Thursday, October 11, 2007

"Bones to Ashes"

Bones to Ashes is the 10th book by Kathy Reichs in the best-selling series featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. The character is the inspiration for the TV show Bones on FOX.

Reichs applied the "Page 99 Test" to Bones to Ashes, and reported the following:
From page 69:

By three, Grissom's "victim" lay fully exposed. The snout was broad, the cranium rugged. Caudal vertebrae snaked between hind legs seemingly too short for the torso.

"Long tail."

"Some kind of pit bull mix."

"Maybe shepherd."

The testosterone set seemed inordinately interested in the dog's heritage. I couldn't have cared less. I was sweaty, itchy, and desperate to shed my Tyvek coveralls. Designed to protect wearers from blood, chemicals, and toxic liquids, the things reduced air circulation and were hotter than hell.

"Whatever his breed, the guy was a player." Pasteur held up the ziplock containing the dog's penis bone. Chenevier raised a palm. Pasteur high-fived it.

Already the jokes had begun. I was glad I hadn't told them that the os baculum is sometimes called a hillbilly toothpick. Or that best in show goes to the walrus, whose males occasionally reach thirty inches. It was going to be bad enough as it was.

During graduate school a fellow student had studied the os baculum of rhesus monkeys. Her name was Jeannie. Now professors and respected researchers, my old classmates still tease her about "Jeannie's penies."

By two, the dog's bones had been packaged and placed in the coroner van. Probably unnecessary, but better to err on the side of caution.

By six, Ryan and I had taken the entire ten-foot square down twenty-four inches. Nothing had turned up in the pit or the screen. Chenevier had resurveyed the barn and surrounding field, and found no indications of additional subsurface disturbance.

Several adolescent girls have gone missing with very few clues left behind. A con doing time behind bars claims to know where one of the bodies is buried. Temperance's forensic anthropological skills are called upon, along with those of her sometimes detective beau Ryan, to find the bones. They scour the specified area and find the bones of a dog instead. Disheartened, but a bit relieved, Temperance heads back into town with a colleague who alerts her of more bones found near where her childhood friend, Evangeline, went missing. Page 69 is where Temperance starts to make important realizations about the links between the different cold cases that she is working on. She becomes haunted by her sinking suspicions that her friend Evangeline's bones have been found and that her disappearance is connected with the other girls.
Read an excerpt from Bones to Ashes and learn more about the author and her books.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue