In my previous blog post (when I talked about the unabridged audiobook of Port Mortuary by Patricia Cornwell), I states how much I like Kathy Reichs and how I would stick with her in future crime books.
Well, I discovered about an hour or so after finishing Port Mortuary that I had an abridged version of Kathy Reichs latest audiobook, Moral Remains (aka Spider Bones if you live in the US or in the UK when its released in paperback - cover designs in next post to UK hardback/paperback). And, seeing as I was going to read the book (got it SUPER CHEAP in a sale!), I decided to listen to the audiobook and read one of Kathy Reichs earlier works (either Deadly Decisions or Fatal Voyage) later this year. I am planning to read one of her novels this year and listen to another audiobook by her [I haven't listen to Devil Bones. I started, but never finished…]. So, in other words, am going to go on a Kathy Reichs binge later in the year. Am planning for September time, me thinks…
Anyway, Moral Remains (aka Spider Bones. Whatever you want to call it). Dr Temperance Brennan is called into case where a body is found in a lake. Nothing out of the ordinary, you would think. Expect, the body in the lake has the fingerprints of a young solider who died in Vietnam forty years ago. A solider called John "Spider" Lowery. So, if this guy in the lake is the real Lowery, then who was buried in Lowery's grave? Finding no answers, Tempe goes to the heart of the American military for answers, and finds the case more confusing when she finds Lowery's dogtags with a unknown skeleton… But someone doesn’t want her digging around. And if Tempe isn't careful, her life and those of the people she cares deeply about could be in danger…
Now, one of the huge thing I like about Tempe is her dark humour. With Scarpetta, she's very clinical. No sense of humour whatsoever. With Tempe, she has a sense of humour. It's dark (a bit like my humour if rumours are lead to be believed) and, actually, come to think about it, Tempe has had a life. And she's not perfect like Scarpetta. Tempe has had a failed marriage, a daughter she adores, a sister is flighty, and the man she has feelings for… well, his life is just as screwed up as hers.
But its Tempe's voice and humour that carries the story along at a nice pace for me. There is some action scenes (not many though - that's unusual for a Temperance Brennan novel. Usually, Kathy reichs puts loads in!) and there was a few scene with her and her daughter, Katie. Which was nice. With the stories I've read/listen to, you don't see much interaction from Tempe with her sister, Harry, or her daughter, Katie, so it makes a nice change to see the Mother/Daughter relationship (although you didn't get to see much of it, due to the fact this was an abridged audiobook [again, if you want an audiobook, GET UNABRIDGED!]).
Not sure if the reader - Linda Edmond - got Katie right for my taste. Whenever the reader had to do Katie and Lily, Andrew Ryan's daughter, she always sounded bored. But she nailled Tempe's voice, which is the main thing for me. If the reader of an audiobook doesn't make you believe that they are that character, then you have no connection to the story…!
Now, the story itself. It was an interesting story. It wasn't mind blowing, but when explained, it was one of those "Oh! I've heard that in real life -" (how I have no idea!) "- but doesn't that come out of nowhere?". And once it was all explained, I was part "I KNEW IT!" and part "Ooooooh!".
I know that some fans of Kathy Reichs and Temperance Brennan saying that the books that come later in the series aren't exactly up to the standard of the books that started the series - Deja Dead and Death Du Jour. But I like it. It was better than Port Mortuary, so am stick round with Kathy Reichs and Temperance Brennan for a few more cases…
As I was trying to find pictures, I discovered that when Mortal Remains will be published in the UK in paperback, it will change its name to SPIDER BONES. Just found the covers designs. Hope you like.