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Spider Bones: A Novel

Spider Bones: A Novel

Written by Kathy Reichs

Narrated by Linda Emond


Spider Bones: A Novel

Written by Kathy Reichs

Narrated by Linda Emond

ratings:
4/5 (70 ratings)
Length:
9 hours
Released:
Aug 24, 2010
ISBN:
9781442304376
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

Number one New York Times best seller Kathy Reichs is back with her 13th novel featuring America's favorite forensic anthropologist, Tempe Brennan.

John Lowery was declared dead in 1968—the victim of a Huey crash in Vietnam, his body buried long ago in North Carolina. Four decades later, Temperance Brennan is called to the scene of a drowning in Hemmingford, Quebec. The victim appears to have died while in the midst of a bizarre sexual practice. The corpse is later identified as John Lowery. But how could Lowery have died twice, and how did an American soldier end up in Canada?

Tempe sets off for the answer, exhuming Lowery’s grave in North Carolina and taking the remains to Hawaii for reanalysis—to the headquarters of JPAC, the U.S. military’s Joint POW/ MIA Accounting Command, which strives to recover Americans who have died in past conflicts. In Hawaii, Tempe is joined by her colleague and ex-lover Detective Andrew Ryan (how “ex” is he?) and by her daughter, who is recovering from her own tragic loss. Soon another set of remains is located, with Lowery’s dog tags tangled among them. Three bodies—all identified as Lowery.

And then Tempe is contacted by Hadley Perry, Honolulu’s flamboyant medical examiner, who needs help identifying the remains of an adolescent boy found offshore. Was he the victim of a shark attack? Or something much more sinister?

A Simon & Schuster audio production.

Released:
Aug 24, 2010
ISBN:
9781442304376
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

Kathy Reichs’s first novel Déjà Dead, published in 1997, won the Ellis Award for Best First Novel and was an international bestseller. The Bone Code is Kathy’s twentieth entry in her series featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. Kathy was also a producer of Fox Television’s longest running scripted drama, Bones, which is based on her work and her novels. One of very few forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, Kathy divides her time between Charlotte, North Carolina, and Montreal, Québec. Visit her at KathyReichs.com or follow her on Twitter @KathyReichs.


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Reviews

What people think about Spider Bones

3.8
70 ratings / 48 Reviews
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Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    Four stars because I really thought this was one of the strongest books Reichs has written, plot-wise. The mystery is very elaborate, causing a reader to wonder at several points if there could possibly be a reasonable explanation that resolves all the seemingly incompatible pieces. It's fairly ingenious and very complex, so I can see where some readers failed to pay enough attention (as evidenced by reviews where readers didn't "get" the resolution or got lost along the way). Almost, but not quite, an Agatha-Christie-worthy storyline.

    By the way, when you read the first chapter, if you find it off-putting, rest assured that the rest of the book is NOT heading where you think it's going to!

    All that said, maybe because I haven't read Reichs in awhile, I found her writing style more irritating than I'd remember. Tempe (far from being the brainiac with a penchant for overly formal language that Bones is in the TV version) thinks in a conversational style of incomplete sentences and sometimes disjointed, choppy phrases. Maybe to some this is charming or even realistic, but I found it very grating in certain spots.

    Example from early in the book: "Back in the city, traffic moved like mud through a straw. The Jeep lurched and jerked as Ryan shifted between gas and brake. Kind, yes. Witty, affirmative. Generous, absolutely. Patient, no way. Travel with Ryan was often a trial. I checked my watch. Five ten. Normally Ryan would have queried my dining plans by now. Suggested a restaurant. Tonight he didn't."

    See what I mean?
  • (3/5)
    She manages to keep me engaged with the Tempe Brennan series.... lots of drama & ups/downs, but not over the top with it. Good enough mystery, well researched with the forensics (duh!).
    REALLY don't care for the cliff hanging at the end of Every Chapter. Old.
  • (5/5)
    John Lowery was declared dead in 1968 - the victim of a Huey crash in Vietnam, his body buried long ago in North Carolina. Four decades later, Temperance Brennan is called to the scene of a drowning in Hemmingford, Quebec. The victim appears to have died while in the midst of a bizarre sexual practice. The corpse is later identified as John Lowery. But how could Lowery have died twice, and how did an American Soldier end up in Canada? Tempe sets off for the answer, exhuming Lowery's grave in North Carolina and taking the remains to Hawaii for reanalysis - to the headquarters of JPAC, the US military's Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, which strives to recover Americans who have died in past conflicts. In Hawaii, Tempe is joined by her colleague and ex-lover Detective Andrew Ryan and by her daughter, who is recovering from her own tragic loss. Soon another set of remains is located, with Lowery's dog tags tangled among them. Three bodies - all identified as Lowery.
  • (4/5)
    An enjoyable procedural mystery. Many of the past novels in this series have been better, but the material about the Government agency that locates and IDs military fallen was fascinating.
  • (3/5)
    I'm a little bit ambivalent about Reichs: on the one hand, her fast-paced stories and intricate look into the world of forensic anthropology make her books a great read, on the other her curt and sometimes gruesome style are, to my taste, a little off-putting. Add to this an overly complex story of mixed-up bodies and drug dealers, and I had a bit of a hard time getting to care about the story. Had she stuck to the Vietnam war, I would have been perfectly happy, but adding layer after layer just made the cast of characters too large; for me, it ended up in a list of names I read with mere casual interest.This said, Temperance is a super character and I did like the theme of the book. Reichs introduced me to a whole section of the military I knew nothing about. At the very least, an entertaining and fast-paced read.
  • (3/5)
    readable but unexciting
  • (2/5)
    Found it more confusing than her other books - too many characters and what was basically a simple mystery, made more complicated by artificial "cliff-hanger" endings to chapters.
  • (4/5)
    Unfortunately Kathy Reichs books are getting a bit predictable. There's the push and pull between Andy Ryan and Temperance, the running from Quebec to North Carolina to who knows where else. There's Katy's drama (Temperance's daughter) and Lily's drama (Andy's daughter). And then there's a mystery and whew is it a confusing one.A body is found in Montreal, they find out that the man was actually from North Carolina, but then they also find out that the man who just recently has died was already declared KIA. At least, I think that was the basic story. So, Temperance goes to Hawaii to check to see if guy #1 (from Montreal) or guy #2 (KIA) is the real one, and who the other guy is. Of course, it's not that simple. There's shark activity and all sorts of other excitement in Hawaii. It's one of Reichs more complicated novels for sure, but just as I did when I watched Lost or Flash Forward, or while I'm watching The Even, the key is to just go with the flow, go with the story. The author/creator will either reveal all by the end of the book and explain herself, or she won't. So either the reader can make charts, graphs and try and figure out the answer before the end, or the reader can enjoy the story at face value and get the answer at the end.I went with the latter strategy and for the most part Reichs didn't disappoint, no large hanging storylines or anything.Not quite as great a book as 206 Bones, but a nice four star read.
  • (4/5)
    Another page turner thriller, filled with twists and surprises. My kind of story.
  • (4/5)
    Spider Bones is about the bones identified as a man nicknamed 'Spider' who was supposed to have died in a helicopter crash during the Vietnam War. However, fingerprints of a corpse in Quebec identify him as the same man, John Lowery. John's mother and brother are dead, but his father is still alive. Why is his father so adamant about not providing DNA to help determine which body is his son's?The action moves to Hawaii, where Tempe is helping the U.S. military's Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command try to identify the bones. It gets even weirder when yet another set of bones turns up wearing Lowery's dog tags. Her daughter is with her because of something that happened to a good friend.Tempe is also asked to help with some lumps of flesh and bone that apparently were left over from a shark snack. Yes, they're human. Another lump with bone is found -- same victim or another one? This subplot proves dangerous to Tempe's health.Andrew Ryan and his daughter join Tempe at her invitation. The two daughters do not form an immediate mutual admiration society, to say the least.By coincidence, I'd very recently read another book mentioning the same rare medical condition that gets mentioned in this one, so I can't feel smug about figuring it out before Tempe does. Also, I was listening to the entire book over two days instead of having to work long hours with little sleep and a lot of stress, so I can pardon Tempe for taking so long to guess one of the revelations. However, if the author wants me to think of Dr. Brennan as an intelligent and sensible woman, she should have her heroine get herself checked out after she's injured during a murder attempt.The narration is good, except for when Ms. Emond pronounces 'bonjour' (the 'r' is silent) and 'Quebec' (it's a 'k" sound, not a 'qu' sound, as Canadian friends have taught me). This book isn't that old. Why didn't the narrator check French pronunciation online before she started? Wasn't she aware that some listeners might be old enough to have been forced to take French in school and could remember some of it almost five decades later?
  • (5/5)
    Apart from the fact that the book Temperance Brennan and the TV one share only a name and profession, this is still and enjoyable series. Nicely twisty plot.

    Liked the stuff on the identification efforts on remains on the part of the military.

    Setup starts with a body id of someone who supposedly died in Vietnam.

    A little much in the way of coincidences and I get a little tired of how often the protagonists of mysteries are the targets of unsuccessful attempts on their lives...
  • (3/5)
    Well, it took Kathy Reichs 13 books, but she finally broke her formula and changed up Spider Bones' ending. She must have finally heard my constant griping about how predictable her endings are! Spider Bones' mystery was very interesting and completely unpredictable, and it kept me hooked until the last page. However, I still felt the same way I have about the last few books - the writing just isn't very engrossing. It seems a little clinical and standoffish, as if the author is just going through the motions. We meet yet another one of Tempe's past beaus, who of course is just as sarcastic and witty as Ryan, Pete, and Charlie. Ryan goes on vacation with Tempe and her daughter, and constantly makes lewd comments, and yet Tempe barely bats an eye and avoids the issue for the entire book. Will-they-or-won't-they can only last so long before it gets tiring. And then there was the startling inclusion of the word "squaw" as a term of affection, which seemed like a major faux pas for someone as educated as Reichs. I prefer my fiction to not include offensive racial epithets, thankyouverymuch.
  • (3/5)
    Not a bad book but not a favorite in the series
  • (3/5)
    An average book which I was expecting more from. I think the most exciting part of this book was it was my first e-book.A dead body found in Canada turns out to be that of a dead soldier buried years earlier. How is this possible? Who is the body buried?A simple murder becomes more and more complex as the story goes on. Not only is this a matter of finding out who the two bodies are we get an extra 2 bodies further in the story, 2 people killed in Hawaii, Brennan ran off the street due to annoying the local gangs and also the book tries to understand the waste of people dieing at war.Too many deaths and the storyline spread to thin....I think the author was paid for this book based on the body count. I was starting to lose my way towards the end.
  • (2/5)
    There is a story in between great clumps of facts that read as if copied from an info folder.I am ready to pass on any following books.
  • (3/5)
    Fun forensic mystery, set in Hawaii, with a confusing case of mistaken identities.
  • (3/5)
    All in all I enjoyed this. There were some aspects that bugged me a bit, but the story was good if a bit convoluted and the mystery too easy to unravel. It was well paced with well developed characters. I will read more of the series.
  • (2/5)
    My first "Bones" book, and I probably won't find another. Just not my style.
  • (3/5)
    This one takes place mostly in Hawaii. Better than the last one, though the coincidence of the two cases coming together was a bit far-fetched, and the chimera explanation -- that's an old forensics solution (CSI and others have all done it already). Also the behaviour of Brennan's and Ryan's daughters was more 16 than early 20s. I loved the shameless plug for her tv show! That made me laugh. Fewer rehotical questions summarizing the case(s) everychapter, but still lots of patronizing scientific explanations. Whatever; it's easy listening for the car.
  • (3/5)
    I would give this 3.5 stars if I could. I enjoy these stories as a break from heavier reading. Although, I think the author has done a good job of keeping up the quality of writing and the story she presents. Many of these series tend to taper off at this point, where it's clear the author has run out of ideas or in some way lost interest in the characters. She keeps the ongoing relationships plausible and the story moving along.
  • (4/5)
    Enjoyed it very much. You really had to pay close attention to the story--so many twists!!!
  • (4/5)
    Confusion among corpses runs rampant. A body is discovered in Canada that is identified as "Spider" Lowery; but, Spider Lowery is buried in North Carolina. Or is he? Once Temperance begins her investigations, she travels from Canada to NC to Hawaii only to come across more corpses that aren't who they seem to be. Admittedly, I get a little lost when Reichs begins to get extremely technical; that's when I begin scanning instead of wholeheartedly reading. I enjoy a book that's more conversational not technical. Nonetheless, this was an interesting premise and I enjoyed the book very much.
  • (2/5)
    I found this book difficult to follow at times. It got better towards the end, but Kathy Reichs seems to have taken a different turn with her adventures and unfortunately its not for the better. I remember how hooked I was on the first few Brennan Books, I just don't get that page turning feeling anymore.
  • (2/5)
    Definitely not one of the best of the series. The science plot twist was a bit of a surprise, but the "who is this guy?" was telegraphed (for me, at least) pretty early on. I'm fairly tired of the on again, off again love thing with Ryan, but the depiction of Brennan's relationship with her young adult daughter is very accurate to this mother of a 20-year-old. Bringing in the "gangsta" angle seemed ridiculous to me, but I suppose there had to be some immediate danger somewhere to keep the publisher interested.I still enjoy the television show Bones far more than the novels, which is unusual - but the show has more humor. I don't think I'd read novelizations based on the show, however, because a lot of the humor requires the chemistry between the actors as well as good scriptwriting. There are few authors who can translate that from screen to text.
  • (3/5)
    Tempe Brennan is once again confronted with a strange case -- a dead man in drag found in a lake in Canada, the same man who died in Vietnam. So, she heads to Hawaii to solve this mystery.In the plus column, for this installment, the characters are more themselves and more rounded than in the last few volumes. There is a better balance between forensic information and story flow -- only moderate paragraphs of information instead of pages. Ryan's daughter and Tempe's daughter provide a bit of light relief at times.And now the negatives. There are several passages where the editor slept. Normally this wouldn't be a problem but it was in key areas towards the end. I'm still not thrilled with the characters -- they are better than the last book, but not nearly as interesting or real as in the first few books of this series. My biggest complaint with this book is the solution to the mystery. Could it happen? Yes. Could I be struck by lightning in my house while typing this? Probably more likely than the ending. The only explanation I have for this ending is that Reichs hadn't used it before. Overall, this was better but not good. Honestly, I do wonder if Reichs is putting all her energies into the series Bones and these books are just to fulfill a contract with her publisher.
  • (2/5)
    Stated quite simple,this is a mess,a complicated,acronym ridden mess.At her best Reichs writes exciting and very readable books but this one stinks. If you can follow the story-line with interest,then I admire you,because I certainly can't. managed to finish it by sheer will-power.
  • (4/5)
    After reading the other reviews I really didn't think I'd like this book as much as I did. I found the story line interesting and it kept me hooked and guessing right to the end. I thought it was a little like Bones meets Hawaii Five-O. I agree that the action scenes weren't as involved as they perhaps could be, and at times felt that they could have been expanded on more. On the other hand I found the detailed info on the way MIA's are found, brought home and identified really interesting. Perhaps it's fair to say that this book had a different feel to the previous Tempe books, but it was still a good read.
  • (5/5)
    In this book Dr. Brennan is called to examine a floater found in a pond near Montreal. The first cop on the scene took fingerprints which identified the body as an American, John Lowery, who was killed in Vietnam in 1968. Trying to determine how this body could belong to someone identified as dead takes Temperance back to South Carolina and then to Hawaii. Hawaii is where the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) is situated. There is a lot of detail about how JPAC does its work, detail that Reichs knows well because she was an external consultant for a time. The difficulty of identifying remains that old can not be overstated.There is a not very subtle message about the horror of war in this book. Temperance is accompanied to Hawaii by her daughter, Katy, who has been hit personally by the carnage inflicted by war. It is admirable that the US expends so much effort to bring back and identify the bodies of people killed in the various wars but wouldn't it be so much better if the wars never happened at all?Temperance's love life hasn't resolved itself. Detective Ryan and his daughter Lily also ended up in Hawaii at Temperance's invitation but their romance did not take off. However, Tempe knows Ryan is interested and maybe in the future they will get back together.As usual, there is a lot of scientific detail in the book which I found fascinating, especially the explanation of how the DNA from the floater could not be matched to that of Harriet Lowery, John Lowery's mother.
  • (2/5)
    Too much technical description that distracts from the flow of the story
  • (4/5)
    Kathy Reichs' work has a considerable following, increased by the fact that her titles are the basis of the popular television series Bones.The forensic and medical detail that makes the Bones series popular is probably the aspect that I liked least about MORTAL REMAINS, and at times felt overwhelming and a little too graphic. Underneath is a good story line: the victim of a helicopter crash in Vietnam in 1968 is buried with military honours in his hometown in North Carolina. Four decades later Tempe Brennan is called to a drowning in Quebec. The fingerprints say this victim is the man who died in Vietnam. When Brennan goes to Honolulu to solve this puzzle, she learns that this is not the only ID mixup caused by inadequate forensic procedures in the 1960s.As you will have noticed, this audio book was an abridged version. So I am not sure what was left out. I'm not sure either why it was abridged. The "full length" recording is barely 2 hours longer. The abridged version of MORTAL REMAINS was shortlisted for a Crime Fest 2011 audio award.MORTAL REMAINS is #13 in the Temperance Brennan series and I can really only be said to have dabbled in the series. Although it appears that each book can stand on its own, there are obviously continuing threads, particularly in personal relationships between Dr. Temperance Brennan and other characters - lovers, her daughter, colleagues - that will add more meaning.