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Bones Are Forever: A Novel [Format Kindle]

Kathy Reichs
4.5 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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Bones are Forever



Like the tiny mouth and nasal openings.

Ignoring the maggot masses, I inserted gloved fingers beneath the small torso and gently lifted one shoulder. The baby rose, chin and limbs tucked tight to its chest.

Flies scattered in a whine of protest.

My mind took in details. Delicate eyebrows, almost invisible on a face barely recognizable as human. Bloated belly. Translucent skin peeling from perfect little fingers. Green-brown liquid pooled below the head and buttocks.

The baby was inside a bathroom vanity, wedged between the vanity’s back wall and a rusty drainpipe looping down from above. It lay in a fetal curl, head twisted, chin jutting skyward.

It was a girl. Shiny green missiles ricocheted from her body and everything around it.

For a moment I could only stare.

The wiggly-white eyes stared back, as though puzzled by their owner’s hopeless predicament.

My thoughts roamed to the baby’s last moments. Had she died in the darkness of the womb, victim of some heartless double-helix twist? Struggling for life, pressed to her mother’s sobbing chest? Or cold and alone, deliberately abandoned and unable to make herself heard?

How long does it take for a newborn to give up life?

A torrent of images rushed my brain. Gasping mouth. Flailing limbs. Trembling hands.

Anger and sorrow knotted my gut.

Focus, Brennan!

Easing the miniature corpse back into place, I drew a deep breath. My knee popped as I straightened and yanked a spiral from my pack.

Facts. Focus on facts.

The vanity top held a bar of soap, a grimy plastic cup, a badly chipped ceramic toothbrush holder, and a dead roach. The medicine cabinet yielded an aspirin bottle containing two pills, cotton swabs, nasal spray, decongestant tablets, razor blades, and a package of corn-remover adhesive pads. Not a single prescription medication.

Warm air moving through the open window fluttered the toilet paper hanging beside the commode. My eyes shifted that way. A box of tissue sat on the tank. A slimy brown oval rimmed the bowl.

I swept my gaze left.

Lank fabric draped the peeling window frame, a floral print long gone gray. The view through the dirt-crusted screen consisted of a Petro-Canada station and the backside of a dépanneur.

Since I entered the apartment, my mind had been offering up the word “yellow.” The mud-spattered stucco on the building’s exterior? The dreary mustard paint on the inside stairwell? The dingy maize carpet?

Whatever. The old gray cells kept harping. Yellow.

I fanned my face with my notebook. Already my hair was damp.

It was nine A.M., Monday, June 4. I’d been awakened at seven by a call from Pierre LaManche, chief of the medico-legal section at the Laboratoire de sciences judiciaires et de médecine légale in Montreal. LaManche had been roused by Jean-Claude Hubert, chief coroner of the province of Quebec. Hubert’s wake-up had come from an SQ cop named Louis Bédard.

According to LaManche, Caporal Bédard had reported the following:

At approximately two-forty A.M. Sunday, June 3, a twenty-seven-year-old female named Amy Roberts presented at the Hôpital Honoré-Mercier in Saint-Hyacinthe complaining of excessive vaginal bleeding. The ER attending, Dr. Arash Kutchemeshgi, noted that Roberts seemed disoriented. Observing the presence of placental remnants and enlargement of the uterus, he suspected she had recently given birth. When asked about pregnancy, labor, or an infant, Roberts was evasive. She carried no ID. Kutchemeshgi resolved to phone the local Sûreté du Québec post.

At approximately three-twenty A.M., a five-car pileup on Autoroute 20 sent seven ambulances to the Hôpital Honoré-Mercier ER department. By the time the blood cleared, Kutchemeshgi was too exhausted to remember the patient who might have delivered a baby. In any case, by then the patient was gone.

At approximately two-fifteen P.M., refreshed by four hours of sleep, Kutchemeshgi remembered Amy Roberts and phoned the SQ.

At approximately five-ten P.M., Caporal Bédard visited the address Kutchemeshgi had obtained from Roberts’s intake form. Getting no response to his knock, he left.

At approximately six-twenty P.M., Kutchemeshgi discussed Amy Roberts with ER nurse Rose Buchannan, who, like the doctor, was working a twenty-four-hour shift and had been present when Roberts arrived. Buchannan recalled that Roberts simply vanished without notifying staff; she also thought she remembered Roberts from a previous visit.

At approximately eight P.M., Kutchemeshgi did a records search and learned that Amy Roberts had come to the Hôpital Honoré-Mercier ER eleven months earlier complaining of vaginal bleeding. The examining physician had noted in her chart the possibility of a recent delivery but wrote nothing further.

Fearing a newborn was at risk, and feeling guilty about failing to follow through promptly on his intention to phone the authorities, Kutchemeshgi again contacted the SQ.

At approximately eleven P.M., Caporal Bédard returned to Roberts’s apartment. The windows were dark, and as before, no one came to the door. This time Bédard took a walk around the exterior of the building. Upon checking a Dumpster in back, he spotted a jumble of bloody towels.

Bédard requested a warrant and called the coroner. When the warrant was issued Monday morning, Hubert called LaManche. Anticipating the possibility of decomposed remains, LaManche called me.


On a beautiful June day, I stood in the bathroom of a seedy third-floor walk-up that hadn’t seen a paintbrush since 1953.

Behind me was a bedroom. A gouged and battered dresser occupied the south wall, one broken leg supported by an inverted frying pan. Its drawers were open and empty. A box spring and mattress sat on the floor, dingy linens surrounding them. A small closet held only hangers and old magazines.

Beyond the bedroom, through folding double doors—the left one hanging at an angle from its track—was a living room furnished in Salvation Army chic. Moth-eaten sofa. Cigarette-scarred coffee table. Ancient TV on a wobbly metal stand. Chrome and Formica table and chairs.

The room’s sole hint of architectural charm came from a shallow bay window facing the street. Below its sill, a built-in tripartite wooden bench ran to the floor.

A shotgun kitchen, entered from the living room, shared a wall with the bedroom. On peeking in earlier, I’d seen round-cornered appliances resembling those from my childhood. The counters were topped with cracked ceramic tile, the grout blackened by years of neglect. The sink was deep and rectangular, the farmhouse style now back in vogue.

A plastic bowl on the linoleum beside the refrigerator held a small amount of water. I wondered vaguely about a pet.

The whole flat measured maybe eight hundred square feet. A cloying odor crammed every inch, fetid and sour, like rotting grapefruit. Most of the stench came from spoiled garbage in a kitchen waste pail. Some came from the bathroom.

A cop was manning the apartment’s only door, open and crisscrossed with orange tape stamped with the SQ logo and the words Accès interdit—Sûreté du Québec. Info-Crime. The cop’s name tag said Tirone.

Tirone was in his early thirties, a strong guy gone to fat with straw-colored hair, iron-gray eyes, and apparently, a sensitive nose. Vicks VapoRub glistened on his upper lip.

LaManche stood beside the bay window talking to Gilles Pomier, an LSJML autopsy technician. Both looked grim and spoke in hushed tones.

I had no need to hear the conversation. As a forensic anthropologist, I’ve worked more death scenes than I care to count. My specialty is decomposed, burned, mummified, dismembered, and skeletal human remains.

I knew others were speeding our way. Service de l’identité judiciaire, Division des scènes de crime, Quebec’s version of CSI. Soon the place would be crawling with specialists intent on recording and collecting every fingerprint, skin cell, blood spatter, and eyelash present in the squalid little flat.

My eyes drifted back to the vanity. Again my gut clenched.

I knew what lay ahead for this baby who might have been. The assault on her person had only begun. She would become a case number, physical evidence to be scrutinized and assessed. Her delicate body would be weighed and measured. Her chest and skull would be entered, her brain and organs extracted and sliced and scoped. Her bones would be tapped for DNA. Her blood and vitreous fluids would be sampled for toxicology screening.

The dead are powerless, but those whose passing is suspected to be the result of wrongdoing by others suffer further indignities. Their deaths go on display as evidence transferred from lab to lab, from desk to desk. Crime scene technicians, forensic experts, police, attorneys, judges, jurors. I know such personal violation is necessary in the pursuit of justice. Still, I hate it. Even as I participate.

At least this victim would be spared the cruelties the criminal justice machine reserves for adult victims—the parading of their lives for public consumption. How much did she drink? What did she wear? Whom did she date? Wouldn’t happen here. This baby girl never had a life to put under the microscope. For her, there would be no first tooth, no junior prom, no questionable bustier.

I flipped a page in my spiral with one angry finger.

Rest easy, little one. I’ll watch over you.

I was jotting a note when an unexpected voice caught my attention. I turned. Through the cockeyed bedroom door, I saw a familiar figure.

Lean and long-legged. Strong jaw. Sandy hair. You get the picture.

For me, it’s a picture with a whole lot of history.

Lieutenant-détective Andrew Ryan, Section de crimes contre la personne, Sûreté du Québec.

Ryan is a homicide cop. Over the years, we’ve spent a lot of time together. In and out of the lab.

The out part was over. Didn’t mean the guy wasn’t still smoking hot.

Ryan had joined LaManche and Pomier.

Jamming my pen into the wire binding, I closed my spiral and walked to the living room.

Pomier greeted me. LaManche raised his hound-dog eyes but said nothing.

“Dr. Brennan.” Ryan was all business. Our MO, even in the good times. Especially in the good times.

“Detective.” I stripped off my gloves.

“So. Temperance.” LaManche is the only person on the planet who uses the formal version of my name. In his starched, proper French, it comes out rhyming with “France.” “How long has this little person been dead?”

LaManche has been a forensic pathologist for over forty years and has no need to query my opinion on postmortem interval. It’s a tactic he employs to make colleagues feel they are his equals. Few are.

“The first wave of flies probably arrived and oviposited within one to three hours of death. Hatching could have begun as early as twelve hours after the eggs were laid.”

“It’s pretty warm in that bathroom,” Pomier said.

“Twenty-nine Celsius. At night it would have been cooler.”

“So the maggots in the eyes, nose, and mouth suggest a minimum PMI of thirteen to fifteen hours.”

“Yes,” I said. “Though some fly species are inactive after dark. An entomologist should determine what types are present and their stage of development.”

Through the open window, I heard a siren wail in the distance.

“Rigor mortis is maximal,” I added, mostly for Ryan’s benefit. The other two knew that. “So that’s consistent.”

Rigor mortis refers to stiffening due to chemical changes in the musculature of a corpse. The condition is transient, beginning at approximately three hours, peaking at approximately twelve hours, and dissipating at approximately seventy-two hours after death.

LaManche nodded glumly, arms folded over his chest. “Placing possible time of death somewhere between six and nine o’clock last night.”

“The mother arrived at the hospital around two-forty yesterday morning,” Ryan said.

For a long moment no one spoke. The implication was too sad. The baby might have lived over fifteen hours after her birth.

Discarded in the cabinet? Without so much as a blanket or towel? Once more I pushed the anger aside.

“I’m finished,” I said to Pomier. “You can bag the body.”

He nodded but didn’t move away.

“Where’s the mother?” I asked Ryan.

“Appears she may have split. Bédard is running down the landlord and canvassing the neighbors.”

Outside, the siren grew louder.

“The closet and dresser are empty,” I said. “There are few personal items in the bathroom. No toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant.”

“You’re assuming the heartless bitch bothered with the niceties of hygiene.”

I glanced at Pomier, surprised by the bitterness in his tone. Then I remembered. Pomier and his wife had been trying to start a family. Four months earlier she’d miscarried for the second time.

The siren screamed its arrival up the street and cut off. Doors slammed. Voices called out in French. Others answered. Boots clanged on the iron stairs leading to the first floor from the sidewalk.

Shortly, two men slipped under the crime scene tape. Uniform jumpsuits. I recognized both: Alex Gioretti and Jacques Demers.

Trailing Gioretti and Demers was an SQ corporal I assumed to be Bédard. His eyes were small and dark behind wire-rimmed glasses. His face was blotchy with excitement. Or exertion. I guessed his age to be mid-forties.

LaManche, Pomier, and I watched Ryan cross to the newcomers. Words were exchanged, then Gioretti and Demers began opening their kits and camera cases.

Face tense, LaManche shot a cuff and checked his watch.

“Busy day?” I asked.

“Five autopsies. Dr. Ayers is away.”

“If you prefer to get back to the lab, I’m happy to stay.”

“Perhaps that is best.”

In case more bodies are found. It didn’t need saying.

Experience told me it would be a long morning. When LaManche was gone, I glanced around for a place to settle.

Two days earlier I’d read an article on the diversity of fauna inhabiting couches. Head lice. Bedbugs. Fleas. Mites. The ratty sofa and its vermin held no appeal. I opted for the window bench.

Twenty minutes later, I’d finished jotting my observations. When I looked up, Demers was brushing black powder onto the kitchen stove. An intermittent flash told me Gioretti was shooting photos in the bathroom. Ryan and Bédard were nowhere to be seen.

I glanced out the window. Pomier was leaning against a tree, smoking. Ryan’s Jeep had joined my Mazda and the crime scene truck at the curb. So had two sedans. One had a CTV logo on its driver’s-side door. The other said Le Courrier de Saint-Hyacinthe.

The media were sniffing blood.

As I swiveled back, the plank under my bum wobbled slightly. Leaning close, I spotted a crack paralleling the window wall.

Did the middle section of the bench function as a storage cabinet? I pushed off and squatted to check underneath.

The front of the horizontal plank overhung the frame of the structure. Using my pen, I pushed up from below. The plank lifted and flopped back against the windowsill.

The smell of dust and mold floated from the dark interior.

I peered into the shadows.

And saw what I’d been dreading.

Revue de presse

"Reichs always delivers a pulse-pounding story." (Publishers Weekly)

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 3232 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 401 pages
  • Editeur : Scribner; Édition : Reprint (28 août 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B0061PEAUY
  • Synthèse vocale : Non activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.5 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°63.508 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

En savoir plus sur l'auteur

Née à Chicago, Kathy Reichs est anthropologue judiciaire à Montréal et professeur d'anthropologie judiciaire à l'université de Charlotte, en Caroline du Nord. Elle travaille fréquemment de concert avec le FBI et le Pentagone. Les aventures de son héroïne, Temperance Brennan, sont adaptées à la télévision dans la série à succès de M6, Bones. Aux Éditions Robert Laffont, elle a publié, entre autres, Déjà Dead, Meurtres à la carte et, plus récemment, Autopsies.

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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Kathy REICHS 28 octobre 2012
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Comme d'habitude,livraison dans les temps;excellent emballage.Produit intact à l'arrive.
Information sur le produit très bonne
L'univers de Kathy Reichs est un régal tant sur le plan des personnages
que des intrigues imaginées au Canada et aux Etats-Unis
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Kathy Reichs 4 décembre 2012
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
C'est toujours aussi captivant! Difficile de l'abandonner.Kathy Reichs a l'art de nous tenir en haleine du début à la fin.
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Amazon.com: 4.1 étoiles sur 5  906 commentaires
193 internautes sur 203 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 I don't know that I can read any Kathy Reichs again... 5 septembre 2012
Par Angela Risner The Sassy Orange - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I loved her first books. I really did. And then after she started working on the TV show, her books started to suck. Yup, I'm saying it. They started to suck. And even though her last book showed a hint of the old novels, this one is probably one of the worst I've read.

This is from my review of her last book, Flash and Bones:

"My only issue is that Tempe always ends up in danger at the end of each book and has to be rescued. After awhile, you would think that the police would insert a tracking device under her skin, because they know if she is working on a case, she will end up kidnapped."

Hey, guess what happens in this book? No, you'll never guess. Nope, I'm just going to tell you. It ends like every other Tempe Brennan novel: She gets kidnapped at the end and has to be rescued. And NO, I did not just ruin it for you because THAT HAPPENS AT THE END OF EVERY KATHY REICHS BOOK.

We're back in Canada for this one. It starts out promising, as Tempe has just found three dead babies in an apartment. I'm intrigued, I'm ready to go. Andrew Ryan is along for the ride. Yup, getting excited to solve this mystery with them. And then, it all falls apart. Characters are added, but you don't care about them. They're bad guys who you never actually talk to - they're spoken to off of the page. The new detective with whom Tempe has a past is a jerk and there are no redeeming qualities, even though Reichs tries to point them out.

We do learn a little about diamond mining and the native population of Canada. But all it made me feel was sad and cold. I don't feel like learning more about either subject, which is sad because I'm sure that they're both fascinating when they're not presented as the backdrop to a crappy story.

I just wanted it to be over. It was not a pleasurable read at all.

I do have a suggestion for Ms. Reichs: Start a new storyline with Tempe's daughter, Katy. Take her through the learning process of whatever career she's going to choose. Throw in some crime. Have Katy and Tempe work together. Do SOMETHING because what you're writing is not working.

Bad. Just bad.
83 internautes sur 86 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Very Disappointed 30 août 2012
Par D. Campbell - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Although I'm a fan of the Tempe Brennan books, I was disappointed with "Bones Are Forever". There was less of the forensic and police procedural details that I enjoy, and too much (for me) uninteresting facts on diamond formation and mining. The plot seemed contrived and unrealistic. The investigation was chaotic and jumped all over the place, both in locality and facts. In most of the prior books of this series, the author provided rich detail - historical facts, investigative techniques and progress on the case, but this time, the long and overly-detailed info on diamonds was overkill.

Detective Andrew Ryan was involved in the investigation of the deaths of four infants, along with a Royal Canadian Mountie that Tempe had a brief affair with when they were both at the FBI training facility, Quantico. But, there was no real connection between Tempe and Dr. Ryan, and very few words of a personal nature between them. Additionally, Tempe barely acted in a civil manner toward Mountie Ollie Hasty.

I was waiting for Ms. Reichs' usual lush plot to lure me into the mystery, but it never happened for me. There was a Keystone Cops feel to Ryan and Brennan's behavior and too many supporting characters and convoluted theories crowding the story.

There was no advance of a personal relationship between Dr. Brennan and anyone, except for a few sentences spoken between Tempe and Detective Ryan, signifying nothing.

So, I was disappointed ...... and bored.
73 internautes sur 75 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Not up to her usual standards. 31 août 2012
Par MED - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
This book misses the mark. Like other reviewers I found myself wondering if this was Reichs' work. The story bounces between hard to read (four dead infants) and boring (tedious descriptions of diamond mining). Reichs usually builds a 'can't put down plot' with forensic details and surrounds it with an interesting mystery. These elements are missing here, as are the elements of Brennan's personal life that make this a cohesive series. Even long time fans of the series can skip this and miss nothing. Not recommended.
16 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Temperance Brennan has become Template Brennan 7 septembre 2012
Par Gut Reaction Reviews - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
having read all of Reichs books I must say she has fallen into the trap of formula writing. You know early on she is going to have a dream that leaves her wondering how everything fits together, you also know near the end she will get caught by the bad guys and that one of her male "partners/lovers" will rescue her. This one also had too many characters in and out of the story so by the time you find out who is the villain you have to stop and think now who was this guy.
28 internautes sur 33 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Another exciting Temperance Brennan novel 29 août 2012
Par Valerie Jones - Publié sur Amazon.com
Reichs again strikes gold, or diamonds, with her latest Temerance Brennan novel. Back again in Montreal, the discovery of three dead babies hidden in secret alcoves of an apartment send Brennan and her partner, Lieutenant-dètective Andrew Ryan on the search for their missing mother. Seeking a prostitute is not as easy as one might think, and their search leads them from Montreal to Edmonton where they pair up with Brennan's one time ex-lover, Sergeant Oliver Hasty.
The discovery of another body, a drug dealing violent pimp, and a still missing mother lead the group from Edmonton to Yellowknife, deep in the Far North of Canada. Once the center of a gold rush, Yellowknife now is home to diamond mines, and controversy over the environmental concerns of the caribou. To make matters worse, old murders come to life, family scandal muddles the investigation and war wages over drug control, leaving more death and mystery for Brennan, Ryan, and Ollie.
Reichs expertly fills the pages with fast moving action, solid forensics, and a wide assortment of colorful characters, as a vivid plot unfolds leading to a dramatic climax. Fans of Brennan will enjoy the history, scenery, and the mystery weaved into Bones are Forever.
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