by Kathy Reichs – Set around a NASCAR race in Temperance Brennan’s home town of Charlotte, N.C., this “Bones” novel begins with the discovery of a body in a barrel of asphalt in a landfill near the racetrack. The story – and the body count – builds as the mystery deepens, with the FBI interjecting itself into and complicating the investigation. Tempe’s love interests are not featured in this novel, although there’s a more than just a frisson of interest between Tempe and one of the suspects. The story touches on racism, domestic terrorism, biological weapons, anti-feminism, fanaticism, and the lack of transparency and cooperation between law-enforcement agencies. That’s a lot to pack into 290 pages, but Reichs manages it with a deft hand.
I really liked this novel, although I’m not a fan of NASCAR, so I was glad that Reichs only included information about that subject as it related to her story and characters. A big exposition dump about NASCAR would have lost me, so I was glad there was none.
As good as this one was, I hope the next one (which is already out, so don’t spoil it by telling me any details) is set in Montréal and continues to develop the relationship between Tempe and Ryan. That’s my favorite personal relationship in the series and I’ve missed it in the last couple of Bones novels. (finished 4/16/2012)