Beautiful, cosmopolitan Montréal has the distinction of hosting the last active biker war in North America. Consulting forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan, brought up once more from North Carolina to help separate the bodies of a pair of identical twin Heathens blown up by their own bomb, is on hand when a Viper informant leads the Sûreté to a field where two much older bodies are buried—together with the skull and leg bones of Savannah Osprey, a hydrocephalic teen who disappeared from North Carolina in 1984, and whose body has long since been laid to rest back home. What are her missing parts doing in Pointe-St-Charles, and how is she connected to the slain bikers? As Tempe (Death du Jour, 1999, etc.) applies her customary expertise to these problems, problems are piling up on the home front as well. Her main squeeze, Lt. Andrew Ryan, has been arrested for dealing drugs, and her visiting nephew, Kit Howard, is infatuated with two equally unsuitable role models: the bikers whose equipment he's fascinated by, and Lyle Crease, the smarmy newscaster who's using him to get to Tempe. By the end, the body count has risen so high that it scarcely registers—replaced by forensic examinations of body parts, blood spatters, and old photos as centers of dramatic interest—and the mystery itself (whodunit, when, how, and why?) is shapeless in all but its broadest contours.
Still, fans will be hooked by those ghoulish stints in the lab, the penny-dreadful chapter endings, and the endless flow of acronyms that prove what a tough cookie Tempe is. (Author tour)