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Bones of Betrayal: A Body Farm Novel    by Jefferson Bass order for
Bones of Betrayal
by Jefferson Bass
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Many of you who are reading this are too young to remember the World War II years and the story of the race to build the first atomic bomb. A great deal of top secret work went on at the Manhattan Project in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In Bones of Betrayal, a modern scientist who was involved with the making of that bomb is found dead of radiation poisoning!

Body Farm founder Dr. Bill Brockton is called to help. He and his graduate assistant, Miranda Lovelady, travel to Oak Ridge and find themselves on a hunt to find the reason behind the scientist's death. Human bones are found entwined in the roots of a forty year-old tulip poplar tree, necessitating further investigation into what was obviously a murder. Could the two deaths be linked in any way?

Bones of Betrayal by Jefferson Bass has a devious and clever plot that keeps the pages turning. Characterization seem right on the mark especially the old lady, Beatrice. The scientific knowledge left me behind. I stuck with it but didn't understand the careful explanations of the parts necessary to build such a weapon of destruction. The bulk of this book focuses on real people and real happenings, though of course, the murders are fictional.

I found the cutting edge forensics used to identify bodies to be fascinating. That I could understand. One of the authors of Bones of Betrayal, Dr. Bill Bass, oversees the revolutionary human-decay laboratory at the University of Tennessee. The other member of this writing team is Jon Jefferson, veteran journalist, science writer and documentary filmmaker. There are certainly enough creds there to make this intriguing tale read like it really happened.

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