Racy, action-packed crime thriller

2011-12-28 00:00

KATHY Reichs is a forensic anthropologist, a best­selling author and the producer of the Fox television hit Bones. This is the fourteenth book in her long­running Temperance Brennan series and we enter a world of fast cars, cold cases, right-wing politics and stonewalling from the FBI.

Flash and Bones is quick, light reading. Reichs goes to great lengths to explain NASCAR, its history, and its impact on American cultural life, but this part reads less as information than it does as filler.

It is only when the reader is up to their elbows in a maggot-infested corpse or teasing a tale from rigor mortis-stricken limbs that Flash and Bones truly comes alive. It is as though Reichs has decided to go back to basics and focus more on crafting a suspenseful murder mystery than on Tempe’s topsy-turvy love life.

The people in Tempe’s personal life, her daughter, her sometimes boyfriend, Andrew Ryan, and her ex-husband, have brief walk-ons, but without their presence, the reader doesn’t find Tempe as interesting.

There is some humour in her interaction with her ex­husband’s very young, Southern belle fiancée, and there is an entertaining interlude where Dr Brennan plays wedding planner for the soon-to-be-married couple. But we miss the dialogue between Tempe and Ryan in the other books.

The characters are larger than life, the plot thick and fast, and there is always something new to learn in Tempe’s world, whether you’re a new reader or not.

Flash and Bones is a good book to get from the library, but not really up to the standard of the rest of the books in the series.

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