Temperance Brennan follows the tangled path of a drowning victim who’s evidently been dead and buried for over 50 years.
John Charles Lowery, of Lumberton, N.C., died in Vietnam in 1968. So how can fingerprint evidence identify him as the man who died of autoerotic asphyxia in a pond outside Hemmingford, Quebec? Luckily for him, Lowery, aka Spider, has attracted the attention of Temperance, who has roots in both Quebec, where she works as a forensic anthropologist, and North Carolina, where she grew up. Even more luckily, Tempe (206 Bones, 2009, etc.) so charms Spider’s grieving father, Plato, that he insists she accompany the remains to the Central Identification Laboratory in Honolulu to establish once and for all what became of his son. No sooner has Tempe arrived in the islands with her daughter Katy, whose aid-worker boyfriend has just been killed by a roadside bomb outside Kabul, than flamboyant Honolulu Chief Medical Examiner Hadley Perry summons her to another command performance, the identification of some leftover bones that are all that remain from a recent shark attack. Both victims seem to be members of the Sons of Samoa, a gang of enforcers connected to local crime lord Nickie Lapasa, whose brother went missing in Vietnam in 1968—and perhaps to Spider Lowery as well.
Enough forensic examinations, misidentifications, genetic anomalies and coincidences for a whole season of snappy Tempe’s TV adventures. The biggest surprise is that all the corpses are indeed tied together, though only the faithful will care just how.