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by Max Allan Collins
Pocket Star, February 2006
320 pages
ISBN: 1416524614

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth is working on a Mob case in Chicago. With an important witness in a safe house, he's endeavoring to convict a powerful mobster. When the safe house is attacked and the witness disappears along with all the FBI men who were assigned to the location, Booth works hard to find clues, but nothing is forthcoming. Then a bag of bones and a note is left in front of the federal building he's working in and his superiors put him on that case.

Since he has worked with her before and he's certain that nobody knows about bones and skeletons like Doctor Temperance Brennan, a forensic anthropologist, Agent Booth calls her in onto the case. She's a genius and a beautiful young woman who heads a department at the prestigious Jeffersonian Institute. If anyone can make heads or tails of the bag of bones, she can.

When she arrives, it's discovered that the bag contains the bones of more than one person and the dates of death varies from a few months to 40 years ago. The note that accompanied the bag seems to say that one killer did all the people in. Can the bones all come from one long-lived, undiscovered serial killer? Booth and Brennan need to find this madman right away.

This book is based on the TV show Bones which is loosely based on a character that appears in a brilliant series of books written by Kathy Reichs. I'm not sure why this written series is needed since the characters will be used in parallel books by different authors.

There are other books out in stores based on hit TV shows. Some of the shows were on for years and were extremely popular. I can understand the need of those fans to get to visit with their favorite canceled TV characters in print. I just find it strange that there is obviously going to be a series of books based on a television show that's still in its first season and isn't a huge hit.

Also because it's still in its first season, the characters on the TV show Bones are developing and changing and as such there is no set style and no real history written for them to use as a jumping point for printed books. It seems unneeded for an in-print series to be out on a new TV show.

That being said, I watch the show on occasion and I found this book to be enjoyable in a very light reading way. The mystery part of the story is competently done; there are plenty of clues to be gathered and more than a few suspects and suspicions for readers to consider.

But I found that there were too many instances where the quirks of the lead and secondary characters seemed to be inserted in a clumsy fashion, just to underline the idea that they are based on the TV characters, but I suspect that the writer, Max Allan Collins, needed to try to strengthen the connection to the series in any way possible.

If you like the TV show, BONES BURIED DEEP is fine for a light afternoon's read, but otherwise I'd suggest you read Kathy Reichs's books instead.

Reviewed by Sharon Katz, July 2006

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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