Why I Read It: I really enjoy other books in this series.
Where I Got It: paperbackswap.com
Who I Recommend This To: Arm-chair sleuths who enjoy a bit of scientific jargon.
Narrator: Michele Pawk
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (2005)
Length: 11 hours 30 minutes
Series: Book 8 Temperance Brennan
Even though this is Book 8 in the series, it worked perfectly as a stand alone.
Dr. Tempe has to investigate the evident suicide of an Orthodox Jewish man in Montreal. One question leads to another. Was this really a suicide? Why were the cats locked in the closet with the body? At his detailed autopsy, a stranger slips Tempe a picture of a skeleton uncovered at an archaeological dig site. The man disappears leaving her with more questions than answers. Turns out those answers can be found in Israel. So can many, many foes, including hyenas. This tale included plenty of archaeology that relates to religion, making it a very touchy case for many folks involved.
I have only read a handful of books in this series, but I quite enjoy them. This one was the hardest for me to get into. The main drama of the story surrounds the question of whether or not Jesus died on the cross and afterward ascended to heaven, or if he decided to stay on Earth and have a family. Not being religious, this question didn’t really interest me, and so the drama of the book was rather muted for me. Instead, I enjoyed the intricate plot.
There were plenty of characters with shady motives and Tempe and her sexy times man, Detective Andrew Ryan, had to figure out who they could trust and how far. Biblical archaeologist Jake Drum, long-time friend of Tempe’s, helps her ID the mystery photo and fills her in on the scandal that accompanied that particular dig site in the 1960s. Later, he joins Tempe in Israel and assists her in tracking down the physical site, people, and info. But even he comes under suspicion as the pieces of the puzzle start to come together.
The plot takes them back home to Montreal for the wrap up. Honestly, I did get a little fuddled towards the end. The plot was great until Tempe started trying to tie all the pieces together and then I got a little lost. The main points were good, and at the end I understood why the murderer did as they did. But some of the finer points flew over my head. It was a larger cast of characters than I have seen in other Temperance Brennan books.
I did learn two things that have stuck with me. 1) Joshua is an old spelling of Jesus. 2) There are hyenas in Israel (which I just think is freaking cool). If you do enjoy bible mysteries and have questions about whether or not Jesus fathered children, or had brothers and sisters, then this book will probably hold some extra entertainment value for you. the aspect was well done; I simply didn’t have much interest in the true answer one way or another.
The Narration: Michele Pawk did a very good job. This particular installation of the series required excellent pronunciation of several Jewish names, since a chunk of the book takes place in Israel. Pawk definitely met the challenge. Her masculine voices could use a little more work, but her voice for Tempe was really good.
What I Liked: The cover; hyenas; plenty of intrigue; lots of suspicious characters with their own motives.
What I Disliked: I was not invested in the central drama of the big biblical question of Jesus’s family; some of the side intrigues got away from me and I lost track of where they came from and why they went where they did.
What Others Think: