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Bones to Ashes- brief review

September 12, 2008

I knew the RIP challenge over at Stainless Steel Droppings was going to be easy.  it’s not a challenge- it’s what I’m reading anyway.

I’m about halfway through the latest Kathy Reichs paperback, Bones To Ashes.  Reading it soon after watching the Bones season opener makes me feel very odd, for the ways it has been making me chuckle.  The mystery is intense, dark and harrowing in spots.  Tempe Brennan must confront memories and unsolved mysteries from her girlhood, in the discovery of a young girl’s skeleton, somewhere in Acadia.  There may be a serial killer who’s been doing his grisly, terrifying work for decades.  Tempe Brennan is also having a rough patch in her personal life.  Both ex husband Pete  and her on-again-off-again relationship with Booth, I mean Ryan, looks like it’s ending as well.

And that’s the source of the humor for me.  I came to Kathy Reichs’ novels after watching two seasons of the TV show “Bones.”  So the connections, and more saliently, the disconnections between Book-Bones and TV-Bones always make me chuckle.   There is the character herself.  The Tempe Brennan of Reichs’ pages is much older, a bit world-worn.  She’s a recovering alcoholic with a failed marriage and a teenage daughter.  The TV Brennan is younger, prettier, but hobbled by a Dark Mysterious Past and a comical obliviousness to pop culture.  There’s also the geography.  The books journey betwen North Carolina and Quebec, as Tempe Brennan’s work causes layers of culture shock, and evokes each place beautifully.   Book Brennan works largely alone, instead of consistently flanked by assistants who are more like archetypes than real characters.  (My good friend Mike, watching Angela on the series, asked “Is she the emotions for the entire group?”)

Having said that- the books are consistently excellent.  This one in particular, is satisfying because it explores Brennan’s past and her childhood, and helps develop her as a character.  I’m still reading, but I’m sure it will stay good.  It certainly kept me awake past my bedtime last night.  So it’s in the running for a Cinderella Award.

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