Break No Bones: (Temperance Brennan 9) (Anglais) Broché – 29 mars 2007
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Revue de presse
"Reichs' seamless blending of fascinating science and dead-on psychological portrayals, not to mention a whirlwind of a plot, make Break No Bones a must read" (Jeffery Deaver)
"With Kathy Reichs the reader knows they're in the hands of an expert" (Sunday Express)
"Brennan is a winner, and so is Reichs" (Daily News)
"A truly impressive writer" (We Love This Book)
Présentation de l'éditeur
The bone is fresh and the remains are still topped by wisps of hair – it’s a recent burial, and a case Tempe must take.
Tempe determines that the deceased is a middle-aged white male - but who was he? Why was he buried in a clandestine grave? And what does an unusual vertical fracture of one of the vertebrae signify?
While Tempe is trying to piece together the evidence, her personal life is thrown into turmoil. But before long, another body is discovered - and Tempe finds herself drawn deeper into a shocking investigation which will challenge her entire view of humanity.
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When an instructor heads for greener pastures, Tempe is asked to teach a field school in South Carolina. It's a very dull dig that has earned the antagonism of the builder who is impatient to develop the area. But other than that, the burial site is interesting, but not remarkable. Until, that is, one of the bodies found turns out to be much more recent. Her arms slightly twisted by an old friend, the archeologist consents to handle the case, which presents several unusual features, but no real clues. But the body count begins to mount, and the mysterious deaths point to something more than normally sinister.
On the personal side, Tempe's life is equally tempestuous. She had planned to have Ryan, her lover, show up to enjoy some time in the Carolinas, but the sudden appearance of her ex-husband complicates matters by no small amount. Ryan has realized that Tempe is avoiding any real commitment and Tempe discovers that her feelings for her ex-husband Pete are conflicted. When Pete is shot Tempe becomes completely distracted by her reaction. So not only is the trio going through a rough period, but Tempe comes dangerously close to missing the trail of a deadly killer.
As I've already said, Reich's seems to have found the balance point between emotional involvement and the very vine forensic detective work required for a book like this to be a forensic detective novel. This is a pleasant relief at a time where writers in popular fiction seem to prefer having their heroines go over the deep end rather than suffering the agonies of actually advancing the plot. As long as Reichs can keep this up I will remain a dedicated fan.
Enter Andrew Ryan and Tempe's estranged husband Pete, who are all bunking together in a friend's beach house. No three-way here. Just taunting, teasing and a desperate need for Valium.
But this is no Tempe-in-trouble-Ryan-to-the-rescue formulaic treatment. Ryan plays a bit role, actually more of a foil for Pete than a white knight for Tempe. And it's a nice twist.
For Tempe's got her hands full uncovering a pattern of crimes so horrific Anderson Cooper would slobber all over himself.
This is a return to Kathy Reichs at her best. The plotting is intricate and thorough, the pace whirlwind and the style less clipped than her last two books. And the characters are better developed. From Tempe herself; to Emma, her sick friend; to the county sheriff, and especially Pete, these characters are full and real. Even the dog is a well rounded character. I, for one, am celebrating that Kathy Reichs is back. Keep it up Kathy; you're best in class.
Temperance Brennan is a forensic anthropologist who sidelights as a professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She takes a group of students to Dewees Island for a two week field course. Their goal is to excavate several Indian burial mounds before the area is to be developed. In the course of their digging, they uncover remains that were buried within the last five years. Brennan is friends with the Charleston County coroner, Emma Rousseau, but Rousseau reveals that she's very ill and asks for Brennan's assistance with the autopsy. Brenna finds disturbing marks on the skeleton. Several unrelated remains are later discovered in other locations with the same marks, and Brennan starts looking for the common denominator.
Reichs is knowledgeable about the low country. Charleston is a very charming city, but not without some warts. She knows not only the Holy City, but also, the surrounding areas--which she makes liberal use of in Break No Bones. Reichs also provides an interesting personal triangle. Brennan has started an affair with Canadian Inspector Andrew Ryan in previous books, despite the fact that she is not yet divorced from her handsome but unfaithful husband, Peter. But the circumstances in Break No Bones will make Brennan question her choices.
One of the things I like most about Reichs' writing is her knowledge of forensic anthropology. In Break No Bones, Brennan gives the reason for her career choice. "In my view, death in anonymity is the ultimate insult to human dignity....While I cannot make the dead alive again, I can reunite victims with their names, and give those left behind some measure of closure." Sometimes, she can also find the cause of death. Although those are the words of Temperance Brennan, they're obviously the beliefs of Kathy Reichs.
Now that I've read many of Reichs' later books in this series, it's time to go back and start at the beginning.
There were some pleasant surprises for me in Break No Bones. Reichs has clearly developed her feel for character since the first two books. I didn't love the oh-too-cute two men in one house routine, but still-- Tempe and her beaus are well-rounded and there was a lot of even believable dialogue.
The plot left me a little bit cold. It irritated me a little bit that even though Reichs has a main character who has an excuse to be digging up bodies she still needed to have her accidentally find a corpse. It doesn't stretch likelihood so much as rip it to shreds.
Anyhow, it was not too bad. Recommended if you like forensic mysteries but simply cannot stomach any more Scarpetta.
But finally, in Break No Bones, the Clever Patter outweighs the plot to such an extent that I found myself hopelessly confused, more than once, about just what was going on. I never really engaged in the mystery, caught up as I was in the endless, endless groaners (e.g., "Is he talking?" "Like a teenager on a cell phone.") By the last few chapters, I had no interest in who did what to whom or who was the real perp. I just wanted the book to end.
As for Temperance's personal life, all of a sudden, her estranged (and I could swear, divorced) husband Pete is a major figure in her life...and she shares a beach cottage with him AND her lover Ryan, and she and Ryan share a bedroom? Excuse me? What planet are we from?
All I can say is I respect and admire Kathy Reichs to such an extent that I find it painful to give one of her books a bad review. I will keep reading the series because of that admiration. But this one was simply over the top.