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by Kathy Reichs
Scribner, July 2002
416 pages
ISBN: 0684859734

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Reichs' latest novel finds Tempe Brennan, forensic anthropologist, in Guatemala, investigating a war crime twenty years old. However, killings are still going on in Guatemala City. Four girls are missing, including the daughter of the Canadian Ambassador. It is down to Tempe to investigate.

When Reichs’ Tempe Brennan series first appeared, it was a breath of fresh air. However, a number of books later, Tempe is starting to look tired. Reichs includes the usual elements, such as Tempe’s on-off relationship with Andrew Ryan, her clashes with a Montreal police detective and many more.

However, Reichs has succeeded in creating a new character – that of the Guatemalan landscape. Both the countryside and Guatemala City are as much a character in this novel as Edinburgh is in Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus novels. Reichs describes the area in depth and with skill.

She will continue to delight her readers with her detailed forensic descriptions, including a journey inside a septic tank, but the identity of the killer is disappointing, and at the end of the day, Reichs is going to have to find new material to inject into her novels if she wishes to maintain her place in the best-seller charts.

Note: This review is based on the UK edition released by Heinemann in 2002 at £10.99


Reviewed by Luke Croll, February 2003

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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