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Temperance (Tempe) Brennan is a rare breed, a world-class forensic anthropologist who investigates long-dead human remains and backs up the work of her local coroner with her knowledge of human bones. She is also your "normal" 40-something female - divorce pending; winning a battle with the bottle; unsure of her new partner; her only daughter has fled the nest, enlisted in the Army and is now in Afghanistan; and she is heavily overworked because she pushes herself to the limit.
A teenager is found dead along the side of a desolate road with signs that she may have been deliberately run over and possibly sexually abused. The girl had an airline card in her bag belonging of someone who died in a fire a while ago, and Tempe had identified the remains of his fire-charred body. Because of the vulnerability of the young woman, Tempe is determined to try and find out what happened.
Her search is interrupted by a call for her to travel to Afghanistan to exhume the bodies of two locals killed by a US Army Lieutenant during active service, who is under investigation for their murder. This sidetrack challenges Tempe's physical and emotional strengths. On her return things happen that make her think that there may be a link between the two cases. Her first reaction is - "I don't believe in coincidences."
Kathy Reichs has written several books in the popular Tempe Brennan series and uses her personal experience as a forensic anthropologist to make her stories authentic and entertaining. She is a good storyteller who weaves multi-themed plots around unusual events and environments. All of the Tempe Brennan books are well worth reading but this time I found the plot is a little bit too complex (and coincidental) for my imagination.
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.