Temperance Brennan, a leading forensic anthropologist has her abilities called into question when an anonymous tip suggests she missed or deliberately hid evidence. The case was routine but high profile, of a skeleton presumed to be a missing heiress. Still dividing her time between Quebec and Charlotte, she tries to go about business as usual but as more corpses that could be linked turn up, she starts questioning herself as mistakes she has no recollection of start being revealed. Is she losing her mind or is something more sinister at play. Can Tempe save her reputation and solve the puzzle before she loses more than that, even her life.
I’ve enjoyed Kathy Reichs’ work for a long time, even before the Bones TV series started (which I also love). I like that while the character of Temperance Brennan is present and she is also a leading forensic anthropologist, that’s where the similarity ends. You can enjoy them both as separate entities with no confusion as to why Tempe would do something in the series, yet behave completely differently in the books. They are entirely separate.
206 Bones draws you straight in with Temperance in a situation that is quite shocking. Then it returns to normal day to day life and you assume it was either in the past or yet to come. As the plot progresses, you get more glimpses of that situation and as they start getting closer to the current timeline, it has you on the edge of your seat, waiting to see what the next glimpse will be. It was cleverly written and keeps you reading (and for me way up past my bedtime as I couldn’t put it down).
The character of Temperance is always well written and you get a good sense of who she is as a woman and a forensic anthropologist. The technical information is always impeccable and you can only put that down to Kathy Reichs’ own career and knowledge giving her the ability to explain the jargon and procedures in easily understood terms. The one thing I do find difficult and it’s not really a bad thing but the amount of French/Quebecois throws me a little but I can’t actually see any way round that since it is set in Quebec a large amount of time. She does take time to translate as part of the story which helps, but it still jerks me out of the story sometimes. Since that is my only mild complaint, I think 206 Bones is a great addition to the series and was a really good read.
One thing to note and something I liked, is that you could pick this up as your first Kathy Reichs book and still be entertained, as the little snippets of the major characters histories that are in the story are also explained easily and without having to resort to long recaps.