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"In Quebec, winters can be slow for the forensic anthropologist. The temperature rarely rises above freezing. The rivers and lakes ice over, the ground turns rock hard, and snow buries everything. Bugs disappear, and many scavengers go underground. The result: Corpses do not putrefy in the great outdoors. Floaters are not pulled from the St. Lawrence... and some of last season's dead are not found until the spring melt."
Readers of Kathy Reichs's cool and clever first forensic thriller Déjà Dead will recognize the ironic voice of Tempe (short for Temperance) Brennan, the North Carolina-born scientist who winds up working at the Laboratoire de Médicine Légale in Montreal. Here she bristles at the conservative attitudes of some of her Canadian colleagues.
Despite the cold weather, Tempe's workload quickly becomes heavy: the bones of a long-dead nun now up for sainthood have been moved and tampered with; a deadly house fire turns out to be arson; and a university teaching assistant disappears after joining a cult. Tempe must figure out where (and why) all the bodies are buried in the hard Canadian ground. Her investigations take her home to North Carolina, and to a strange colony living on an offshore island.
Unlike certain other writers who specialize in forensic pathology, Reichs doesn't revel in the horror of death or rub our noses in gore: she uses the science of death to reveal rather than to shock or startle. It definitely makes for easier reading--especially at mealtimes. --Dick AdlerFrom the Back Cover:
Forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs exploded onto bestseller lists worldwide with her phenomenal debut novel Deja Dead -- and introduced "[a] brilliant heroine" (Glamour) in league with Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta. Dr. Temperance Brennan, Quebec's director of forensic anthropology, now returns in a thrilling new investigation into the secrets of the dead.
In the bitter cold of a Montreal winter, Tempe Brennan is digging for a corpse buried more than a century ago. Although Tempe thrives on such enigmas from the past, it's a chain of contemporary deaths and disappearances that has seized her attention -- and she alone is ideally placed to make a chilling connection among the seemingly unrelated events. At the crime scene, at the morgue, and in the lab, Tempe probes a mystery that sweeps from a deadly Quebec fire to startling discoveries in the Carolinas, and culminates in Montreal with a terrifying showdown -- a nerve-shattering test of both her forensic expertise and her skills for survival.
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