About the BookTemperance Brennan is a forensic anthropologist with one of the longest commutes in fiction--from North Carolina to Montreal. She works in both places, and in this third outing (after Déjà Dead and Death du Jour) she manages to make a riveting (if a bit too coincidental) connection between a skull in Montreal and the partial skeleton of a teenager--dead since 1984--in North Carolina. Linking them is a 9-year-old girl shot on a Montreal street, the victim of a war among members of an outlaw motorcycle gang in eastern Canada. Another piece of the puzzle is provided by Tempe's visiting nephew, who is fascinated by the biker culture and is drawn into the mystery Tempe's trying to solve:
<blockquote>"Know anything about Slick?" asked Kit.
"He doesn't look like the pick of the litter."
"Yeah, even from that motley litter." He flipped the picture. "Heck, this guy croaked when I was 3 years old."
There were two more photos of Slick's funeral, both taken from a distance, one at the cemetery, the other on the church steps. Many of the mourners wore caps riding their eyebrows, and bandannas stretched to cover their mouths.
"The one you've got must be from a private collection." I handed Kit the other pictures. "I think these two are police surveillance photos. Seems the bereaved weren't anxious to show their faces."</blockquote> The science is as accurate as the author can make it. Kathy Reichs's own background--as forensic anthropologist for the chief medical officer of North Carolina and director of forensic anthropology for the province of Quebec--ensures verisimilitude of place and procedure and creates a believable milieu. Fans of Patricia Cornwall will enjoy this solidly written suspense thriller, while those of a less scientific bent, who don't mind a somewhat lagging pace, will skip the details and concentrate on Reichs's fluid writing. All readers will enjoy the way Tempe puts the pieces of the puzzle, as well as the bodies, together. --Jane Adams