In her Montreal office, forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan stares down at the old bones on her desk. Are they the bones of an old friend?
Temperance Brennan (Monday Mourning, 2004, etc.) was eight when she met ten-year-old Évangéline Landry, who for the next four years was her closest friend. Both had been lonely girls, strangers in a strange land. Tempe had been transplanted from Chicago to Charlotte, Évangéline from Acadia, Canada. Abruptly, without a trace, Évangéline vanished, but Tempe has never been able to forget her. Thirty years later, a female skeleton is plaguing her with painful questions. How old is old? Was the death violent? Is it absurd to think what she’s thinking just because the bones were found in Acadia? Answers are hard to come by, in part because Tempe’s plate is piled even higher than usual. Detective Lieutenant Andy Ryan is handling the scary new case of five girls in their late teens to early 20s, three missing, two dead. Have they fallen victim to a serial killer? And of course there’s Ryan himself, a lover acting uncomfortably cool. Tempe, beset and brilliant as always, buckles down to find answers, only some of which will be rooted in the death sciences.
A bit of a jumble at the end—Reichs is a committed over-plotter—but Tempe is both deeper and funnier than she’s ever been, making this her best outing to date.