A grisly discovery at the home of a suspected baby-killer leads forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan and the Sûreté du Québec on a wild chase to the depths of far-off Edmonton and environs.
Complaining of vaginal bleeding, Amy Roberts gives every sign of having recently borne a child. So when she disappears from the Hôpital Honoré-Mercier, the law naturally goes after her. They don’t find Amy, but they do find a slew of interchangeable false names and something much more horrible: three dead infants, one recently deceased, the others not so recently. The investigation would be ticklish even if it didn’t bring Tempe together with her long-ago fling Sgt. Oliver Isaac Hasty, who’s convinced against all the evidence that she wants to get back together, and Lt. Andrew Ryan, her much more recent and serious lover. The ill-matched trio follows the trail of Annaliese Ruben, if that’s indeed her real name, to Edmonton, where a fellow prostitute reported her missing four months after she quit working the streets. There the case takes an abrupt turn from personal vice to grand-scale economic malfeasance with the news that Ruben’s late father, Farley McLeod, had been involved in a quest for diamonds that pitted McLeod’s unexpectedly numerous brood of survivors against environmental activists like Friends of the Tundra’s Horace Tyne, with the DeBeers organization hovering barely offstage. Nor are the opportunities for forensic surprises at an end.
Reichs (Flash and Bones, 2011, etc.) delivers solid, albeit grueling, post-mortem work, nonstop complications and enough action for a weekend at the bijou. Even if you can’t keep track of all the suspects, you’ll be deeply relieved when she brings down the curtain.