#1 New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs, a producer of the Fox television hit Bones , returns with a riveting new novel featuring America’s favorite forensic anthropologist, Tempe Brennan.
The New York Times Book Review hailed the Tempe Brennan novels as a “cleverly plotted and expertly maintained series.” Spider Bones opens as Temperance Brennan is called to the scene of a drowning in Hemmingford, Quebec. The victim appears to have died while in the midst of a bizarre sexual practice. The body is identified as a man originally declared dead in 1968—the victim of a Huey crash in Vietnam. Tempe exhumes the soldier’s corpse from his grave in North Carolina and flies with the remains to Hawaii for a reanalysis of the bones. But it’s not long before another set of remains are found with the first victim’s dog tags tangled amongst them. There are now two unidentified bodies—both with strange connections. Meanwhile, the Honolulu medical examiner asks Tempe for help with remains found offshore—from yet another victim. Is it the victim of a shark attack? Or something much more sinister…
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.
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
THE AIR SMELLED OF SUN-WARMED BARK AND apple buds raring to blossom and get on with life. Overhead, a million baby leaves danced in the breeze.
Fields spread outward from the orchard in which I stood, their newly turned soil rich and black. The Adirondacks crawled the horizon, gaudy bronze and green in the glorious sunlight.
A day made of diamonds.
The words winged at me from a war drama I’d watched on the classic-film channel. Van Johnson? No matter. The phrase was perfect for the early May afternoon.
I’m a Carolina girl, no fan of polar climes. Jonquils in February. Azaleas, dogwoods, Easter at the beach. Though I’ve worked years in the North, after each long, dark, tedious winter the beauty of Quebec spring still takes me by surprise.
The world was sparkling like a nine-carat rock.
A relentless buzzing dragged my gaze back to the corpse at my feet. According to SQ Agent André Bandau, now maintaining as much distance as possible, the body came ashore around noon.
News telegraphs quickly. Though it was now barely three, flies crawled and swarmed in a frenzy of feeding. Or breeding. I was never sure which.
To my right, a tech was taking pictures. To my left, another was running yellow crime-scene tape around the stretch of shoreline on which the body lay. The jackets of both said Service de l’identité judiciaire, Division des scènes de crime. Quebec’s version of CSI.
Ryan sat in a squad car behind me, talking to a man in a trucker cap. Lieutenant-détective Andrew Ryan, Section des crimes contre la personne, Sûreté du Québec. Sounds fancy. It’s not.
In la Belle Province, crime is handled by local forces in major cities, by the provincial police out in the boonies. Ryan is a homicide detective with the latter, the SQ.
The body was spotted in a pond near the town of Hemmingford, forty-five miles south of Montreal. Hemmingford. Boonies. SQ. You get it.
But why Ryan, a homicide dick working out of the SQ’s Montreal unit?
Since the deceased was plastic-wrapped and wearing a rock for a flipper, the local SQ post suspected foul play. Thus the bounce to Ryan.
And to me. Temperance Brennan, forensic anthropologist.
Working out of the Laboratoire de sciences judiciaires et de médecine légale in Montreal, I do the decomposed, mummified, mutilated, dismembered, and skeletal for the province, helping the coroner with identification, cause of death, and postmortem interval.
Immersion leaves a corpse in less than pristine condition, so when Ryan caught the call about a floater, he enlisted me.
Through the windshield I saw Ryan’s passenger gesture with agitated hands. The man was probably fifty, with gray stubble and features that suggested a fondness for drink. Black and red letters on his cap declared I Love Canada. A maple leaf replaced the traditional heart icon.
Ryan nodded. Wrote something in what I knew was a small notebook.
Refocusing on the corpse, I continued jotting in my own spiral pad.
The body lay supine, encased in clear plastic, with only the left lower leg outside and exposed. Duct tape sealed the plastic under the chin and around the left calf.
The exposed left foot wore a heavy biker boot. Above its rim, a two-inch strip of flesh was the color of oatmeal.
A length of yellow polypropylene rope looped the boot roughly halfway up its laces. The rope’s other end was attached to a rock via an elaborate network of knots.
The victim’s head was wrapped separately, in what looked like a plastic grocery bag. A black tube protruded from one side of the bag, held in place with more duct tape. The whole arrangement was secured by tape circling the neck and the tube’s point of exit.
What the flip?
When I dropped to a squat, the whining went mongo. Shiny green missiles bounced off my face and hair.
Up close, the smell of putrefaction was unmistakable. That was wrong, given the vic’s packaging.
Waving off Diptera, I repositioned for a better view of the body’s far side.
A dark mass pulsated in what I calculated was the right-thigh region. I shooed the swarm with one gloved hand.
And felt a wave of irritation.
The right lower was visible through a fresh cut in the plastic. Flies elbowed for position on the wrist and moved upward out of sight.
Suppressing my annoyance, I shifted to the head.
Algae spread among the folds and creases of the bag covering the top and back of the skull. More slimed one side of the odd little tube.
I could discern murky features beneath the translucent shroud. A chin. The rim of an orbit. A nose, bent to one side. Bloating and discoloration suggested that visual identification would not be an option.
Rising, I swept my gaze toward the pond.
Nosed to the shore was a tiny aluminum skiff with a three-horsepower outboard engine. On the floor in back were a beer cooler, a tackle box, and a fishing rod.
Beside the skiff was a red canoe, beached and lying on its starboard side. Navigator was lettered in white below the port gunwale.
Polypropylene rope ran from a knot on the canoe’s midship thwart to a rock on the ground. I noted that the knots on the rock resembled the one securing the victim’s ankle weight.
Inside the canoe, a paddle lay lengthwise against the starboard hull. A canvas duffel was wedged below the stern seat. A knife and a roll of duct tape were snugged beside the duffel.
An engine hum joined the buzz of flies and the bustle and click of techs moving around me. I ignored it.
Five yards up the shoreline, a rusted red moped sat beneath a precociously flowering tree. The license plate was unreadable from where I stood. At least with my eyes.
Dual rearview mirrors. Kickstand. Raised trunk behind the seat. The thing reminded me of my freshman undergrad wheels. I’d loved that scooter.
Walking the area between the skiff and the moped, I saw a set of tire treads consistent with the pickup parked by the road, and one tread line consistent with the moped itself. No foot or boot prints. No cigarette butts, aluminum cans, condoms, or candy wrappers. No litter of any kind.
Moving back along the water, I continued recording observations. The engine sounds grew louder.
Mud-rimmed pond, shallow, no tides or chop. Apple trees within five feet of the bank. Ten yards to a gravel road accessing Highway 219.
Tires crunched. The engine sounds cut out. Car doors opened, slammed. Male voices spoke French.
Satisfied I’d learn nothing further from the scene, and wanting a word with the industrious Agent Bandau, I turned and walked toward the vehicles lining the road.
A black van had joined Ryan’s Jeep, the blue crime-scene truck, the fisherman’s pickup, and Bandau’s SQ cruiser. Yellow letters on the van said Bureau du coroner.
I recognized the van’s driver, an autopsy tech named Gilles Pomerleau. Riding shotgun was my new assistant, Roch Lauzon.
Exchanging bonjours, I assured Pomerleau and Lauzon the wait wouldn’t be long. They crossed to view the corpse. Ryan remained in the cruiser with the unfortunate angler.
I approached Bandau, a gangly twentysomething with a wheat blond mustache and skin that looked like it really hated sun. Though it was hidden by his agent’s cap, I envisioned pale hair going south at a rate that alarmed its young owner.
“What’s with the plastic wrap?” Bandau asked in French, looking past me toward the corpse.
“Good question.” I had no explanation.
“Male or female?”
“Yes,” I said.
Bandau’s face came around, winking my reflection off his aviator shades. My expression was not a happy one.
“I understand you were the first responder.”
Bandau nodded, eyes unreadable behind the dark lenses.
“How’d that go?”
Bandau cocked his chin toward his cruiser. “Local named Gripper found the vic. Claims he was fishing when he saw the canoe. He motored over to investigate, something snagged his propeller. Says he paddled in, saw his catch was a corpse, dialed nine-one-one on his cell. While waiting, he dragged the body ashore then retrieved the canoe.”
“Guess you could say that.”
“Is he believable?” I asked.
Bandau shrugged. Who knows?
“What are his creds?”
“Lives on avenue Margaret with his wife. Works maintenance at the wildlife park.”
Hemmingford is located in the Montérégie region, a hair from the Canada-U.S. border. The Montérégie is noted for apples, maple syrup, and Parc Safari, a combination drive-through nature preserve and amusement park.
When I first started commuting to Quebec, the media were following the story of a group of rhesus monkey escapees from the park. I had visions of the band belly-crawling south through the night to avoid border patrol, risking all for a green card and a better life. Twenty years later, the image still amuses me.
“Go on,” I said.
“I caught the call around noon, drove out, secured the area.”
“And printed the body.” Chilly.
Sensing my disapproval, Bandau spread his feet and thumb-hooked his belt. “I thought it might speed the ID.”
“You cut the plastic.”
“I wore gloves.” Defensive. “Look, I had the new camera, so I shot close-ups and transmitted the file electronically.”
“You compromised the scene.”
“What scene? The guy was bobbing in a pond.”
“The flies will chip in to buy you a beer. Especially the ladies. They’re ovipositing with glee as we speak.”
“I was trying to help.”
“You broke protocol.”
Bandau’s lips tightened.
“What happened with the prints?”
“I got ridge patterning on all five digits. Someone at the post sent the file to CPIC. From there it went into both NCIC and the New York State system.”
CPIC is the Canadian Police Information Centre, a computerized index of criminal justice information. NCIC is the U.S. equivalent, the FBI’s National Crime Information Center.
“Why send the prints south?”
“Being on the border, we get a lot of Americans coming through. And the scooter has a New York plate.”
Not bad, Bandau.
Hearing a car door slam, we both turned.
Ryan was walking toward us. Released for the moment, Gripper was leaning on his pickup, looking uneasy.
Ryan nodded to Bandau, spoke to me.
“What do you think?”
“Based solely on size.”
“Tough to say. Given this week’s warm temperatures, and the shrink-wrap, I’d guess a day or two. There’s some decomp, but not much.” I cast a meaningful glance at Bandau. “That’ll change now that the bugs have been issued a gate pass.”
I told Ryan what Bandau had done.
“What kind of rookie move was that?”
Bandau’s cheeks went raspberry.
“That’s no way to make it up the chain, son.”
Ryan turned back to me.
“Twenty-four to forty-eight hours tracks with the wit’s account. Gripper says he comes out here on his days off, usually Tuesdays and Thursdays. Swears day before yesterday the pond was canoe and corpse free.”
“Algae patterning suggests the body was floating with the head just at or below the waterline,” I said.
Ryan nodded. “According to Gripper, the body was hanging head up in the water, with the booted foot attached to a rock lying on the bottom. He guesses the pond’s about eight feet deep where he found the guy.”
“Where was the canoe?”
“Beside the vic. Gripper says that’s how the rope got tangled in his outboard.”
Ryan spoke to Bandau. “Check for feedback on those prints.”
Ryan and I watched Bandau lope toward his cruiser.
“Probably DVRs cop shows,” Ryan said.
“Not the right ones,” I said.
Ryan glanced toward the body, back to me.
“What do you think?”
“Weird one,” I said.
“Suicide? Accident? Murder?”
I spread my palms in a “who knows” gesture.
Ryan smiled. “That’s why I bring you along.”
“The vic probably kept the canoe at the pond and drove the moped back and forth.”
“Back and forth from where?”
“Yep. Can’t do without you.”
A wood thrush trilled overhead. Another answered. The cheerful exchange was in stark contrast to the grim conversation below.
As I glanced up, hurried footsteps startled the birds into flight.
“Got him.” Bandau’s aviators were now hanging by one bow from his pocket. “Cold hit in the States. Thirteen-point match.”
Ryan’s brows may have shot higher than mine.
“John Charles Lowery. Date of birth March twenty-first, nineteen fifty.”
“Not bad, Bandau.” This time I said it aloud.
“There’s one problem.”
Bandau’s already deep frown lines deepened.
“John Charles Lowery died in nineteen sixty-eight.”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Even though I think Kathy Reichs is a good author, she sometimes goes into too much detail. I find myself skimming through parts of the book because of the medical terms she uses that no layman can understand. Not necessary for a good story.
I thought this was one of the better Tempe Brennan books. I found the plot to be original and intriguing. While some of the previous reviewers found the forensic "jargon" to be irritating, I quite enjoyed it. One of my favorite things about Kathy Reichs is that she explains the techniques and processes of what she does in a way that lay people can understand. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters in this book, and thought they were well developed. I enjoyed learning more about Lily as she is spoken of frequently in other books, but the reader never really gets to "meet" her. Morever, I enjoyed a book that took Brennan out of the usual Charlotte/Montreal atmosphere. In the end, it was a great read that held my attention and gave me some excitement and thrill. It was a page turner that I didn't want to put down. Reichs also gets you a little at the end. She's not usually into "cliff hangers," but she gets a little one in on this book.
Its fun to read a familiar character, and this book has that going for it. The plot is interesting too--a "Who's in the Casket?" kind of thing. It's too bad that the plot gets bogged down in technical jargon describing the agencies that search and recover MIAs. As usual, Tempe is in danger when she gets too close, but even the danger scenes are tepid at best. It was an okay, quick read--but not as much fun as her earlier works.
Enjoyed the story line and learning about identifying Viet Nam vets. Hard one to put down.
Can not remember the last time I gave up on a book. Just could not finish this one. Loved all of the previous Bones too.
I have loved every Kathy Reichs books and this one was no exception. I know others complain cause of the science but she does a good job explaining most of it. The storyline in this one was also very good and served as a good highlight of how many of our fallen soldeirs still remain unidentfied and how investigators are changing that. Untill All Are Home
How can one man be dead in three different places spanning four decades? The investigation takes Tempe from Montreal to Hawaii to delve into the past surrounding the remains. I really feel like Kathy Reichs has returned to her forensic roots with this one. True, it's not as much of a thriller as some of her books, but I didn't mind at all. I found her last novel, 206 Bones, almost a little too sensational. There is lots of personal drama going on for both Tempe and Ryan, who are trying to help their respective daughters deal with their own sagas, while balancing work and avoiding the elephant in the room also known as their personal lives. While the main case isn't pressing, I found it engrossing ~so much so that the secondary case seemed to encroach on and detract from the story a little. It is, however, realistic that a visiting forensic anthropologist would be consulted and be working on more than one case at a time. I think I was also feeling Tempe's frustration with the second intrusive case. Some of the criticism of this book deals with her topic, JPAC, and I don't think it's deserved. Yes, Reichs goes into detail and explains thoroughly. It's one of the things I love about her writing. But if you're at all familiar with Reichs' writing, you know that she tends to pick a subject and use it as a base for which to write her mysteries around. Sometimes it's one I find fascinating, like Devil Bones, other times it's one that fails to capture me, like Bones to Ash, but what it really comes down to is personal taste. One thing to be sure of is that Reichs never sacrifices the integrity of the investigation or the science. So even when it's not a topic of my interest, I know that the story surrounding it will be concrete. If you haven't read the rest of the series, some of the personal interactions may seem like filler, but it is an intricate advance in the overall story arch. I must say I wish there had been a little more movement for Tempe along the romantic front, but again, that's me being invested in her as a character. This is a solid addition to the Temperance Brennan series... and now I must go back to waiting hungrily for the next installment.
The mystery was interesting and held the story somewhat together. The end seemed rushed with new characters being added just to solve the case in the last 30 pages. There was no continuation of the story arc of Dr. Brennan's relationship with Ryan. The manufactured sub-plot of their daughters was distracting and you never really felt connected to them or felt that they served a purpose other than distracting Brennan and Ryan from moving forward.
Too much technical description that distracts from the flow of the story
Tempe Brennan is once again confronted with a strange case -- a dead man in drag found in a lake in Canada, the same man who died in Vietnam. So, she heads to Hawaii to solve this mystery.In the plus column, for this installment, the characters are more themselves and more rounded than in the last few volumes. There is a better balance between forensic information and story flow -- only moderate paragraphs of information instead of pages. Ryan's daughter and Tempe's daughter provide a bit of light relief at times.And now the negatives. There are several passages where the editor slept. Normally this wouldn't be a problem but it was in key areas towards the end. I'm still not thrilled with the characters -- they are better than the last book, but not nearly as interesting or real as in the first few books of this series. My biggest complaint with this book is the solution to the mystery. Could it happen? Yes. Could I be struck by lightning in my house while typing this? Probably more likely than the ending. The only explanation I have for this ending is that Reichs hadn't used it before. Overall, this was better but not good. Honestly, I do wonder if Reichs is putting all her energies into the series Bones and these books are just to fulfill a contract with her publisher.
Definitely not one of the best of the series. The science plot twist was a bit of a surprise, but the "who is this guy?" was telegraphed (for me, at least) pretty early on. I'm fairly tired of the on again, off again love thing with Ryan, but the depiction of Brennan's relationship with her young adult daughter is very accurate to this mother of a 20-year-old. Bringing in the "gangsta" angle seemed ridiculous to me, but I suppose there had to be some immediate danger somewhere to keep the publisher interested.I still enjoy the television show Bones far more than the novels, which is unusual - but the show has more humor. I don't think I'd read novelizations based on the show, however, because a lot of the humor requires the chemistry between the actors as well as good scriptwriting. There are few authors who can translate that from screen to text.
After reading the other reviews I really didn't think I'd like this book as much as I did. I found the story line interesting and it kept me hooked and guessing right to the end. I thought it was a little like Bones meets Hawaii Five-O. I agree that the action scenes weren't as involved as they perhaps could be, and at times felt that they could have been expanded on more. On the other hand I found the detailed info on the way MIA's are found, brought home and identified really interesting. Perhaps it's fair to say that this book had a different feel to the previous Tempe books, but it was still a good read.
Read this in 2011 after finding 3 of Reichs books at a thrift and buying then reading out of sequence I relized I had to read them all in order! I just love Kathy Reichs books! I have never read so many books in so little time all 13 in 5 months time. I know that is nothing for some people but for me its amazing. still waiting for the next one to come out in Aug 2011
I wouldn't say the book is great, its alrite...Perhaps I was expecting more, I enjoyed watching Bones.. maybe that's why i ambiased...
Fun, fast-paced book about DNA, the Vietnam War and family. Although the book moves rapidly, at times I couldn't keep all of the characters straight. I think if there had been half as many characters, the book would've been much stronger.
Source: Received from publicist. Many thanks goes to Loretta from Simon & Schuster for sending me this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. My Rating: 5/5Temperance Brennan returns in this, the thirteenth and latest, installment by renowned author Kathy Reichs. She needs to unravel the mystery surrounding three bodies, all having been identified as the same man. The cases have her starting out in Quebec, then heading out to North Carolina, and finally ending up in Hawaii. She is joined by her daughter, and by her colleague, Detective Andrew Ryan in Hawaii. The mystery deepens further while there, but Temperance will have to get to the bottom of things if she is going to find out the identities of these three men. I love the show Bones, but I have to say that Reichs' books are absolutely my favourite of the two. I impatiently wait each year for Reichs' newest book, and this one does not disappoint. Tempe is thrown into the mix immediately. What seems to be an easy open and shut case ends up turning into an intricately woven web of deceit. Just when she thinks she's got things figured out, another layer presents itself. Reichs has done it again, she has created a masterful, and spellbinding book that you'll be hesitant to put down. The relationship between Brennan and Detective Ryan plays well throughout the novel, and certainly adds dimension to the book. The secondary characters also add some familiarity and intense interaction which makes the read move along at a faster pace. The plot was intricate in detail and design. It was a true thriller and "whodunit". I'm almost sad that I finished the book as quickly as I did, but I eagerly await Reichs' next novel just the same. All in all, an excellent addition to the Temperance Brennan collection. Fans of Reichs' novels will love this installment, and those who love the show Bones should give this one a read as it'll add to the whole Brennan experience. It'll take you on an exhilarating ride, and leave you breathless wanting more. I also have to say that this cover is absolutely stunning. I love it; almost as much as I love the book.
Always a fan of Temperance Brennan, I was excited to see this new installment in the series.Although I've always prided myself on being able to follow the tales of the bones and guess the outcome, this one did have me going. Corpses turning up of people already declared dead and buried and DNA that wasn't matching up proved for an interesting read.Love the bones!
The topic of misidentified military personnel makes this an new story for Temperance. When a body found turns out to be the body of service man from the Vietnam War the search begins to find out true identity of the person. JPAC is a real organization that the average person does not know about. Reichs provides good detail and yet keeps the story moving. One of the better of the series.
Temperence Brennan's latest case involves the identification of war dead from Vietnam. As always, the most interesting parts of the forensic anthropology information; unfortunately, there's not enough of it here. And the heavy-handed foreshadowing is getting very tiresome.
I found this book very difficult to follow. There were a lot of story lines (almost as many story lines as there are John Lowery's (Spider) in the book). It takes place in three separate locations (Montreal, South Carolina and Hawaii) with a lot of referral back to Vietnam during the Vietnam war. I think that Kathy Reichs tried to cover too many issues with this book and as a result it was difficult to follow. But she can write and the tension remains high throughout, so that is why I gave the book 4 stars. The forensic detail is exactly that-detailed- and that was difficult to follow a bit too. I loved the setting in Hawaii, where most of the action takes place. I love the back and forth between Tempe and Ryan, and there is lots of that in this book. It is for a very good reason that Kathy Reichs is an award-winning author. She is good and she knows her stuff. This book is an attempt to show how living a lie can haunt a whole bunch of people for a very long time, and I think she definitely made that point. This whole series is definitely worth a read if you like good, hard-hitting mystery writing with complex plots and believable characters.
Another great Tempe Brennan story. Loved it!
Reason for Reading: Next in the series.Kathy Reichs is in top form with this latest entry in the Tempe Brennan series. The first chapter starts out with an obscure and uncomfortable crime scene and continues on from there with an intricate mystery. One case leads to another, a fresh body leads to skeletal remains and soon Tempe and Ryan are trying to identify and determine the deaths of several bodies which send them to Hawaii. Tempe then finds herself called in by the local ME to help identify some odds & ends of human remains found from shark attacks. The addition of both daughters for the first time, making a foursome, adds some new dynamics to the personal relationships.A fast paced case, with many trails to follow, and plenty of bodies. What first starts off as a weird death turns into identifying remains of soldiers from Vietnam and takes a turn toward organized drug crime and gangs in Hawaii. A very intricate and detailed case that gets bigger in scope as it goes along leaving the reader hard pressed to figure out. I did have a correct suspect in mind, but just where to place them, whether as a victim or villain of which case I couldn't quite put it all together myself. I found the solution very entertaining and the story more on par with her earlier work than some of the other more recent volumes (excepting 206 Bones, that is) . This was a quick, page turning read for me and for once I wasn't annoyed with Tempe and Ryan's relationship and it feels like the next book will be pivotal for them, and honestly Ms. Reichs I think the next book needs to settle their relationship once and for all. It has gone on long enough, already. Can't wait for the next book!
The living characters I had no trouble keeping track of, but when it came to the dead ones I was a bit confused. The twists and turns seemed a little more predictable in this book, but I still love the lady.
not my favourite book in the Tempe Brennan collection, although interesting, well played, surprising and so on. A guy is found as a floater in Quebec and identified as a Vietnam Hero dead in the late sixties. Many corpses and names, hard to put them together in the right connection. Taking partly place in Hawai, Tempy and Rayan are experiencing a sort of enlarged familty, with their own daughters first fighting and then loving eah other. On the wider themes: theft of identity, accuracy of forensic work, political influence in the investigations, how a blog can have bad effects on your beloved ones. Amazing as life itself, as always
After discovering a floater in a lake in Quebec, Temperance Brennan is taken all the way to Hawaii to try to identified the remain found. The body was identified as being John Lowery (spider), but records show that he was killed in the war over 40 years prior. From identification to identification, spiced with gangbanger dead by shark and the friction between her daughter and Ryan's. Temperance will manage to get to the end of this story.