editor's choice





We’ve been fans of Kathy Reich’s Temperance Brennan for a long time and it’s a huge pleasure to meet her again in The Bone Code, her twentieth outing. It’s rather like catching up with an old friend.

Set between South Carolina and Montreal predominantly, here we find the forensic anthropologist living in a post pandemic world. She’s pulled back into the past when she’s called in by the Charleston coroner to consult on a case. Two bodies have been found in a container that’s washed up to shore during a savage storm. The method of the deaths and injuries to the bodies bring to mind a case Brennan was involved in years before in Quebec, so much so that she flies to Montreal to convince the authorities there to reopen the investigation.

Although we’re post Covid in the book, capnocytophaga, a flesh-eating bacterium, is spreading rapidly through Charleston, thus further ramping up the tension. Against this background, Brennan, aided by old love Andrew Ryan, works to try to solve the new case and discover how it links to the Canadian case, fifteen years before. And then there’s the question of the bacterium: where, if anywhere, does that tie in? Questions, questions…

There’s a lot of technical detail in this book – as expected given Reich’s impeccable credentials and background as an internationally respected forensic anthropologist – and there are several plot threads to follow, but diehard fans of the author, Brennan and her peers won’t be disappointed. We weren’t. Highly recommended.


The Bone Code | Kathy Reichs | Simon & Schuster | 29 April 2021 | hardback |

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Acknowledgements: This review is published as part of the publisher virtual book tour. Many thanks to lovely Anne Cater for arranging it and to the publisher for sending us a review copy and the above image. All views expressed are our own. All rights reserved. Please check out the other great reviewers on the tour.

See also: Anita Nair’s Bangalore detective Borei Gowda‘;’Michael Connelly’s epic hero, Mickey Haller‘;‘Chris Whitaker’s small-town America’; ‘Damian Barr’s slice of South Africa’; ‘Nora Roberts’ Sanctuary: an Old Familiar’; By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept’; ‘Yvonne Battle-Fenton’s Remembered‘; ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised‘; ‘We should all be feminists‘; The not-so-invisible woman: 150 greats in their own words’; ‘How Penguin learned to fly – Allen Lane and the Original “Penguin Ten”‘; Dorothy L. Sayer’s Busman’s Holiday – Romek Marber for Penguin Crime (book covers we love).

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