In Reichs’ latest (and uncharacteristically lethargic) Temperance Brennan novel, the forensic anthropologist discovers the bodies of several babies in a seedy Montreal apartment. The babies appear to have been born to the same woman, an Edmonton prostitute who’s on an RCMP list of missing women (a list compiled as part of an investigation into a man who killed prostitutes). Brennan and Quebec cop Andrew Ryan fly out to Edmonton to try to track down the mother, and Brennan reunites with a local cop with whom she had a previous personal relationship. Although the writing equals Reichs’ customary quality, the novel’s pace is unusually slow; Brennan is normally juggling a couple of primary cases, with others intruding on her time, but here she’s mostly focused on a single investigation, and the story tends to drag on, rather than zipping from scene to scene. It’s not a bad book by any means and definitely should be recommended to fans of the series, but it’s certainly not among the best of the Brennan novels.
This review originally appeared in Booklist, May 2012.