Review – Cold, Cold Bones by Kathy Reichs

Posted July 5, 2022 by Carole in Reviews / 10 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review – Cold, Cold Bones by Kathy ReichsCold, Cold Bones by Kathy Reichs
Series: Temperance Brennan #21
Published by Simon and Schuster on July 5, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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#1 New York Times bestselling thriller writer Kathy Reichs returns with her twenty-first novel of suspense featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan who, after receiving a box containing a human eyeball, uncovers a series of gruesome killings eerily reenacting the most shocking of her prior cases.

Winter has come to North Carolina and, with it, a drop in crime. Freed from a heavy work schedule, Tempe Brennan is content to dote on her daughter Katy, finally returned to civilian life from the army. But when mother and daughter meet at Tempe’s place one night, they find a box on the back porch. Inside: a very fresh human eyeball.

GPS coordinates etched into the eyeball lead to a Benedictine monastery where an equally macabre discovery awaits. Soon after, Tempe examines a mummified corpse in a state park, and her anxiety deepens.

There seems to be no pattern to the subsequent killings uncovered, except that each mimics in some way a homicide that a younger Tempe had been called in to analyze. Who or what is targeting her, and why?

Helping Tempe search for answers is detective Erskine “Skinny” Slidell, retired but still volunteering with the CMPD cold case unit—and still displaying his gallows humor. Also pulled into the mystery: Andrew Ryan, Tempe’s Montreal-based beau, now working as a private detective.

Could this elaborately staged skein of mayhem be the prelude to a twist that is even more shocking? Tempe is at a loss to establish the motive for what is going on…and then her daughter disappears.

At its core, Cold, Cold Bones is a novel of revenge—one in which revisiting the past may prove the only way to unravel the present.

This was great! The book grabbed my attention right away and as each new body (or body part) was discovered my interest only grew. There were plenty of things happening at any given time in the story that kept me glued to the pages. I tend to like mysteries that get into the science of solving a case and while these books don’t dig too deep I do like the part that forensic anthropology plays in the story. This book was definitely worth picking up.

When a human eyeball is delivered to Tempe’s home at the start of the book, I knew that this was going to be an interesting case. As new cases pop up, Tempe senses a connection and it turns out that there have been several recent cases resembling ones she has worked on in the past. As the cases pile up, they are getting closer to Tempe and it appears to be personal. The fact that Tempe can’t get a hold of her daughter, Katy, who seems to be going through a rough patch only adds more stress to the situation.

I must admit that I figured out who the culprit was long before Tempe or Detective Slidell did but that didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the story. I was rather worried about Katy and thought that it was quite possible that Tempe would get herself in a dangerous situation before everything was solved. I was glad to see that Ryan played a role in the story even though I would have liked to see him make an appearance a bit sooner.

I thought that this was a very entertaining read. The Tempe in these books is very different than the character in the television show. This is the 21st book in the Temperance Brennan series but I think that it could work as a stand-alone for readers new to the series. I definitely plan to read more of Kathy Reichs work in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Scribner via NetGalley.

10 responses to “Review – Cold, Cold Bones by Kathy Reichs

  1. I’d never heard of this book before, and I had no idea that there was a television show based on it! It’s been awhile since I read a good mystery so I might have to look into this one — I’ve also never read a book set in North Carolina before, and that’s where I was born 🙂

    claire @ clairefy

  2. Ooh…This does sound really great! I haven’t read a Kathy Reichs novel in a long time, but you make me want to read this one. 🙂

  3. Verushka

    The eyeball kind of piqued my curiousity in the best way — I only know the TV show, and was never a fan, so I never gave the book a chance. But this makes me think I really should!

  4. I read a couple of books in this series years ago but for some reason never kept up with it. This sounds really entertaining! I think I need to catch up on these books.