"Fans of TV's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation should be in heaven" (People) stepping into the world of forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan, star of Kathy Reichs' electrifyingly authentic bestsellers.
She has a passion for the truth . . . and this time, it's taking her down.
A commercial airliner disaster has brought Tempe Brennan to the North Carolina mountains as a member of the investigative agency DMORT. As bomb theories abound, Tempe soon discovers a jarring piece of evidence that raises dangerous questions and gets her thrown from the DMORT team. Relentless in her pursuit of its significance, Tempe uncovers a shocking, multilayered tale of deceit and depravity as she probes her way into frightening territory where someone wants her stopped in her tracks.
About the Author
Kathy Reichs’s first novel Déjà Dead was a #1 New York Times bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. A Conspiracy of Bones is Kathy’s nineteenth entry in her series featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. Kathy was also a producer of the hit Fox TV series, Bones, which is based on her work and her novels. Dr. Reichs is one of very few forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. She served on the Board of Directors and as Vice President of both the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, and as a member of the National Police Services Advisory Council in Canada. She divides her time between Charlotte, North Carolina, and Montreal, Québec.
Hometown:Charlotte, North Carolina and Montreal, Québec
Place of Birth:Chicago, Illinois
Education:B.A., American University, 1971; M.A., Ph.D., Northwestern University
Read an Excerpt
I stared at the woman flying through the trees. Her head was forward, chin raised, arms flung backward like the tiny chrome goddess on the hood of a Rolls Royce. But the tree lady was naked, and her body ended at the waist. Blood-coated leaves and branches imprisoned her lifeless torso.
Lowering my eyes, I looked around. Except for the narrow gravel road on which I was parked, there was nothing but dense forest. The trees were mostly pine, the few hardwoods like wreaths marking the death of summer, their foliage every shade of red, orange, and yellow.
Though it was hot in Charlotte, at this elevation the early October weather was pleasant. But it would soon grow cool. I took a windbreaker from the backseat, stood still, and listened.
Birdsong. Wind. The scurrying of a small animal. Then, in the distance, one man calling to another. A muffled response.
Tying the jacket around my waist, I locked the car and set off toward the voices, my feet swishing through dead leaves and pine needles.
Ten yards into the woods I passed a seated figure leaning against a mossy stone, knees flexed to his chest, laptop computer at his side. He was missing both arms, and a small china pitcher protruded from his left temple.
On the computer lay a face, teeth laced with orthodontic wiring, one brow pierced by a delicate gold ring. The eyes were open, the pupils dilated, giving the face an expression of alarm. I felt a tremor beneath my tongue, and quickly moved on.
Within yards I saw a leg, the foot still bound in its hiking boot. The limb had been torn off at the hip, and I wondered if it belonged to the Rolls-Royce torso.
Beyond the leg, two men rested side by side, seat belts fastened, necks mushrooming into red blossoms. One man sat with legs crossed, as if reading a magazine.
I picked my way deeper into the forest, now and then hearing disconnected shouts, carried to me at the wind's whim. Brushing back branches and climbing over rocks and fallen logs, I continued on.
Luggage and pieces of metal lay among the trees. Most suitcases had burst, spewing their contents in random patterns. Clothing, curling irons, and electric shavers were jumbled with containers of hand lotion, shampoo, aftershave, and perfume. One small carry-on had disgorged hundreds of pilfered hotel toiletries. The smell of drugstore products and airplane fuel mingled with the scent of pine and mountain air. And from far off, a hint of smoke.
I was moving through a steep-walled gully whose thick canopy allowed only mottled sunlight to reach the ground. It was cool in the shadows, but sweat dampened my hairline and glued my clothing to my skin. I caught my foot on a backpack and went hurtling forward, tearing my sleeve on a jagged bough truncated by falling debris.
I lay a moment, hands trembling, breath coming in ragged gulps. Though I'd trained myself to hide emotion, I could feel despair rising in me. So much death. Dear God, how many would there be?
Closing my eyes, I centered mentally, then pushed to my feet.
Eons later, I stepped over a rotting log, circled a stand of rhododendron, and, seeming no closer to the distant voices, stopped to get my bearings. The muted wail of a siren told me the rescue operation was gathering somewhere over a ridge to the east.
Way to get directions, Brennan.
But there hadn't been time to ask questions. First responders to airline crashes or other disasters are usually well-intentioned, but woefully ill-prepared to deal with mass fatalities. I'd been on my way from Charlotte to Knoxville, nearing the state line, when I'd been asked to get to the scene as quickly as possible. Doubling back on I-40, I'd cut south toward Waynesville, then west through Bryson City, a North Carolina hamlet approximately 175 miles west of Charlotte, 50 miles east of Tennessee, and 50 miles north of Georgia. I'd followed county blacktop to the point where state maintenance ended, then proceeded on gravel to a Forest Service road that snaked up the mountain.
Though the instructions I'd been given had been accurate, I suspected there was a better route, perhaps a small logging trail that allowed a closer approach to the adjacent valley. I debated returning to the car, decided to press on. Perhaps those already at the site had trekked overland, as I was doing. The Forest Service road had looked like it was going nowhere beyond where I'd left the car.
After an exhausting uphill scramble, I grabbed the trunk of a Douglas fir, planted one foot, and heaved myself onto a ridge. Straightening, I stared into the button eyes of Raggedy Ann. The doll was dangling upside down, her dress entangled in the fir's lower branches.
An image of my daughter's Raggedy flashed to mind, and I reached out.
I lowered my arm, knowing that every item must be mapped and recorded before removal. Only then could someone claim the sad memento.
From my position on the ridge I had a clear view of what was probably the main crash site. I could see an engine, half buried in dirt and debris, and what looked like pieces of wing flap. A portion of fuselage lay with the bottom peeled back, like a diagram in an instructional manual for model planes. Through the windows I could see seats, some occupied, most empty.
Wreckage and body parts covered the landscape like refuse discarded at a dump. From where I stood, the skin-covered body portions looked starkly pale against the backdrop of forest floor, viscera, and airplane parts. Articles dangled from trees or lay snarled in the leaves and branches. Fabric. Wiring. Sheet metal. Insulation. Molded plastic.
The locals had arrived and were securing the site and checking for survivors. Figures searched among the trees, others stretched tape around the perimeter of the debris field. They wore yellow jackets with Swain County Sheriff's Department printed on back. Still others just wandered or stood in clumps, smoking, talking, or staring aimlessly.
Way off through the trees I noticed the flashing of red, blue, and yellow lights, marking the location of the access route I'd failed to find. In my mind I saw the police cruisers, fire engines, rescue trucks, ambulances, and vehicles of citizen volunteers that would clog that road by tomorrow morning.
The wind shifted and the smell of smoke grew stronger. I turned and saw a thin, black plume curling upward just beyond the next ridge. My stomach tightened, for I was close enough now to detect another odor mingling with the sharp, acrid scent.
Being a forensic anthropologist, it is my job to investigate violent death. I have examined hundreds of fire victims for coroners and medical examiners, and know the smell of charred flesh. One gorge over, people were burning.
I swallowed hard and refocused on the rescue operation. Some who had been inactive were now moving across the site. I watched a sheriff's deputy bend and inspect debris at his feet. He straightened, and an object flashed in his left hand. Another deputy had begun stacking debris.
I started picking my way downward, clinging to underbrush and zigzagging between trees and boulders to control my balance. The gradient was steep, and a stumble could turn into a headlong plunge.
Ten yards from the bottom I stepped on a sheet of metal that slid and sent me into the air like a snowboarder on a major wipeout. I landed hard and began to half roll, half slide down the slope, bringing with me an avalanche of pebbles, branches, leaves, and pine cones.
To stop my fall, I grabbed for a handhold, skinning my palms and tearing my nails before my left hand struck something solid and my fingers closed around it. My wrist jerked painfully as it took the weight of my body, breaking my downward momentum.
I hung there a moment, then rolled onto my side, pulled with both hands, and scooched myself to a sitting position. Never easing my grasp, I looked up.
The object I clutched was a long metal bar, angling skyward from a rock at my hip to a truncated tree a yard upslope. I planted my feet, tested for traction, and worked my way to a standing position. Wiping bleeding hands on my pants, I retied my jacket and continued downward to level ground.
At the bottom, I quickened my pace. Though my terra felt far from firma, at least gravity was now on my side. At the cordoned-off area, I lifted the tape and ducked under.
"Whoa, lady. Not so fast."
I stopped and turned. The man who had spoken wore a Swain County Sheriff's Department jacket.
"I'm with DMORT."
"What the hell is DMORT?" Gruff.
"Is the sheriff on site?"
"Who's asking?" The deputy's face was rigid, his mouth compressed into a hard, tight line. An orange hunting cap rested low over his eyes.
"Dr. Temperance Brennan."
"We ain't gonna need no doctor here."
"I'll be identifying the victims."
In mass disasters, each government agency has specific responsibilities. The Office of Emergency Preparedness, OEP, manages and directs the National Disaster Medical System, NDMS, which provides medical response, and victim identification and mortuary services in the event of a mass fatality incident.
To meet its mission, NDMS created the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team, DMORT, and Disaster Medical Assistance Team, DMAT, systems. In officially declared disasters, DMAT looks after the needs of the living, while DMORT deals with the dead.
I dug out and extended my NDMS identification.
The deputy studied the card, then tipped his head in the direction of the fuselage.
"Sheriff's with the fire chiefs." His voice cracked and he wiped a hand across his mouth. Then he dropped his eyes and walked away, embarrassed to have shown emotion.
I was not surprised at the deputy's demeanor. The toughest and most capable of cops and rescue workers, no matter how extensive their training or experience, are never psychologically prepared for their first major.
Majors. That's what the National Transportation Safety Board dubbed these crashes. I wasn't sure what was required to qualify as a major, but I'd worked several and knew one thing with certainty: Each was a horror. I was never prepared, either, and shared his anguish. I'd just learned not to show it.
Threading toward the fuselage, I passed a deputy covering a body.
"Take that off," I ordered.
"Don't blanket them."
I showed ID again.
"But they're lying in the open." His voice sounded flat, like a computer recording.
"Everything must remain in place."
"We've got to do something. It's getting dark. Bears are gonna scent on these..." he stumbled for a word, "...people."
I'd seen what Ursus could do to a corpse and sympathized with the man's concerns. Nevertheless, I had to stop him.
"Everything must be photographed and recorded before it can be touched."
He bunched the blanket with both hands, his face pinched with pain. I knew exactly what he was feeling. The need to do something, the uncertainty as to what. The sense of helplessness in the midst of overwhelming tragedy.
"Please spread the word that everything has to stay put. Then search for survivors."
"You've got to be kidding." His eyes swept the scene around us. "No one could survive this."
"If anyone is alive they've got more to fear from bears than these folks do." I indicated the body at his feet.
"And wolves," he added in a hollow voice.
"What's the sheriff's name?"
He glanced toward a group near the fuselage.
"Tall one in the green jacket."
I left him and hurried toward Crowe.
The sheriff was examining a map with a half dozen volunteer firefighters whose gear suggested they'd come from several jurisdictions. Even with head bent, Crowe was the tallest in the group. Under the jacket his shoulders looked broad and hard, suggesting regular workouts. I hoped I would not find myself at cross purposes with Sheriff Mountain Macho.
When I drew close the firemen stopped listening and looked in my direction.
Crowe turned, and I realized that macho would not be an issue.
Her cheeks were high and broad, her skin cinnamon. The hair escaping her flat-brimmed hat was frizzy and carrot red. But what held my attention were her eyes. The irises were the color of glass in old Coke bottles. Highlighted by orange lashes and brows, and set against the tawny skin, the pale green was extraordinary. I guessed her age at around forty.
"And you are?" The voice was deep and gravelly, and suggested its owner wanted no nonsense.
"Dr. Temperance Brennan."
"And you have reason to be at this site?"
"I'm with DMORT."
Again the ID. She studied the card and handed it back.
"I heard a crash bulletin while driving from Charlotte to Knoxville. When I phoned Earl Bliss, who's leader of the Region Four team, he asked me to divert over, see if you need anything."
rdA bit more diplomatic than Earl's actual comments.
For a moment the woman did not reply. Then she turned back to the firefighters, spoke a few words, and the men dispersed. Closing the gap between us, she held out her hand. The grip could injure.
"Please call me Tempe."
She spread her feet, crossed her arms, and regarded me with the Coke-bottle eyes.
"I don't believe any of these poor souls will be needing medical attention."
"I'm a forensic anthropologist, not a medical doctor. You've searched for survivors?"
She nodded with a single upward jerk of her head, the type gesture I'd seen in India. "I thought something like this would be the ME's baby."
"It's everybody's baby. Is the NTSB here yet?" I knew the National Transportation Safety Board never took long to arrive.
"They're coming. I've heard from every agency on the planet. NTSB, FBI, ATF, Red Cross, FAA, Forest Service, TVA, Department of the Interior. I wouldn't be surprised if the pope himself came riding over Wolf Knob there."
"Interior and TVA?"
"The feds own most of this county; about eighty-five percent as national forest, five percent as reservation." She extended a hand at shoulder level, moved it in a clockwise circle. "We're on what's called Big Laurel. Bryson City's off to the northwest, Great Smoky Mountains National Park's beyond that. The Cherokee Indian Reservation lies to the north, the Nantahala Game Land and National Forest to the south."
I swallowed to relieve the pressure inside my ears.
"What's the elevation here?"
"We're at forty-two hundred feet."
"I don't want to tell you how to do your job, Sheriff, but there are a few folks you might want to keep ou "
"The insurance man and the snake-bellied lawyer. Lucy Crowe may live on a mountain, but she's been off it once or twice."
I didn't doubt that. I was also certain that no one gave lip to Lucy Crowe.
"Probably good to keep the press out, too."
"You're right about the ME, Sheriff. He'll be here. But the North Carolina emergency plan calls for DMORT involvement for a major."
I heard a muffled boom, followed by shouted orders. Crowe removed her hat and ran the back of her sleeve across her forehead.
"How many fires are still burning?"
"Four. We're getting them out, but it's dicey. The mountain's mighty dry this time of year." She tapped the hat against a thigh as muscular as her shoulders.
"I'm sure your crews are doing their best. They've secured the area and they're dealing with the fires. If there are no survivors, there's nothing else to be done."
"They're not really trained for this kind of thing."
Over Crowe's shoulder an old man in a Cherokee Volunteer PD jacket poked through a pile of debris. I decided on tact.
"I'm sure you've told your people that crash scenes must be treated like crime scenes. Nothing should be disturbed."
She gave her peculiar down-up nod.
"They're probably feeling frustrated, wanting to be useful but unsure what to do. A reminder never hurts."
I indicated the poker.
Crowe swore softly, then crossed to the volunteer, her strides powerful as an Olympic runner's. The man moved off, and in a moment the sheriff was back.
"This is never easy," I said. "When the NTSB arrives they'll assume responsibility for the whole operation."
At that moment Crowe's cell phone rang. I waited as she spoke.
"Another precinct heard from," she said, hooking the handset to her belt. "Charles Hanover, CEO of TransSouth Air."
Though I'd never flown it, I'd heard of the airline, a small, regional carrier connecting about a dozen cities in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Tennessee with Washington, D.C.
"This is one of theirs?"
"Flight 228 was late leaving Atlanta for Washington, D.C. Sat on the runway forty minutes, took off at twelve forty-five P.M. The plane was at about twenty-five thousand feet when it disappeared from radar at 1:07. My office got the 911 call around two."
"How many on board?"
"The plane was a Fokker-100 carrying eighty-two passengers and six crew. But that's not the worst of it."
Her next words foretold the horror of the coming days.
Copyright © 2001 by Temperance Brennan, L.P.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is my first Reich's book, and I can hardly wait to pick up more. Temperance Brennan is true to form, unlike many female protagonists. She is not afraid to cry, and she is not 'super human'. I just love this character. Good read and kept me entertained throughout.
Fatal Voyage is in my opinion an excellent novel. The story has a interesting plot, and of course there's murder. The story is a web of a tale for it seems as though the characters have gotten a little more interesting. Kathy Reichs' books are intriging with a new suprise in every book! Happy Reading!
Well, it only took 4 days to read this book! Another AMAZING novel by Kathy Reichs! If you enjoy the shows CSI or Bones, you will LOVE this book!
I highly recommend this book as it is very accurate and entertaining. It is the best she's written! I am a great fan and find it hard to wait until the next (have already read "Grave Secrets" but it is not as good).
My only regret is that I started reading Kathy Reichs' books years after they were released. Fatal Voyage is the best of the Tempe books that I have read and I plan on reading the entire series.
Temperance Brennan hears the news on her car radio. An Air TransSouth flight has gone down in the mountains of western North Carolina, taking with it eighty-eight passengers and crew. As a forensic anthropologist and a member of the regional DMORT team, Tempe rushes to the scene to assist in body recovery and identification. Tempe has seen death many times, working with the medical examiners in North Carolina and Montreal, but never has tragedy struck with such devastation. She finds a field of carnage: torsos in trees, limbs strewn among bursting suitcases and smoldering debris. Many of the dead are members of a university soccer team. Is Tempe's daughter, Katy, among them? Frantic with worry, Tempe joins colleagues from the FBI, the NTSB, and other agencies to search for explanations. Was the plane brought down by a bomb, an insurance plot, a political assassination, or simple mechanical failure? And what about the prisoner on the plane who was being extradited to Canada? Did someone want him silenced forever? Even more puzzling for Tempe is a disembodied foot found near the debris field. Tempe's microscopic analysis suggests it could not have belonged to any passenger. Whose foot is it, and where is the rest of the body? And what about the disturbing evidence Tempe discovers in the soil outside a remote mountain enclave? What secrets lie hidden there, and why are certain people eager to stop Tempe's investigation? Is she learning too much? Coming too close? With help from Montreal detective Andrew Ryan, who has his own sad reason for being at the crash, and from a very special dog named Boyd, Tempe calls upon deep reserves of courage and upon her forensic skill to uncover a shocking, multilayered tale of deceit and depravity.
This is my favorite of the Temperance Brennan novels thus far. Reichs gives us plenty of scientific detail, but weaves it gracefully into the storytelling rather than taking an abrupt "now it's time for class!" break as I've complained about in previous reviews.As usual, Brennan is in peril due to her involvement with an investigation, but this time the threat is professional. Early on, she is accused of unethical conduct, and it looks as if she is being set up as a scapegoat in the investigation of an airline crash in the Smoky Mountains. Familiar readers know that our Tempe is many things, but never unethical. This leads to some serious tension as her professional identity comes under threat.The fourth star in this four-star review is dedicated to Boyd, a chow whom Tempe finds herself unwillingly dogsitting throughout her sojourn in the mountains. Boyd turns out to be a rather skilled cadaver dog and bodyguard.
Although this kept me interested, I don¿t think the various plot segments went together very well. The crash and all of the suspected reasons. Her weird relationship with her ex-husband Pete. Her weird relationship with Ryan. The remote cabin. Tempe¿s sudden and savage dismissal with prejudice. And the lone foot. Each of these by themselves was interesting, but trying to tie them all together in one story was distracting and it didn¿t let me to care much about any of them.It threw me off that Reichs dismissed the plane crash so cavalierly after she had made it the central plot device to the main plot she wanted to get to. Obviously that was the whole cabin, killings and Hellfire club. Why couldn¿t she have just concentrated on that bit and left out the plane crash? It¿s as if she was going with the crash and then had this great idea about the cult and just had to work it in. The subplot must have gained a life of it¿s own and took over the story. I hope in future she leaves Montreal and NC unconnected. When she connects them out of the blue it kills some of the plausibility of the story.
During recovery efforts after a terrible plane crash in the North Carolina mountains, Tempe Brennan rescues a foot from a pack of coyotes. She is always a stickler for the rules, but when she is accused, by some, of improperly handling remains, she has more than one mystery to solve. The foot doesn't seem to match any of the passangers on the plane and who could possible making waves about her professionalism. If not for the plane crash would the foot ever have been found, or anything else? Tempe is always digging till she knows the answer, even if it costs her. This is an intersting twist on 'the right place, the right time' theory. This story seemed to flow really well, it was fast paced and Tempes humor is great with her sarcasim and way of stating the obvious that makes you want to laugh out loud or at least hoot a bit.
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!
Kathy Reichs has written a tight, scientifically based, edge of your seat novel which kept me up late into the night reading. This was my fourth Reich's book (others were: Grave Secrets; Monday Mourning; and Deja Dead - also gripping thrillers) and it didn't disappoint me.Tempe Brennan is a forensic anthropologist who is called out as part of the emergency response team when an airplane crashes. As she combs through the wreckage and begins cataloging the remains of the passengers, she discovers a severed leg that doesn't seem to belong to any passenger on board. Her desire to uncover the mystery gets the wrong kind of attention from the state's lieutenant governor and Brennan finds herself on the other side of the investigation and fighting for her professional life.For those readers who have read Reich's previous novels, you won't be surprised to see some characters return to this one - most notably the handsome Andrew Ryan and Brennan's ex-husband, Pete, along with a new, endearing addition - Pete's chow-mix, Boyd.Reichs has amazing attention to detail - explaining the science and technology behind airplane investigations, soil analysis and body identification. The plot in Fatal Voyage is fast paced and spellbinding. Reichs' ability to create tension is wonderful. As one of only fifty forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, Reichs knows her stuff and it shows.For those readers who love thrillers and suspense, I can highly recommend Fatal Voyage. I will be adding the rest of Reich's novels to my reading list soon. I rated this 4.5 stars, but looks like the site only takes whole number now!
Temperance Brennan is called in to help identify victims at a plan crash, but is dragged into a bigger mystery when she finds a foot whose owner has passed on long before the plane ever departed. As usual with Reichs' books, there is an immense amount of forensic information, which I find interesting, but in this one we're also treated to endless lists of (acronyms of) government agencies who get involved in investigating accidents like this, and after being fed the list a third time, I was getting tired of it. The mystery part is also somewhat farfetched and, frankly, unlikely, and I must admit this was an installment I didn't enjoy as much as the others. Also, I'm not sure Reichs has ever encountered a Chow-Chow, because the one in this book acts more like a Labrador, but it's a symptom that I've seen in her other books as well - Reichs has an uncanny talent for putting strange bits in her books that could easily have been correct information had she bothered asking someone or looking up the topic in a book. Perhaps she concentrates so much on getting the forensic information right that everything else is forgotten, but that's not a great attitude to have when you write fiction, is it? Like I said, this is not my favorite installment, but since I really enjoyed the forensic parts, I'll continue to read the series.
The strength of the plot carried me through the whole book, despite major technological info dumps and rehashes.
Sometimes you read a book by mistake. It might be that you are stuck somewhere and there is absolutely nothing else to read. There in a bottom drawer under a plie of old rags is a copy of Fatal Voyage: so you read it. It is absolute tripe but you go on reading it because you have nothing else. You can never get that time back.
This is the first book I've read by Kathy Reichs. I really enjoy the tv series "Bones" and even though the characters are a bit different, I enjoyed this book very much. Excellent author, fantastic writing. I'm really looking forward to reading more by this author.
Cannibals conspire to pervert the course of justice? Unlikely.A plane crash, a cabal of cannibals and a conspiracy are a little awkwardly and improbably woven together. Temperance Brennan is the main character and she appears in a number of Reichs thrillers. The personal life of the heroine is not very satisfyingly covered in this book but continuously referred to by the author. That exemplifies the risk of using the same character in a series of novels, relying upon backstory that readers have to bring along themselves. At times the technical depth is excessive and will have some people skipping pages.
I really like that this book was surrounding a plane crash (not a spoiler that is on the first page) because it would be somewhat boring reading these books in order if Reichs left her in the lab and didn't change it up now and then. One of the things I like about Reichs writing is that TB isn't being stalked by a crazed killer over and over in the books. While she does seem to put herself in danger it's not the same scenario over and over. Without giving too much away about the story it is interesting how TB is involved and not involved at the same time. This one deepens the character by showing her tenacity in her work and also a little bit softer, more personal side to her in her personal life. This series is one of my favorites and I can't wait to start the next one. For Audible customers: I only wish they would do more of the Bones books in the unabridged audio format. This one doesn't seem to be missing anything but I didn't read it in the other format to know for sure. Usually I don't even purchase unabridged books but the other reviews suggested this one was done well.
I liked this book so much. For once it is played most in Charlotte than Montreal. Tempe follows her guts and solves misterious serial murders inspite of the creepy scene where everything starts: a plane crash in the mountains where several young people and a friend policeman find death because of a silly distraction. Lots of reflections here: the friendly relationship with her almost ex husband, the constant worries a mother carries with herself, trust and friendship in the workplace, how a furry friend can be the best one, Boyd the dog risks his life to save Tempe, and how true friends never let you down :Sheriff Crow and Ryan look for her when she gets kidnapped... A lot of action, thrilling, different feelings. Definitely to read and raccomend to friends.
The heroine of Fatal Voyage (fourth by Kathy Reichs) is Dr. Temperance ¿Tempe¿ Brennan, a forensic anthropologist with DMORT, the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team. In Fatal Voyage, her work brings her to the site of an airline crash in North Carolina. But it¿s a disembodied foot ¿ one Tempe suspects did not come from a crash victim -- on which this tale hangs. Her investigation of whom the foot belongs to leads Tempe to a series of suspicious events that go back years. Before she can complete her examination of the foot, Tempe is suspended from the DMORT team¿ she¿s apparently not making friends among the powerful and connected of North Carolina. I can say nothing else without giving away too much of the story ¿ some readers may believe I¿ve said too much already. In Fatal Voyage, the airliner crash that brings Tempe to the crash site is a secondary plot. Where the story winds itself is much more disturbing ¿ and evil. Fatal Voyage reminded me of early Patricia Cornwell mysteries featuring Dr. Kay Scarpetta ¿ stories I really liked. I enjoyed Fatal Voyage even more. (Let squeamish readers be warned ¿ the descriptions of bodies and body parts are quite graphic.) The author¿s background (she¿s holds a Ph.D., is a certified forensic anthropologist and university professor) is very similar to her heroine¿s, so the reader has confidence the details about a forensic investigation are realistic. Kathy Reichs goes to great lengths to educate her readers about the intricacies of the various investigative agencies and their procedures ¿ but doesn¿t make it dry and lecture-like. The plot was engaging ¿ but then I tend to enjoy mysteries that revolve around ¿old¿ crimes that require delving into the past to solve. If the investigator is rattling some cages along the way, the more the better.I don¿t think most readers will even guess where this story is headed ¿ but will enjoy every page getting there.Review based on publisher- or author-provided review copy.
Although still relying on several outlandish coincidences, Reichs has managed to keep her heroine from dashing headlong into obviously dangerous situations in this novel, for which I am quite grateful. Tempe is assigned to investigate a plane crash in Appalachia on which Jean Bertrand, Andrew Ryan's former partner just happens to be a passenger. But that, although the title significance would have you believe differently, is not the major mystery of this tale. Tempe finds a foot that may not belong to a crash victim and which causes her to be falsely accused of unethical behavior. Of course, she must investigate further in order to clear her name and ends up uncovering something truly bizarre and extremely fascinating. Tempe's relationship with Ryan continues to escalate by maddeningly slow degrees, and Reichs continues to pepper the novel with side characters who are hard to keep straight, but for the most part I found this novel much, much more enjoyable than the first three featuring these characters. Also, with almost all the action taking place in the United States, there was very little cause for random bursts of incomprehensible French.Others have complained about the very dry descriptions of forensic techniques in these novels, but I find them to be not terribly poorly worked into the narrative, and also quite informative. It was almost worth slogging through the previous books to get to this one.
This is the fourth novel I read by Kathy Reichs. I don't believe that this is her best one. The thing I liked was the character development and I love the tension between Tempe and Ryan (and Pete on occasion). The reason why I didn't like it too much is because the story progressed rather slow in my opinion. Still, I've enjoyed it. So far, Reichs has never disappointed me.