by Kathy Reichs
Series: Temperance Brennan #17.5
Narrator: Katherine Borowitz
Length: 3 hours and 28 minutes
Genres: Crime, Thriller
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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