Thursday, 6 December 2012

Book 78 of 2012: 206 Bones

I've taken a little bit of a break from reading the Temperance Brennan series of books just recently. They generally follow a set pattern with a crime which Tempe must solve, she usually goes ahead with some part of the investigation even if it's not really part of her job, she then becomes incapacitated/ill/kidnapped/bopped on the head (usually somewhere around Chapter 30) and then the big reveal comes shortly after she is saved. It's not a bad formula, but I needed a little break from them because it was all getting a bit samey.
206 Bones breaks from the formula slightly. It begins with Tempe clearly trapped somewhere, gradually regaining consciousness and trying to figure out where she is. These scenes flick back and forth between the events leading up to this and Tempe's attempts to get out of the place she's been left. The main story sees Tempe doing her thing first in Chicago and later in Montreal, but someone is trying to sabotage her career and discredit her work. It appears that there's a serial killer targeting older women and so Tempe is busy investigating that, while dealing with problems in the department in Montreal. Also it's set around Christmas, which I just loved.

Some of the more recent Tempe Brennan books have gotten a bit samey and boring, but this one felt like more of a return to the original books. I read it in just two days because it really gripped me and I really wanted to find out who did it.

That was something else that I liked about this book. Part of the fun of a book like this is figuring out 'whodunit' and this book had a good mix of the fairly obvious (who was out to get Tempe) and the not so obvious (who was out to get the old women). I also totally guessed the bit at the beginning with the sternum my brother has a sternal foramen so I've always been curious about them.

It had a nice balance between the predictable Reichs formula too. You always know that Tempe will end up in peril right from the start, it's never a surprise, so I like that it was mentioned right from the start.

In the last few books the will-they/won't-they element of Tempe and Ryan's relationship has worn a bit thin, which is part of the reason why the books were beginning to lose their magic. Now they've gone back into a more relaxed relationship and seem comfortable working together. There's also a brilliant bit where they end up having dinner with Tempe's ex-in-laws. There were also little random mentions of ER, Cold Case and CSI: Miami, which made me smile.

In short, I'd started to get a little bored of these books, but reading 206 Bones has reawakened my interest in the series and now I'm looking forward to the next one (and I'll go ahead and buy the ones after it too).

"Turned out the heater recognised only two settings: Off and Tropic of Cancer. Though we'd opened the flap, the temperature in the tent rose to roughly 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Bonnet and I had peeled by layers, ended up working in T-shirts and jeans."
Page 106

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