A Conspiracy of Bones (19) (A Temperance Brennan Novel) - book cover
Thrillers & Suspense
  • Publisher : Pocket Books
  • Published : 30 Nov 2021
  • Pages : 576
  • ISBN-10 : 1982167998
  • ISBN-13 : 9781982167998
  • Language : English

A Conspiracy of Bones (19) (A Temperance Brennan Novel)

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs returns with an "edgy, eerie, irresistible" (Sandra Brown) novel with "plenty of twists" (The New York Times Book Review) featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan, who must use her skills to discover the identity of a faceless corpse, its connection to a decade-old missing child case, and why the dead man had her cell phone number.

It's sweltering in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Temperance Brennan, still recovering from neurosurgery following an aneurysm, is battling nightmares, migraines, and what she thinks might be hallucinations when she receives a series of mysterious text messages, each containing a new picture of a corpse that is missing its face and hands. Immediately, she's anxious to know who the dead man is, and why the images were sent to her.

An identified corpse soon turns up, only partly answering her questions.

To win answers to the others, including the man's identity, she must go rogue, working mostly outside the system. That's because Tempe's new boss holds a fierce grudge against her and is determined to keep her out of the case. Tempe bulls forward anyway, even as she begins questioning her instincts. But the clues she discovers are disturbing and confusing. Was the faceless man a spy? A trafficker? A target for assassination by the government? And why was he carrying the name of a child missing for almost a decade?

With help from law enforcement associates including her Montreal beau Andrew Ryan and the quick-witted, ex-homicide investigator Skinny Slidell, and utilizing new cutting-edge forensic methods, Tempe draws closer to the astonishing truth. "A complete success" (Booklist, starred review), "this is Kathy Reichs as you've never read her before" (David Baldacci).

Editorial Reviews

"Reichs roars back with a Temperance Brennan mystery unlike any that have come before it....One of the book's central themes is Brennan's lack of confidence in her own mind: could she be imagining connections between unrelated facts? The novel shows us a more vulnerable side of Brennan, and Reichs' writing style is subtly different, too, as though she were trying to make us feel ever so slightly off-kilter. A complete success." --Booklist (Starred Review)

Praise for A Conspiracy of Bones and Kathy Reichs: "We relish [Reich's] Temperance Brennan mysteries... [she] has always been strong on plot, and this one has plenty of twists."
--New York Times Book Review

"Kathy Reichs pits the indomitable Temperance Brennan against straight-from-today's-headlines terror to create a story that launches at maximum velocity and never lets up. Edgy. Eerie. Irresistible. Don't miss this one." --Sandra Brown, bestselling author of Outfox, Tailspin, and Seeing Red

"This is Kathy Reichs as you've never read her before. The story starts like a pistol shot and fires nonstop through over three hundred layered pages. The twists are meticulously planned and thrown like bamboozling curves on the edge of the plate. But you will see new layers to the brilliant Tempe Brennan that may surprise you. Read this book. It was created by a master of the genre who knocks it out of the park." --David Baldacci, bestselling author of One Good Deed and Redemption

"Tempe Brennan is back, dealing with health issues, career setbacks, and the nagging--and driving--fear of inadequacy that is the flipside of her talent. Reichs's fast-paced, tightly-constructed, and very contemporary story dives underground here, both literally and virtually, as she follows the thinnest of threads deeper and deeper into a shocking conspiracy. You will find it hard to put down." --Mark Bowden, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Last Stone and Black Hawk Down

"It's a pleasure to see Temperance returning to what she does best, peeling back the layers and using her forensic brilliance to expose a shocking cover-up... A Conspiracy of Bones offers page-turning proof that Kathy Reichs won't be giving up her forensic-anthropologist-in-distress throne anytime soon." --David Morrell, bestselling author of Murder As a Fine Art

"Nobody writes a more imaginative thriller than Kathy Reichs or crafts a better sentence. Her latest forensic investigation, A Conspiracy of Bones, rivets with its non-stop pursuit of some of the vilest villains ever." --Clive Cussler, bestselling author of Night Probe and Sahara

"Sinister and chilling. ...

Readers Top Reviews

Why have I not seen the novella about Larabee? I've loved all the other 18 books and have managed to keep separate Bones the TV series and the books but lately Tempe's arrogant behaviour towards all those (basically everyone) she considers her inferior is very close to TV Tempe. The constant ridicule and contempt she exhibits towards Slidell is embarrassing and and very much the playground bully behaviour one wouldn't expect from colleagues. She dislikes and belittles Sinitch. Everyone's appearance is scorned as less than perfect. And it doesnt add to the plot. I've yet to meet a character she admires fully. Her abusive attitude towards the press irks me but then she complains she isnt treated well by the media with no self awareness of the reason. Tempe's off again, on again feelings towards Ryan also very childish. I'd stick to him like a limpet! The book leaves lots of openings for follow ups and I will read them when they are available and I hope Kathy remains safe and well but I hope Tempe becomes more friendly, too.
Temperance is once again investigating a body though this time in a more unofficial capacity. Whilst also dealing with her own health concerns. Can she and Slidell figure out what is going on and just how far or how dark this may get. I'm a huge Kathy Reichs fan so was really looking forward to reading this. It was a good read but a slower one than some of her others. I must admit I prefer others more but this was still a good read. The plot is slow and steady but builds to a dramatic and dark climax. I love the little moments between Ryan and Temperance too. I wanted more but this fits with the relationship they have always had and it works. These are always well written and so detailed. I always enjoy the descriptive details of how her mind works and the aneurysm was sensitively handled as well. Another good read in the series and I hope for more.

Short Excerpt Teaser

Chapter 1 1

Reactions to pressure vary. Some people are ductile, able to stretch. Others are brittle, powerless to bend. Physicists talk of stress-strain curves. One thing is certain. If the burden is too great, or the loading too rapid, anyone can snap.

I know. I reached my breaking point the summer after my boss was murdered. Moi. The igneous rock of emotion. And I'm not talking about just the nightmares.

To be fair, Larabee's death wasn't the immediate or sole trigger. There was Andrew Ryan, my longtime lover and cop-partner in investigating homicides in Quebec. Succumbing to pressure, I'd agreed to cohabitate with Ryan on both the Montreal and Charlotte ends of our geographically complex relationship. There was Katy's posting in Afghanistan. Mama's cancer. Pete's news about Boyd. My diagnosis, then surgery. The migraines. A world of stressors was chafing my personal curve.

Looking back, I admit I spun out of orbit. Perhaps going rogue was an attempt to steer unsteerable forces. A bird-flip to aging. To the renegade vessel threatening havoc in my brain. Perhaps it was a cry for Ryan's attention. A subconscious effort to drive him away? Or maybe it was just the goddamn Carolina heat.

Who knows? I was holding my own until the faceless man sent me over the edge. His remains and the subsequent investigation punched a black hole in my smug little world.

My mother spotted the changes long before the enigmatic corpse turned up. The distractedness. The agitation. The short temper. She blamed it all on the aneurysm. From the moment of its discovery, Mama was convinced the little bubble would burst and my own blood would take me out. I scoffed at her critique of my behavior, knowing she was right. I was ignoring emails, the phone. Declining invitations in favor of solo bingeing on old Hollywood flicks. Hell, I'd watched my favorite, Annie Hall, four times.

I didn't tell Mama about the nighttime visitations. Twisting montages filled with dark figures and vague dangers. Or frustrating tasks I couldn't complete. Anxiety? Hormones? The headache meds I was forced to ingest? Irrelevant the root of my irritability. I was sleeping little, constantly restless, and exhausted.

It didn't take Freud to recognize I was in a bad place.

So there I was, wide awake in the wee hours, talking myself down from a dream about a storm and snakes and Larabee sealed in a body bag. Ole Sigmund might have offered a comment on that.

I tried deep breathing. A relaxation exercise starting with my toes.

No sale.

Nerves on edge, I got up and crossed to the window. Two floors below, the grounds spread out around my townhouse, dark and still save for the lank twisting of a leaf in the occasional half-hearted breeze. I was turning away when my eyes caught a flicker of movement beside the pine on my neighbor's front lawn.

Peering hard, I made out a silhouette. Bulky. Male?

On the grounds of Sharon Hall at midnight?

Heart pumping a bit faster, I blinked to refocus.

The silhouette had blended into the shadows.

Had someone actually been there?

Curious, I pulled on a pair of discarded shorts and my Nikes and went downstairs. I wasn't planning to confront the guy, if there was a guy; I just wanted to determine his reason for being outside my home at that hour.

In the kitchen, I switched off the alarm and slipped out the back door onto my terrace. The weather was beyond Dixie summer-night warm, the air hot and muggy, the leaves as droopy and discouraged as they'd appeared from upstairs. Spotting no prowler, I circled the building. Still no one. I set off on one of the paths crisscrossing the estate.

It had rained as I'd eaten my microwave-pizza dinner at ten, and moisture still hung thick in the air. Puddles glistened black on the gravel, went yellow as my fuzzy shadow and I passed under quaint-as-hell carriage lights blurred by mist.

The tiny pond was a dark void, woolly where the water met the bank. Murky shapes glided its surface, silent, aware of their tenuous state. The homeowners' association fights an endless, often creative battle. No matter the deterrent, the geese always return.

I was passing a black Lego form I knew to be a small gazebo when I sensed more than heard another presence. I stopped. Stared.

A man was standing in the smear of shadow within the gazebo. His face was down, his features obscured. Medium height and build. I could tell little else about him. Excep...