Where I Got It: A review copy from the publisher (thanks!)
Who I Recommend This To: Arm-chair sleuths who enjoy a bit of scientific jargon.
Narrator: Linda Emond
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (2013)
Length: 11 hours 37 minutes
Series: Book 16 Temperance Brennan
Even though this is Book 16 in the series, it worked perfectly as a stand alone.
In this tale, Dr. Temperance Brennan has two mysteries to solve. Her first appears to be the hit and run of a young Latina prostitute in a rough part of North Carolina. Detective Slidell has already made up his mind concerning several of the ‘facts’ of the case, but Temperance encourages him (with pointy words) to keep an open mind and to keep digging. This case plagues her thoughts as she tries to turn her mind to the sedate case of the mummified dogs that were seized by customs officials. The second mystery comes from her estranged husband, Pete, who asks a personal favor. An old army buddy’s nephew is under scrutiny for killing two men in Afghanistan: self defense or murder? A year after the incident, local officials are allowing the military to dig up the remains and have them examined by a forensic specialist. This being Temperance’s specialty, Pete has asked her to be that specialist; the bonus is that she will get to see their daughter who is stationed at the same base where the examination will take place.
Temperance Brennan is my kind of mystery solver. She is brutally logical and I loved watching her try to get those around her to be logical too. Her give and take with the slobbish Slidell was quite amusing. Still, with all her logic, she is very human. She forgets her phone, locks her keys in the car, and wears ridiculous shoes from time to time.
The dual mysteries take Temperance to the seedier side of her local stomping ground as she tries to find the identity of the hit and run victim, and also who might be the perpetrator. As her investigation turns up nothing, she flies off to Afghanistan to be the expert for a few days, finally giving testimony back in the States. I really liked that she spends so much time worrying over her daughter serving in the military, and yet when she suffers a minor injury while in Afghanistan, she keeps it to herself – so her daughter won’t worry about her.
Her continued investigation brings trouble knocking on her door from a questionable lot (i. e. suspects in the case). As one investigation came to a halt, another clue surfaced on the other, and so the suspense stayed high through out the story. There were enough small twists to keep the reader interested. While i expected Temperance to solve all the mysteries by the end of the book, I did not expect them to turn out as they did until the final hints were laid out.
My one mild negative comment concerns the ending, or rather not-ending, to a side character and his perceived interest in Temperance. Perhaps we’re meant to find out more in the next book? Although, it did not sound like that was the case. Everything else was wrapped up, even if it was only Temperance wondering to herself where she stood exactly with another character. So this particular thing stood out as needing at least a line or two for reader satisfaction.
The Narration: Linda Emond did an excellent job of portraying Temperance’s logical nature, her firm behavior when handling fire arms, and doing accents. In fact, there were a few characters that either had ‘mild indeterminable accents’ or speech impairments.
What I Liked: The multiple mysteries; Temperance’s steadfast adherence to facts; the cat Birdie; Slidell’s sloppy habits.
What I Disliked: There was one side character subplot that was left a bit undone and I would have liked a few sentences closing it off for the book.
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