Speaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs

Cover Image grid of skull xrays

No one speaks the language of suspense more brilliantly than Kathy Reichs, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Temperance Brennan series. In Speaking in Bones, the forensic anthropologist finds herself drawn into a world of dark secrets and dangerous beliefs, where good and evil blur.

Professionally, Temperance Brennan knows exactly what to do—test, analyze, identify. Her personal life is another story. She’s at a loss, wondering how to answer police detective Andrew Ryan’s marriage proposal. But the matter of matrimony takes a backseat when murder rears its head.

Hazel “Lucky” Strike—a strident amateur detective who mines the Internet for cold cases—comes to Brennan with a tape recording of an unknown girl being held prisoner and terrorized. Strike is convinced the voice is that of eighteen-year-old Cora Teague, who went missing more than three years earlier. Strike is also certain that the teenager’s remains are gathering dust in Temperance Brennan’s lab.

Brennan has doubts about working with a self-styled websleuth. But when the evidence seems to add up, Brennan’s next stop is the treacherous backwoods where the chilling recording (and maybe Cora Teague’s bones) were discovered. Her forensic field trip only turns up more disturbing questions—along with gruesome proof of more untimely deaths.

While local legends of eerie nocturnal phenomena and sinister satanic cults abound, it’s a zealous and secretive religious sect that has Brennan spooked and struggling to separate the saints from the sinners. But there’s nothing, including fire and brimstone, that can distract her from digging up the truth and taking down a killer—even as Brennan finds herself in a place where angels fear to tread, devils demand their due, and she may be damned no matter what.

************Ani’s Review***********

Speaking In Bones by Kathy Reichs is a lesson in forensic study as well as a peek into the world of closed missing persons cases. I always love when I am educated by a novel and Reichs does not fail to deliver. In this story, Temperance Brennan is visited by a websleuth who thinks she has a lead on some bones that Temperance cataloged years ago. In researching the case, Temperance’s curiosity is peaked and we all know where that leads!

This is the first Temperance Brennan novel that I’ve read and I knew going in that it was a series. So although this story was a good stand alone, there were obvious references to things that happened in previous books. This was not a fatal flaw and only detracted slightly to the romantic side plot. Overall, Speaking in Bones is a completely engrossing…and yes, wonderfully gross novel. Happy reading!

Game by Barry Lyga

GameGame: The Sequel to “I Hunt Killers”

Billy grinned. “Oh, New York,” he whispered. “We’re gonna have so much fun.”

 
I Hunt Killers introduced the world to Jazz, the son of history’s most infamous serial killer, Billy Dent.
In an effort to prove murder didn’t run in the family, Jazz teamed with the police in the small town of Lobo’s Nod to solve a deadly case. And now, when a determined New York City detective comes knocking on Jazz’s door asking for help, he can’t say no. The Hat-Dog Killer has the Big Apple–and its police force–running scared. So Jazz and his girlfriend, Connie, hop on a plane to the big city and get swept up in a killer’s murderous game.
Both the stakes and the body count are higher in this suspenseful and unstoppable sequel from acclaimed author Barry Lyga.
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Ani’s Review
Game, the sequel to I Hunt Killers (click here for my full review)  was a twisty roller coaster of a ride! It definitely kept you on the edge of your seat but I also found that the supporting characters were not as interesting as in the first book. Jazz’s character and plot line was still very engaging but I was unhappy with girlfriend Connie. She had typical horror-movie decision making – poor to say the least! I wanted to jump in the book and shake her! That being said, I did enjoy the book a lot and the cliffhanger ending left such a hole that I was dreaming, literally, of how Jazz’s story would end. I have to applaud authors that can make me dream about their books (even though I would have preferred a good night’s sleep instead)! Check out the book here:  Game: The Sequel to “I Hunt Killers”

 

September at-a-glance

September turned out to be romance month. My list, as you will see, is heavy on that subject and was a lot of fun. Historical, contemporary, fantasy. It’s all there as well as some steampunk to mix things up. Here are most of the books that I was able to fit into this very busy September (see my other September posts for the rest). And, BONUS! many of them are either free or very inexpensive! I hope you find something to your liking. Happy Reading!

The Abducted Heart by Jennifer Blake – A young woman in the catering business gets accidentally “abducted” by her client who didn’t realize she was still on board his plane when it took off. What ensued was one of those situations where neither party wanted to openly admit their attraction or love for the other and caused pain on both ends. I wasn’t able to really get into these characters because the way it was written all but screamed 70’s era but the grandmother I really enjoyed.

A Soft Place to Fall by Barbara Bretton  – Annie, a widow, is pulling herself away from the brink of bankruptcy due to her husband’s gambling debts when she meets Sam who has come to her small town to hide out from his former employer. Instant chemistry happens between the two and they easily fall in love. Neither shares their past so when the men in suits arrive, everything they didn’t know about each other becomes public knowledge. I really enjoyed this story. Bretton painted a very detailed description of the northeast and the small town characters as well as some really interesting main characters.

The Silver Pear by Michelle Diener – The second and last in this fantasy series. This story brings Soren and female sorceress Mirabelle into the story where the his brother Rane’s and Kayla’s story left off in the Golden Apple. I was glad Diener wrote this book because not only was the Golden Apple really enjoyable, I was not liking Soren in that book. This story gave him more essence and showed his character in a much better light. Mirabelle was very interesting too as the only female sorceress in this fantasy world. The copy I read was an uncorrected ARC so I am explaining any confusion away for that reason. I would highly recommend reading these books back to back if possible in order to keep the supporting characters straight. Otherwise, a great set of books.

The Marquess of Cake by Heather Hiestand - If you haven’t figured it out already, I have a thing about baking. Which is why, when I saw the title of this book, I had to get it. It is a regency romance where the father and owner of a tea and cake shop is being knighted for his delicious treats. His eldest daughter, Alys, has always been happy working at the shop baking and decorating the celebration cakes but once her father is knighted, he fires her and intends to make her marry. Thrown into the mix is the Marquess of Hatbrook, Michael Shield who has his own love affair with sweet treats and stumbles upon Alys in the shop one day. One chance encounter leads to another and suddenly they  are in love but unwilling to admit it etc. This was just a fun story to read with good writing and character development. It was interesting that Ms. Hiestand chose to afflict the Marquess with diabetes.

To Kill A Warlock by H.P. Mallory – For those of you who enjoy fun paranormal mystery stories, and haven’t read H.P. Mallory you must. This particular book is about Dulcie O’Neill, a “regulator” basically a cop for the paranormal species. The story takes place over just a few weeks of Dulcie’s life while she’s trying to solve a murder and gotten wrangled into working with their Relations Office (think Internal Affairs). The story is rife with sexy men from Elves to Vampires a new creature Dulcie didn’t know existed in the form of Knightly Vander, her temporary, new superior from the Relations Office. I really enjoyed Dulcie’s character and am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

Amanda Rosa by Karen Robards  – Another historical romance. Amanda Rose has been placed in ta convent by her elder half brother and he’s just written that he’s found a husband for her. She takes a midnight walk to think through her plight and stumbles across Matthew Grayson, a wanted criminal who will die if she doesn’t help him. Against her best judgement, and along with a lot of frightening threats from this criminal, she helps him recover from his injuries. They become lovers but are discovered by her brother. This story is about a couple of people with a lot of secrets. I found this tale engrossing and well written. Karen Robards is always a good bet for a nice romance.

Steel Lily by Megan Curd – This book sadly, was a bit disappointing. I really like steampunk which is how this book began but as soon as Avery left her steampunkish Dome, it became more dystopian romance. Avery thought she was leaving her Dome to have a better life but she was really walking into a prettier version of jail. Love interest Jaxon was not described as someone I would think sexy – dredlocks don’t do it for me – so whenever they were mentioned, it broke my concentration. There was a lot of potential here and I think a less mature reader would probably enjoy it much more than I did.

Saved by Lorhainne Eckhart – This story is about Abby, a woman adrift in the ocean and who gets rescued, literally saved, by a US naval Destroyer. Captain Eric, a well-known chauvinist and womanizer falls for this guileless young woman and she for him but neither admits how deep the attraction goes. The Captain comes under investigation for sexual harassment and Abby saves him by being a witness to his innocence. Thus, they save each other. I wish this story had delved into more detail regarding the girl’s plight but this story mostly dwelt on military protocol which was still very interesting. Unfortunately, I didn’t love either character much because of the lack of depth overall. This is a series and it was obviously written with that intent. Since the writing was good, I might be convinced to read the next book in order to find out if the characters develop any further depth.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – Jane EyreI saved the best for last! If you haven’t yet read about the love story between Jane and Mr. Rochester, you must! Click the link below NOW! The story begins with Jane as a young orphan living in her uncle’s home. He is deceased and her aunt has no love for her and neither do her cousins. She is sent off to an institution to be educated and at long last she becomes the governess to a child at Thornfield, home of Mr. Rochester. Over the course of several months, they fall in love but Jane feels she must part with him and runs off into the night. That is only half of Jane’s story and not close to doing it justice. The writing is amazing and very easily understood (I’m comparing to Anna Karenina and Jane Austen’s novels). Jane and Rochester are a delight to read. Their banter was witty and unique and so full of their own personalities, it was a joy to read. Once you read this classic novel, you’ll realize how many authors don’t put nearly enough personality into their characters. I loved this story and it will forever be one of my favorites. Jane Eyre