Bones on Ice: A Novella by Kathy Reichs

September 2nd, 2015 Kimberly Review 53 Comments

2nd Sep
Bones on Ice: A Novella by Kathy Reichs
Bones on Ice
by Kathy Reichs
Series: Temperance Brennan #17.5
Published by: Random House
Narrator: Katherine Borowitz
Length: 3 hours and 28 minutes
Genres: Crime, Thriller
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon
Goodreads
Rating: One StarOne StarOne Star

It is called the “death zone”: the point on Everest, nearly five miles high, above which a climber cannot be rescued. More than 250 souls have lost their lives there. Most of the bodies remain, abandoned, frozen in place. When an earthquake leads to a miraculous recovery, Dr. Temperance Brennan is hired to identify the frozen mummified human corpse. The victim is the daughter of a wealthy Charlotte couple who never got the chance to say goodbye. But far from offering solace and closure, Tempe’s findings only provoke more questions. What happened on Mount Everest? Was the young woman’s death an accident? Why aren’t the other climbers talking? And how far will those hiding the truth go to make sure the past stays buried?

I enjoy watching the hit show Bones staring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan so I decided to jump in at book 17.5 and accepted an audio of Bones on Ice by Kathy Reichs. This novella features a preview of the next book Speaking in Bones. Brennan was personally requested to handle the identification of a frozen mummified human corpse believed to be Brighton Hallis, a young American girl who died from a fall while attempting to climb Everest. This was an engaging thriller despite its short length and while I enjoyed it, I would have preferred a full-length novel.

Brennan begins the identification process and methodically examines the severely damaged corpse. Brennan is very hands on and speaks to fellow climbers. Her forensic investigation begins to uncover anomalies that point to murder. The science and Brennan’s meticulous methods fascinated me. Her inquisitive nature gets her into trouble as she begins to unravel this mystery.
I was hoping to meet Ryan her love interest but he was only briefly mentioned. Much of the investigation takes part in the lab, on the phone, and through conversations with a local detective. I enjoyed the case but as a novella, as it did not allow the luxury of any extras or in-depth discoveries.

I enjoyed the author’s writing style and attention to detail. She mixes in humor and interesting facts as she constructs a clever and suspenseful tale. She lays out clues and together Brennan and the reader solve the murder.

The narration fell flat but the blame may be entirely mine. I kept imagining Emily Deschanel voice. (The actress who portrays Brennan on the hit TV show Bones) I think she performed Brennan’s narrative well particularly her inflections and tones, but I don’t feel it necessarily enhanced my experience.

Overall Bones of Ice was an interesting case and excellent way to try this author. I am hoping to read Speaking in Bones next.

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About Kathy Reichs

Kathy Reichs

Kathy Reichs is a forensic anthropologist for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, State of North Carolina, and for the Laboratoire des Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Quebec. She is one of only fifty forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology and is on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. A professor of anthropology at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Dr. Reichs is a native of Chicago, where she received her Ph.D. at Northwestern. She now divides her time between Charlotte and Montreal and is a frequent expert witness in criminal trials.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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About Kimberly

Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She’s a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat…Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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53 Responses to “Bones on Ice: A Novella by Kathy Reichs”

  1. Katherine

    I’ve read a few of the books but it’s been a long time. I keep meaning to get back into them. I can see where the narration would be a little jarring if you’re expecting another voice! I think I would probably do the same thing. Maybe this will be a good one to start with to get me back interested in the series.

    Katherine recently posted: The Peach Keeper - Review
  2. Tracy Terry

    A big fan of these books (sadly I didn’t enjoy the series) I don’t however tend to like novellas so I’m torn about this one. Maybe something I’d pick up if I were to see it in the library but alas unlike the books which I have bought I can’t see myself buying this one.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It wasn’t bad, but when I read medical thrillers like these I want more details, and he length prohibited that. I will be listening to the next book.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Each book deals with a different case, so there is a strong base making this a series you can read as standalone, even if the personal stories aren’t fully explained.

  3. Felicia GeekyBlogger (

    I love the book series (which yes is totally different than the show). I have been listening to these forever so I like the narration a little better than you 🙂 Great review! I always wonder how these would work for those coming from the TV Show. I am the opposite–took me a bit to warm up to the show because it was so different from the books. I now enjoy that they are so different (including Tempe’s age) they can go their own way.

    Felicia GeekyBlogger ( recently posted: Daily #LoveMyLibraryCard Quote: Sept 2 2015 (@bookbender)
    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am going to listen to the next one, I really think the character effected me, and i am sure these books are far better than the books. I just didn’t realize it was based on books.

  4. kindlemom1

    I love the show Bones and have been wondering what the books were like. I’m not sure they will be for me though, I think I too, would be seeing all the characters from the TV series instead of how she writes them, which isn’t a bad thing, I just don’t think it would necessary mesh well for me. 😉
    Great review and I’m glad you were able to jump right into this book and not feel lost.

    kindlemom1 recently posted: WoW Pick of the Week!
  5. Ramona

    I love Bones! Started watching it because of David Boreanaz (this, after Buffy and Angel, of course ;), and ended up falling in love with the show. Huns picks it up on DVDs and we watch it at our leisure 🙂 I think I would’ve struggled with the narration too, for exactly the same reason as you. She’s got such a distinctive voice.

    Ramona recently posted: Flat Book Covers: New Trend?
  6. Candace

    Yeah, I think it would be hard to listen cause it’s not *her* voice. I love the show too but haven’t read any of the books. I may not have thought about the issue with the audiobook if you hadn’t mentioned it. But I don’t know that I would like it not being the Bones we know. One day I might read this series.

  7. Rita

    I’ve read the first two but still feel like I need to dig deeper to get to know Tempe, her family, her work partners, her setting. Maybe just me but I didn’t continue at the time.

    Never saw Bones on TV because I was told somewhere it wasn’t much good, but that is because it is different than the book series–not worse– just different… and some people don’t enjoy shows made from books. I don’t enjoy novellas but since you reminded me of the books now, I’m thinking of jumping ahead a bit in the series, further from the beginning, because tracking down all these in the library will be a tough job and I don’t love it enough…yet… to buy all the back list.
    Thanks, Kim!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I really enjoy the show and it has its own merits, but the books is always better. I love Tess Gerritsen and struggled with Rizzoli & Isles on tv in the beginning, because it is a different storyline, but now watch it with my hubby and enjoy it for different reasons.

  8. Stormi

    Wow, your brave! I don’t think I could jump in that late in the game. I want to read this series (love Bones but was told this is a lot different), but there are so many…lol. Thing is I have book number one on my shelf..so I have no excuse not to start really…lol.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Nah, I’ve read enough medical/crime thrillers to know you can easily jump in anywhere as each involves a case which is usually the central theme of the book.

  9. Lorna

    I read most of the older ones and quit reading them about 3 or 4 books ago when I just got bored with the one I was reading. I also got tired of her love interest not being around as much as I wanted him to be so that doesn’t surprise me that he wasn’t in this one. She also has an ex husband-although I am not sure if they are actually divorced and he was coming around again in one of the last book I read. Sorry the narration wasn’t that good!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I don’t really need the romantic aspect, so I am ok if they continue to focus on the case. I am going to try the next one before deciding if it is a good fit for me.

  10. Nise'

    I read Speaking in Bones last month and did not know there was this novella. I most likely will not go back and read/listen to it.