A gripping and explosive new thriller from internationally acclaimed forensic anthropologist and New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs, featuring Temperance Brennan and Detective Andrew Ryan on the trail of a modern murder and an ancient biblical mystery...
When an Orthodox Jewish man is found shot to death in Montreal, Temperance Brennan is called in to examine the body and to figure out the puzzling damage to the corpse. Unexpectedly, a stranger slips her a photograph of a skeleton and assures her it is the key to the victim's death. Before she knows it, Tempe is involved in an international mystery as old as Jesus, and one that could lead to the rewriting of two thousand years of religious history.
As Tempe investigates, she learns that the stranger's picture shows bones uncovered during an archaeological dig. She discovers the Montreal shooting victim ran an import business that just might have been a front for the trading of black market antiquities. Along with Detective Andrew Ryan and biblical archaeologist Jake Drum, Tempe travels to Israel to probe the origins of the skeleton and the ancient crypt in which it was found. Together they make a startling discovery that raises radical questions about Christ's death and places them squarely in the middle of a swirling controversy. Could one of the tombs really be Christ's last resting place? Are the bones in the ancient ossuary the last remnants of James, the brother of Jesus, as the inscription claims? Or has someone concocted an elaborate hoax?
Using her skills as a forensic scientist, Tempe plunges into the most controversial case of her career. The stakes have never been higher -- the more she learns, the greater the danger. And though Ryan is sexier and more engaging than ever, he may not be able to protect Tempe in this place where there seem to be so many foes.
Cross Bones, with its lightning pace, intricately plotted story, riveting and state-of-the-art forensic detail, is Kathy Reichs's most compelling and dramatic novel yet.
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August 31, 2005
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Excerpt from Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs
Following an Easter dinner of ham, peas, and creamed potatoes, Charles "Le Cowboy" Bellemare pinched a twenty from his sister, drove to a crack house in Verdun, and vanished.
That summer the crack house was sold up-market. That winter the new homeowners grew frustrated with the draw in their fireplace. On Monday, February seventh, the man of the house opened the flue and thrust upward with a rake handle. A desiccated leg tumbled into the ash bed.
Papa called the cops. The cops called the fire department and the Bureau du coroner. The coroner called our forensics lab. Pelletier caught the case.
Pelletier and two morgue techs were standing on the lawn within an hour of the leg drop. To say the scene was confused would be like saying D-day was hectic. Outraged father. Hysterical mother. Overwrought kids. Mesmerized neighbors. Annoyed cops. Mystified firefighters.
Dr. Jean Pelletier is the most senior of the five pathologists at the Laboratoire de sciences judiciaires et de medecine legale, Quebec's central crime and medico-legal lab. He's got bad joints and bad dentures, and zero tolerance for anything or anyone that wastes his time. Pelletier took one look and ordered a wrecking ball.
The exterior wall of the chimney was pulverized. A well-smoked corpse was extracted, strapped to a gurney, and transported to our lab. The next day Pelletier eyeballed the remains and said, "ossements." Bones.