temperence brennan #13
John Lowery was declared dead in 1968—the victim of a Huey
crash in Vietnam, his body buried long ago in North Carolina. Four
decades later, Temperance Brennan is called to the scene of a drowning
in Hemmingford, Quebec. The victim appears to have died while in the
midst of a bizarre sexual practice. The corpse is later identified as
John Lowery. But how could Lowery have died twice, and how did an
American soldier end up in Canada?
Tempe sets off for the
answer, exhuming Lowery’s grave in North Carolina and taking the
remains to Hawaii for reanalysis—to the headquarters of JPAC, the U.S.
military’s Joint POW/ MIA Accounting Command, which strives to recover
Americans who have died in past conflicts. In Hawaii, Tempe is joined by
her colleague and ex-lover Detective Andrew Ryan (how “ex” is he?) and
by her daughter, who is recovering from her own tragic loss. Soon
another set of remains is located, with Lowery’s dog tags tangled among
them. Three bodies—all identified as Lowery.
Tempe is contacted by Hadley Perry, Honolulu’s flamboyant medical
examiner, who needs help identifying the remains of an adolescent boy
found offshore. Was he the victim of a shark attack? Or something much
There was so much going on in this book it gave me a headache. So many names, so many bodies and it was truly just too much of a stretch that everything was related.
You can't just skim over stuff in the book, otherwise you'll find yourself completely lost. There's so much information and so much of it technical that I swear I'm at least 10 IQ points higher than I was when I started. While I like learning the ins and outs of forensic anthropology this one started to lose me after a bit.
I did like the human interest part of it. Lily & Katy were a breath of fresh air, but Tempe's hesitation with Ryan and Charlie is starting to get kind of old. There was a Patricia Cornwell moment that I hope never happens again. At a climactic part of the book Tempe runs out to help and I have to wonder, what does an intelligent woman think she's going to accomplish out there? She's unarmed, untrained and unnecessary. All she would do is become a distraction and a liability. It was a bizarre way to keep eyes on the action since the story is told from her point of view I suppose, but it read as 'Tempe is an idiot' to me.