When I saw Flesh and Bone by Jefferson Bass as the Friday Freebie, it was a no brainer to grab it. I've been a long time fan of the television show Bones. I love science; throw in a murder mystery and I've got the perfect read. What I wasn't expecting was how emotional the story line would be.
Have you heard of the body farm at University of Tennessee? (It was featured on an episode of Bones). If not, it is basically a laboratory where they study decomposition of human bodies. Way cool to think about, but definitely disgusting to see. Just a little background if you are as unfamiliar with the Body Farm series and the author Jefferson Bass as I was.
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Jefferson Bass is not one author, but two. Dr. Bill Bass is a forensic anthropologist and the founder of UT's body farm. Jon Jefferson is a journalist and filmmaker. I don't usually give a lot of detail about the authors in my reviews, but I thought it was important since it speaks to the detail and writing style.
Flesh and Bone reads as if it was ripped from the headlines. It is told in the well laid out manner of an unfolding murder investigation. The attention to well placed details add a richness to the story that makes you forget you are reading fiction. And the details are not of the procedural nature, but gives the reader a full immersion experience involving all the senses.
I should probably forewarn readers that the first chapter does give gory details of the body farm. In college, I was able to dissect a cat and then go straight to lunch, so I was fine reading this during my lunch hour. But since I know my lunch mates in college were not impressed with my comparison of the cat's fascia along the abdominal wall to the beef macaroni we were eating. If you tend to have a bit of a weak stomach you may not want to start this book at lunch time.
Flesh and Bone is actually book two in the Body Farm series. I haven't read book one, but I did not feel like I was missing anything. I actually forgot there was a book before this one until I was saw it on Goodreads listed as book two.
I became very attached to the main character Dr. Bill Brockton. In Flesh and Bone, he isn't the expert witness for the high profile murder, but the accused. It was actually pretty scary how things can be interpreted when one fully believes the accused is guilty. I know everyone looks for the easy answers for their job and as long as all the boxes are checked, then why look for any other possible answers? It made for quite the intense read. I will definitely be looking for more books in this series from Jefferson Bass.
Available formats: ebook (448 pages), audio, and print
Published: October 2009 by HarperCollins
Read: December 2013
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