Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Devil's Bones by Jefferson Bass

Originally posted February 5, 2008

Reading this book is as easy and enjoyable as if the author is sitting right with me and telling me about his experiences. Amazing. I’ve never felt so comfortable in a book before, especially considering the theme. Jefferson Bass is the pseudonym for a team comprising Dr. Bill Bass, world-renowned forensic anthropologist who founded the real “Body Farm”, and Jon Jefferson, journalist, science writer, and documentary filmmaker. With a background like this you know the novel will be informative and factual. The Devil’s Bones is the 3rd novel, and how I wish I had already read the first two! I loved the flow of the book, it was descriptive, entertaining, the characters and the relationships are strong and believable. The conversations are entertaining yet informative and the storyline held my interest completely. If I could have spared the time I would have read it at one sitting.

The main character is Dr. Bill Brockton, working with a team of PhD students and others. As the book begins, he has lost the woman he loved (also a colleague) when another member of the department murdered her and tried to frame Bill for the murder. The man responsible, Dr. Garland Hamilton, is in jail for murder. This story begins when Dr. Brockton is sent a box of supposed “cremains” to determine if this is indeed what the box contains. A request has been made by the very lawyer who defended his case. There appears to be something strange about his Aunt’s ashes and he has asked that Bill check it out. This leads us into the world of cremation, and the realization that this is a much bigger case than one would expect. As a suspected murder comes to light, the knowledge gained checking the crematoriums plays a part in solving this case, not to mention his brilliant PhD student and assistant Miranda. The escape of Hamilton from jail adds suspense and fear to the mix throughout the remainder of the book. A tiny chip of bone leads to a fitting finale. I enjoyed the book immensely, would recommend this book to anyone and now have a new favourite author!

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