Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Book 36 of 2012: Cross Bones

Cross Bones is the eighth book in Kathy Reichs Temperance Brennan series. It's a bit of a departure from the normal Temperance Brennan fare with the case starting in Montreal but quickly moving on to play out most of the story in Israel; after a Jewish man is found murdered and Tempe comes into possession of a photo of a mysterious skeleton from a tomb in Israel, when the skeleton surfaces in Canada, Tempe gets to take it home.
I had actually read this on before, though all I could actually remember of it was Tempe in a cave being attacked by a wild animal. I'd gotten that scene confused with an earlier book and so I was pleased when it showed up in this one because it meant that I hadn't made it up! Once again, not remembering what happens in the book was an advantage; I really struggle to reread books like this where I know who did it so not knowing spurs me on to read more.

I kind of get the feeling that this story was playing off the success of The Da Vinci Code, coming out just a year after The Da Vinci Code and featuring a plot involving Jesus and his family. It seems as though it was trying to find a way to bring Tempe into the conspiracy theory web, but it's a little disappointing if that sort of book isn't your thing and you're just wanting to read about Tempe helping to solve crimes.

Personally, I'm one of those people who would rather read about Tempe's crimes solving in Montreal and South Carolina. I realise that the character's background is in archaeology but I wish there could have been a better way to bring that in, rather than sending her off to Israel chasing after a couple of skeletons. There was an awful lot of travelling around without very much actually happening.

I did enjoy reading how it all came to be written, inspired by a friend of Reichs who was writing a book of his own. Though I kind of got the impression that it was as much a promotion of this other writer's book as it was a story for the character of Temperance Brennan. I do wonder if perhaps it wouldn't have been better as a non-Tempe Brennan book, perhaps with a different character so that Andrew Ryan didn't have to be brought into it, maybe it would have been a little more compelling.

As it was, I found it a little confusing in places, tricky to follow. But I stuck with it and I'm glad I did, it was an okay book, but I can see why I didn't remember much of it. Unfortunately, according to the reviews on Amazon, quite a few people share my views.
"My gaze drifted to the window. I felt anxious and restless, and didn't know why.
Ryan stroked my cheek. "Nothing's going to change overnight, Tempe."
Ryan was dead wrong."Page 191

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