Joan really loves Bones, the t.v. show, so she went into this book pretty excited to read about Temperance Brennan.  But this was no Bones.  There was a dearth of strong female characters, too much autopsy gore, relatively little interaction with Ryan, and not enough of the quirky humor that marks the t.v. show.

That being said, the group liked the book.  It was a compelling look at the investigative process and we found the multiple locales really interesting.  We need more mysteries set in Canada, Quebec in particular!

The story wasn’t always believable — do lab folk REALLY go into the field?  And if they did (or didn’t), would they constantly complain about not being kept in the loop?  Sadly, we felt the police department folk were portrayed as boobs, mostly because they weren’t lab folk.  We felt the police investigative work was realistically portrayed and the psychological stuff was good.  But it wasn’t always fun to read — the group has previously expressed its distaste for crimes against children.

Tempe’s internal world was interesting and we liked watching her thought processes as she went through evidence and tried to bring things into focus.  We did find the author’s need to end chapters with comment along the lines of “little did I know that it would go all to hell” annoying.  And usually, the warning was a lot worse than what actually happened.  A way to keep the reader reading, true, but annoying nonetheless.

Joan had the killer pegged by the middle of the book, though the twist [NO SPOILER HERE] threw her.

Favorite characters – Tempe, Tempe’s mom, Tempe’s cat, Tempe’s cat-sitter.  Joan found Stinky Slidel amusing.

Least favorite – Ryan.  What a pill.  At least make an effort to be pleasant.  Someone commented about his “slithering in and out.”  Slidel was annoying, though humorous.  Tawny McGee; the doctor in the E.R., Ajax, and Yoder, who was pivotal, but a compared to a slug.

We all agreed we’d probably read more by this author.

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