As usual, forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan is juggling several cases, including some mummified dog remains that could lead to a human-trafficking ring and a murdered teenage girl who was, mysteriously, carrying the ID of a prominent businessman who died five months earlier. She’s also juggling some personal issues: her daughter, grieving over the death of her boyfriend, has enlisted in the army, and Pete, the girl’s father, is pressing Tempe to sign their divorce papers. After the rather lethargic Bones Are Forever (2012), this is a return to form for Reichs, who keeps the story moving at a brisk clip but never forgets that, ultimately, we’re here to see Dr. Brennan, and she needs to slow down frequently enough for us to spend some quality time with Tempe. This is one of those megasuccessful, long-running series that has undergone distinct ups and downs over the years. Series devotees, of whom there are many, will be well pleased to ride this upward trend.
This review originally appeared in Booklist, July 2013.