|From the Publisher:#1 New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs returns with her sixteenth riveting novel featuring forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan, whose examination of a young girl killed in a hit and run in North Carolina triggers an investigation into international human trafficking.
When Charlotte police discover the body of a teenage girl along a desolate stretch of two-lane highway, Temperance Brennan fears the worst. The girl?s body shows signs of foul play. Inside her purse police find the ID card of a prominent local businessman, John-Henry Story, who died in a horrific flea market fire months earlier. Was the girl an illegal immigrant turning tricks? Was she murdered?
The medical examiner has also asked Tempe to examine a bundle of Peruvian dog mummies confiscated by U.S. Customs. A Desert Storm veteran named Dominick Rockett stands accused of smuggling the objects into the country. Could there be some connection between the trafficking of antiquitiesand the trafficking of humans?
As the case deepens, Tempe must also grapple with personal turmoil. Her daughter Katy, grieving the death of her boyfriend in Afghanistan, impulsively enlists in the Army. Meanwhile, Katy?s father Pete is frustrated by Tempe?s reluctance to finalize their divorce. As pressure mounts from all corners, Tempe soon finds herself at the center of a conspiracy that extends all the way from South America, to Afghanistan, and right to the center of Charlotte. ?A genius at building suspense? (Daily News, New York), Kathy Reichs is at her brilliant best in this thrilling novel.
Crime novelist Kathy Reichs is proof that real life can be just as compelling as fiction. When not writing, Reichs works as a forensic anthropologist--a profession she shares with her series protagonist, Temperance Brennan--and she has been called upon to exhume a mass grave in Guatemala, testify at the U.N. Tribunal on Genocide in Rwanda, and identify remains found at the World Trade Center after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, among other assignments. A native of Chicago, Reichs (pronounced RAKES) earned a doctoral degree in physical anthropology from Northwestern University in 1975 and subsequently embarked on a teaching career. On occasion, police detectives would bring skeletal remains to her university office to get her advice. "I found that very compelling," she told one interviewer. "I liked the idea of the relevance of it--that you could actually impact someone's life. . . . [In academia] if you're wrong, you're not going to send anybody to jail or you're not going to misidentify a missing person." Deciding to change her career focus, she was certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology in 1986 and began consulting in the office of North Carolina's chief medical examiner. Later that decade she took on a similar role at the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine in Quebec. Her first Temperance Brennan novel, DEJA DEAD, was published in 1997 and won an Arthur Ellis Award from the Crime Writers of Canada. Reichs has since published several more novels featuring the coolly competent Brennan, each of which has appeared on the major bestseller lists. In 2005 a television series, BONES, based on the books and produced by Reichs, premiered on the Fox network. Reichs, who has also written for young adults, acknowledges that her books and TV show provide escapist entertainment. She believes, however, that they serve a greater purpose as well. "Hopefully, [they] make the public aware of how powerful a tool science can be," she has said. "[Perhaps I] will inspire young people, especially young women, to go into science, or to become homicide detectives."
"The two cases...give Reichs ample opportunity to provide detailed descriptions of forensic examinations, but it's Brennan's passionate and personal involvement that provides the excitement in this masterful tale."