BONE DEEP by Darian North


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 North turns from hayseed legal intrigue (Criminal Seduction, 1993) to a push-those-buttons mystery that pits her young heroine against demons that seem to go back through her family tree practically to the dawn of time. Called away from an archeological dig in Guatemala by the news that her father is hospitalized in New York, forensic anthropologist Iris Lanier hasn't a clue why John Lanier ever bought a gun, left his California orchard, and ventured into Riverside Park in the dead of night wearing a wire, only to get shot in the face. As Iris stumbles to establish a routine with the grotesques in her father's apartment buildingethereal musician Isaac Brightman, law student Mitch Hanley, super Rich Andrettiand with Justine Kizmin, the no-nonsense detective on the case, and Nathan Kaliker, the enigmatic head of the foundation that sent her (and, it turns out, Det. Kizmin) to school, she's enmeshed in complications that seem to link five vastly different crimes: (1) the near-fatal assault on her father; (2) the disappearance years ago of her mother, long presumed dead; (3) a fatal terrorist bombing by a fringe group of 60's radicals; (4) the murder of a teenaged girl whose bones Iris reluctantly agrees to look at while she's waiting for her father to come out of his coma; and (5) the stabbing death of the Lady Moonsmoke, the wife of the Mayan Sun God, whose bones Iris was excavating in Guatemala. (Warning: at least one of these crimes turns out to have nothing to do with the others.) North (Criminal Seduction, 1993) pulls out all the stopsmultiplying threats to Iris, invoking wholesale conspiracies, etc.but the result is merely a lot of pulled-out stops, as Iris dashes from California to Atlantic City confronting figures from her family past who spew out secrets of dubious relevance before fading mercifully back into the woodwork. Sprawling, taxing (of time, patience, and belief), and finally exhausting, like a train that stops at every village between New York and Guatemala City. (First printing of 50,000; Literary Guild selection)

Pub Date: Sept. 21st, 1995
ISBN: 0-525-93849-4
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1995


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