Being called to a bizarre drowning in Quebec is nothing new to Temperance Brennan. Identifying the body as John Lowery, a man who had died in Vietnam and had been buried 40 years ago in North Carolina was more out of the ordinary. Who was buried in Lowery’s grave if the body they had recovered was the real Lowery? With only questions, Tempe sets out to find answers that lead her to an exhumation, then to Hawaii for reanalysis. When another set of remains is discovered, this time accompanied by Lowery’s dog tags, Temperance grits her teeth and digs in deep to get to the bottom of the puzzle. Three bodies which can’t ALL be John Lowery, so who is the real one, who are the others and how were they involved in this? Detective Andrew Ryan, ex-lover and friend joins her in Hawaii to help unravel the mystery, one that might just have Tempe at a loss for the first time.
It’s always a pleasure starting a new book about Temperence Brennan. The only downside is, once you start, you can’t put it down until you’ve finished. Mortal Remains is the latest installment in the series and it’s very good. I always admire the character’s tenacity, intelligence and compassion along with her professionalism and need to find answers, especially for those who can no longer answer for themselves.
The pace of the story was spot on, tense and emotional and my only complaint would be the number of acronyms it contained but I do have to say they were always well explained, especially for people like me, who aren’t American or familiar with the agencies involved.
I can only imagine how much of Kathy Reich’s own history as a forensic anthropologist finds its way into her books but it must be considerable as the procedures and methods are explained in clear, rich detail.
It was good to see some familiar ‘faces’ from previous books and of course, how could the book be complete without Andrew Ryan. His attempts at trying to reconnect with Tempe did make me laugh and I do feel a bit sorry for him but he did bring it on himself. He really is going to have to try harder, our dear Tempe isn’t a pushover!
Having Tempe’s daughter along for the Hawaii trip was good even though she was grieving, she is a character I like a lot and enjoyed seeing more of her. Adding Andrew’s daughter to the mix did get a little irritating at times but I guess was necessary for how some of the story played out. I did want to smack her at times though!
A great read, full of the things we have come to know and love from Kathy Reichs.