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Bones Buried Deep    by Max Allan Collins order for
Bones Buried Deep
by Max Allan Collins
Order:  USA  Can
Pocket, 2006 (2006)
Paperback, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Theresa Ichino

Fans of Kathy Reichs might want to give the television series Bones a look. The main character is Dr. Temperance Brennan, the forensic anthropologist featured in several novels by Reichs. I'm a fan of the TV show and quite enjoy all the characters as well as the mysteries they solve. Reichs herself is apparently a consultant on the program.

The television version of Tempe is quite different from the one in Reichs' novels. She is based at the Jeffersonian Institute, unattached, and younger than the novel character. She is also rather inept socially, which makes for humourous and poignant moments in the stories. The supporting staff includes a variety of intelligent, well-educated experts, referred to as squints by FBI agent Seely Booth, with whom Temperance often works. The characters are attractive and quirky, as is the protagonist herself. (If you like your fictional worlds plausible - I do - you can resolve these discrepancies by assuming that the TV adventures take place before the ones in Reichs' novels.)

Bones Buried Deep is an original tale rather than an adaptation of a television episode. Collins presents a provocative mystery that opens during the days of gang-riddled Chicago in 1944. Years later, in the present, a skeleton composed of bones from several bodies is left on the doorstep of a federal building. It would seem that an arrogant killer is thumbing his nose at the FBI. Agent Seely Booth calls on Temperance's expertise (as he so often does); and the pair follow a tortuous trail of old and new vengeance, as well as crossing paths with a twisted serial killer.

It is not an easy task to novelize characters from a visual medium, particularly when the original author is herself both capable and popular. Collins succeeds in telling a good story, with suspenseful twists and unexpected developments. Because Tempe is called away from her home base, we see little of the entertaining supporting characters. All in all, Bones Buried Deep is a pleasant read.

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