Thursday, September 3, 2009

Review: 206 Bones by Kathy Reichs

Temperance Brennan, fresh from her disastrous but brief fall from the wagon, is back and trying to sort out her life, from the meaning behind the collapse of her sobriety to her feelings for the men in her life. While this is a background theme, in the forefront she continues to do what she does best: solve crimes through her vast knowledge of bones, along with her powers of observation and her partner/ex-boyfriend Detective Andrew Ryan.

Together, they set out to investigate a series of deaths involving elderly ladies, trying to determine whether they are related. Tempe is also attempting to search out the source of allegations that could be potentially harmful to her career.

This time, we also meet Vecamamma, Tempe's former mother-in-law, along with a host of other in-laws. These characters are a great addition to the book, offering up a whole new dimension and lots of added humour. At one family dinner, we meet Cukura Kundze, a neighbour of Vecamamma's, who is in her eighties and has not lost her appetite for life. She relates the story of her "boyfriend's" missing grandson, imploring Tempe to help.

With three seemingly unrelated cases, we're wound through the mysteries in a fashion unique to Reichs, who can tell us about the many facets of the human skeleton while having the ability to inform the reader about pop culture or geographical references, with ease and interest. The dialogue shared by Brennan and Ryan, is smart, witty, and just plain fun, making it my favourite element in the book (it is completely true that I enjoy the books when the Ryan character is involved front and center far more than the others, something I'm sure the author hears all the time.)

I'm not sure if it's just me, but I felt that 206 Bones offered more in the line of humour than any of the others before it, which for me had been the biggest difference between the book and the TV series. I look forward to more of this. Tempe Brennan is a smart woman, that has certainly experienced life, but there are still times that you want to shake her and tell her, "Open your eyes!", that sometimes the answers are so obvious. This is what makes the character so rich, though, because many of us have the same issues of no being able to see what's right in front of us.

From the first Kathy Reichs' book I read, in which a murder suspect is picked up while driving on the 417 Highway (a road that runs through Ottawa, one which I am on frequently), I knew she would keep me as a captive audience as a result of elements familiar to me and 206 Bones proved no different.

The story culminates in a particularly Canadian way and for that, I say to Kathy Reichs: Cheers!

For mor information about Kathy Reichs and her Temperance Brennan novels, check out her website:

Check out other reviews for this book:
He Followed Me Home
Books n Border Collies


Lezlie said...

I just finished up this one as well. I love these books!!

**Spoiler from previous book follows:** I just thought it was odd that the loss of Ryan's longtime partner in the previous book was never mentioned. Maybe it's just me, but I would think they would stil have been a little broken up about that. And I had been looking forward to seeing a bit of the new character that was introduced then.


Jackie said...

I know! It's been a year since the last one but her books tend to continue on fairly closely in the timeline, so I was a bit surprised that his name was mentioned once (I can't even remember his name now! lol) I still love them though.

Mel (He Followed Me Home) said...

Great review, I just read this too! Loved the Brennan/Ryan dialoge as well though didn't know of their past history which probably would have made it even better! Now to start at book 1, lol....someday ;)

Laughing Stars said...

Really?? A recovering alcoholic named Temperance? :-)

I have a weakness for mysteries with interesting, complex protagonists and this sounds like a good one. Thanks!

Jackie said...

I think the whole series is entertaining and she travels a bit, so it's different locales and situations in them all. Definitely mixes things up a bit.

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