotten cellar, and some rather grisly remains—the severed


Now in mass market from the bestselling author, forensic anthropologist, and producer of the FOX television hit Bones—the riveting #1 New York Times bestselling Temperance Brennan novel.

In a house under renovation in Charlotte, North Carolina, a plumber discovers a forgotten cellar, and some rather grisly remains—the severed head of a teenage girl, several decapitated chickens, and a couple of cauldrons containing beads, feathers, bones, and other relics of religious ceremonies. In a river not far away, an adolescent boy’s torso carved with a pentagram, is found. Are these crimes the work of Satanists and devil worshippers?

Nothing is clear, neither when the deaths occurred, nor where. Was the skull brought to the cellar or was the girl murdered there? As Temperance Brennan is called in to investigate, citizen vigilantes intent on a witch hunt are led by a preacher turned politician, looking for revenge.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Loved it! I'm amazed by how seamlessly Reichs makes the transition from forensic jargon to snappy, funny dialogue — scientist to great storyteller. What's not to admire and envy?" — Sandra Brown, author of Play Dirty

"Reichs is a standout...[with] a formidable way of incorporating science with character and plot.... Her expertise is snappily and entertainingly delivered." — Booklist

"Fascinating." — Entertainment Weekly

"The lab lady most likely to dethrone Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta." — USA Today

"Reichs keeps the roller coaster on track and speeding along, page after page." — Jeffery Deaver

"Her expertise is snappily and entertainingly delivered." — Booklist

Publishers Weekly

Linda Emond's crisp and dry vocal interpretation of Reichs's Temperance Brennan, crime fiction's second most popular forensic expert, is on target. The cool approach works fine when the "5'5", feisty and 40-plus" heroine describes stumbling into a dark basement and finding a witches' brew of pagan artifacts and human and animal remains. It lets Temperance and the listener calmly contemplate her jumbled, alcohol-prone, romantically impaired life. And it helps in sorting out the clues for several gruesome killings that may or may not be connected and may or may not involve what one character describes as a "murderous devil conspiracy." But even Emond can't make Reichs's endless side trips into North Carolina history, geographical key notes and descriptions of the roots of voodoo and the Wicca religion sound anything but academic. Spare us the lectures; there's more than enough plot without the unnecessary digressions. A Scribner hardcover (Reviews, June 9). (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

"Reichs is a standout...[with] a formidable way of incorporating science with character and plot.... Her expertise is snappily and entertainingly delivered."

Kirkus Reviews
Several troubling cases await forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan (Bones to Ashes, 2007, etc.) back home in Charlotte, N.C. Tempe Brennan's personal life is in tatters. Her love, a Montreal cop called Ryan, has gone back to his lover in hopes of stabilizing their troubled daughter; Tempe's ex is about to marry a much younger woman; and her daughter Katy is utterly bored with her job. A call to examine a skull found in a hidden floor space plunges Tempe into a case that may involve ritual murder. The skull and some kettles containing bones and various fetishes suggesting Santer'a or some other alternative religion may tie in with two headless bodies, one found floating in a river and another marked with Satanic symbols. Furious when a local politician uses the cases as an excuse to whip up hostility against little-understood religions, Tempe is far from convinced that the Wiccan who is arrested is guilty. When Rinaldi, one of the detectives she's working with, is killed in a drive-by, Tempe falls off the wagon but soldiers on, mortified, until she finally makes the connections between the crimes that lead to a close call with death and a startling conclusion. Not Reichs's best, but a meticulously laid-out case that offers a deeper look into her heroine's personal life. Agent: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh/William Morris Agency

Product Details

Pocket Star
Publication date:
Temperance Brennan Series , #11
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.20(d)

Read an Excerpt


My name is Temperance Deassee Brennan. I'm five-five, feisty, and forty-plus. Multidegreed. Overworked. Underpaid.


Slashing lines through that bit of literary inspiration, I penned another opening.

I'm a forensic anthropologist. I know death. Now it stalks me. This is my story.

Merciful God. Jack Webb and Dragnet reincarnate.

More slashes.

I glanced at the clock. Two thirty-five.

Abandoning the incipient autobiography, I began to doodle. Circles inside circles. The clock face. The conference room. The UNCC campus. Charlotte. North Carolina. North America. Earth. The Milky Way.

Around me, my colleagues argued minutiae with all the passion of religious zealots. The current debate concerned wording within a subsection of the departmental self-study. The room was stifling, the topic poke-me-in-the-eye dull. We'd been in session for over two hours, and time was not flying.

I added spiral arms to the outermost of my concentric circles. Began filling spaces with dots. Four hundred billion stars in the galaxy. I wished I could put my chair into hyperdrive to any one of them.

Anthropology is a broad discipline, comprised of linked subspecialties. Physical. Cultural. Archaeological. Linguistic. Our department has the full quartet. Members of each group were feeling a need to have their say.

George Petrella is a linguist who researches myth as a narrative of individual and collective identity. Occasionally he says something I understand.

At the moment, Petrella was objecting to the wording "reducible to" four distinct fields. He was proposing substitution of the phrase "divisible into."

Cheresa Bickham, a Southwestern archaeologist, and Jennifer Roberts, a specialist in cross-cultural belief systems, were holding firm for "reducible to."

Tiring of my galactic pointillism, and not able to reduce or divide my ennui into any matters of interest, I switched to calligraphy.

Temperance. The trait of avoiding excess.

Double order, please. Side of restraint. Hold the ego.

Time check.

Two fifty-eight.

The verbiage flowed on.

At 3:10 a vote was taken. "Divisible into" carried the day.

Evander Doe, department chair for over a decade, was presiding. Though roughly my age, Doe looks like someone out of a Grant Wood painting. Bald. Owlish wire-rims. Pachyderm ears.

Most who know Doe consider him dour. Not me. I've seen the man smile at least two or three times.

Having put "divisible into" behind him, Doe proceeded to the next burning issue. I halted my swirly lettering to listen.

Should the department's mission statement stress historical ties to the humanities and critical theory, or should it emphasize the emerging role of the natural sciences and empirical observation?

My aborted autobiography had been smack on. I would die of boredom before this meeting adjourned.

Sudden mental image. The infamous sensory deprivation experiments of the 1950s. I pictured volunteers wearing opaque goggles and padded hand muffs, lying on cots in white-noise chambers.

I listed their symptoms and compared them to my present state.

Anxiety. Depression. Antisocial behavior. Hallucination.

I crossed out the fourth item. Though stressed and irritable, I wasn't hallucinating. Yet. Not that I'd mind. A vivid vision would have provided diversion.

Don't get me wrong. I've not grown cynical about teaching. I love being a professor. I regret that my interaction with students seems more limited each year.

Why so little classroom time? Back to the subdiscipline thing.

Ever try to see just a doctor? Forget it. Cardiologist. Dermatologist. Endocrinologist. Gastroenterologist....

Meet the Author

Kathy Reichs
is a board-certified forensic anthropologist for the province of Quebec, a position she also held at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner State of North Carolina. A past vice president of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, she serves on the National Police Services Advisory Council in Canada. The author of numerous bestselling thrillers, she lives in Charlotte, North Carolina and Montreal, Canada.

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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Devil Bones (Temperance Brennan Series #11) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 154 reviews.
stockman More than 1 year ago
The overall plot is not new; it has been done and redone. Brennan spends far more time in this novel as a police investigator than a forensic anthropologist. As a murder mystery, this book was more run of the mill than I would expect.
BarbaraLyn More than 1 year ago
I have yet to meet a book written by Kathy Reichs that I didn't enjoy. Devil Bones is no exception. Tempe is asked to review the remains found in a home under renovation. The bones were found in what could only be described as a Voodoo setting. While she is doing this, a headless body of a teenage boy is discovered on a lakeshore. Are the two connected in some way? Two detectives work with Tempe to discover if this is really Voodoo or some other form of devil worship. Between a preacher/politician trying to get elected and his sermonizing about the find, one of the detectives getting killed and Andrew Ryan coming back into Tempe's life right along with an old high school flame, there is plenty of action to keep your mind whirling. Linda Emond reads with easy and clarity. She provides several voices that are appropriate for each character so the listener has no problem following who is speaking.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have collected and read all of Kathy Reichs' book, so I guess you could say I have been a fan for a long time. However, this book seemed almost like a chore to read. The plot was not bad, but it seemed like the technical jargon in this particular book was stronger than the actual plot. Sometimes I found myself skimming the "tech speak" to get to the conversations developing the plot. If she continues with this format, I may become an ex fan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the book better than the TV series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic! Love Kathy Reichs. She has a way with words, that can express beyond anyone's creative imagination.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Really, what can I say - Kathy Reichs is the queen of forensic mysteries. Reichs works as a forensic anthropologist in the US and Canada. She knows what she writing about. Her character Tempe Brennan is also a forensic anthropologist. The television show Bones is also based on this character. Devil Bones finds Tempe called in to consult on bones found in a cauldron in a hidden cellar. They seem to be part of a religious ceremony. Another body is found and the two may be connected. A local politician is using these murders to stir up the populace. Reich's mysteries are intelligent and well thought out. The details and science are realistic. Her series features some similarities to Cornwell's - the rumpled cop crony, the angry young relative, conflicts with superiors, the on again off again romance with a fellow law enforcement officer and a few others. I just find Reich's writing superior to what Cornwell has put out lately.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kathy Reichs does it again. I couldn't put down this book. She kept me guessing right until the end. She also got the facts right about the Wiccan religon. I also like that Tempe's life is getting some turns in it and not the standard, 'okay let's hook up with the handsome hero.' I look forward to her next book.
churchmama More than 1 year ago
Even though Reichs' books all deal with Temperance and her colleagues, the books are not as formulaic as you might assume they would be. Each book deals with an entirely different forensic situation and the murders take place in different locales that she describes in detail.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan is in Charlotte, North Carolina working as an instructor at UNC-Charlotte and also at the office of the Chief Medical Examiner. She is called out of a boring college meeting by ME Dr. Larabee, who asks her to go to a house where a plumber broke through a wall only to see a previously concealed cellar with a cauldron with a skull on it behind the wall.----------- Temperance arrives at the scene and she sees two cauldrons with the human skull on one of them but it is missing the jaw. She takes it to lab to examine the find. She determines the skull is that of a black teenage female, but cannot decide on when she died. The two cauldrons contain objects used in Afro-Carib religious ceremonies. While Temp tries to identify the victim, a torso of a young male is found with satanic symbols on it. An evangelical councilman plans to use the satanic angle to further his political aspirations by pointing at a person who is obviously innocent. When two more murders occur, Temp interprets the notes of the murdered cop who worked the case, but that only leads her to danger from a vile killer who has no qualms of committing another homicide.---------- Kathy Reichs brilliantly simplifies the forensics sciences without dumbing down the theories or supporting facts, which turns DEAD BONES into a terrific read. There are plenty of viable suspects but no prime person of interest. Thus the protagonist and the police have their work to end the killings. Temp is strong willed who retains her femininity and sense of humor as she works with human remains and living humans while seeking clues to her current case. Readers will enjoy this in depth complex thriller.------- Harriet Klausner
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carolectsc More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed Reichs' books and found this book had a very tangled story that didn't hang together. Too technical on forensics and too little character development.
GranmaX5 More than 1 year ago
Kathy Reich's does it again.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was 289 pages. The story was real and was good. REICHS way of writing isnt for me.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If she writes both novel and script which is mrs hyde depends on which you prefer. I prefer the t v show so mrs hyde gets the no star.
tiger-100 More than 1 year ago
liked this one a lot. don't know how Kathy keeps getting the ideas for her books but I hope she never runs out material to write about Brennan. Love BONES, one of my favorite shows.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the Tempe books, but I found myself counting down the pages until we got to Ryan... I feel like there is more pointless technical jargon (normally I don't mind it) I'm this one than necessary. It goes on and on about paganism and Wicca, when it ends up not actually having much to do with the story. I skimmed through most of it.
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