Nine-year-old Emily Anne Toussaint is fatally shot on a Montreal street. A North Carolina teenager disappears from her home, and parts of her skeleton are found hundreds of miles away. The shocking deaths propel Tempe Brennan from north to south, and deep into a shattering investigation inside the bizarre culture of outlaw motorcycle gangs — where one misstep could bring disaster for herself or someone she loves.
I had a revelation. My problem with this book is that the author is trying to use a formula to unfold the story. Lots of authors take this approach and some are very successful at it. So far, this series is not one of those successful series in regard to quality and writing.
Where did this book go wrong? Bikers. I don’t know if it’s me, but I despise crime mysteries that are anti-bikers. It just seems cliche and over done. Granted, this book was written nearly two decades ago, so perhaps 15-year-old me wouldn’t have felt that way. Then again, I can’t see my teenage self being interested in a 50+ woman who keeps talking about her thongs.
Also, my biggest takeaway from this book is that Kathy Reich needs to quit trying to make these connections between North Carolina, Texas, and Quebec. Develop side characters that help make the story interesting to follow and quit jumping back and forth across the border. The use of another family member of Temperance as a story catalyst was not needed. This is the time in which you introduce a new friend or colleague. You know, one that can become part of the process and last more than one book. Tempe’s family is a walking disaster and the amount of drama they get tied up into is ridiculous and not believable.
Temperance’s involvement in these crimes can be due to her work on the remains. It shouldn’t have to always be tied to a side character and their drama.
Honestly, this book was terrible and had I not already checked out the fourth book, I’m not sure I’d continue. Here we go… maybe the next one will be better? One can only hope.
Reviewer’s note: I was a fan of the hit show Bones for the entirety of its run. While the show is “based” on this book series, I recognize that it’s not really that connected. I will try to refrain from comparing the two and enjoy this book series on its own merits.