The Bone Code by Kathy Reichs [Book Review]

Book Review

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Title: The Bone Code

Author: Kathy Reichs

Publisher: Scribner

Publish Date: July 6, 2021

Genre: Police Procedural

Series: Temperance Brennan #20

My Rating: 4/5

The Bone Code by Kathy Reichs


On the way to hurricane-ravaged Isle of Palms, a barrier island off the South Carolina coast, Tempe receives a call from the Charleston coroner. The storm has tossed ashore a medical waste container. Inside are two decomposed bodies wrapped in plastic sheeting and bound with electrical wire. Tempe recognizes many of the details as identical to those of an unsolved case she handled in Quebec years earlier. With a growing sense of foreboding, she travels to Montreal to gather evidence.

Meanwhile, health authorities in South Carolina become increasingly alarmed as a human flesh-eating contagion spreads. So focused is Tempe on identifying the container victims that, initially, she doesn’t register how their murders and the pestilence may be related. But she does recognize one unsettling fact. Someone is protecting a dark secret—and willing to do anything to keep it hidden.

An absorbing look at the sinister uses to which genetics can be put, and featuring a cascade of ever-more-shocking revelations, The Bone Code is Temperance Brennan’s most astonishing case yet—one that gives new meaning to today’s headlines.

The Bone Code by Kathy Reichs


The Bone Code is the twentieth book in the Temperance Brennan series. Temperance is a forensic anthropologist who has worked on a variety of cases. While this could be read as a standalone novel, I recommend reading some of the earlier books first.

In The Bone Code, Temperance gets involved with a case in Charleston that reminds her of a cold case she worked years earlier in Quebec. Meanwhile, a virus outbreak in Charleston is causing panic. Temperance works to connect the two cases and uncover more than just a murderer.

This is a series that I’ve enjoyed over the years. There are a few books in this series that I haven’t read, but I plan to go back and read them soon. Temperance is intelligent and driven in her work. She makes for a strong and interesting protagonist.

The Bone Code is sure to be enjoyed by fans of this series. For readers unfamiliar with Temperance, I recommend checking out this series if you like crime fiction.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Temperance Brennan series:
  1. Déjà Dead
  2. Death du Jour
  3. Deadly Decisions
  4. Fatal Voyage
  5. Grave Secrets
  6. Bare Bones
  7. Monday Mourning
  8. Cross Bones
  9. Break No Bones
  10. Bones to Ashes
  11. Devil Bones
  12. 206 Bones
  13. Spider Bones
  14. Flash and Bones
  15. Bones Are Forever
  16. Bones of the Lost
  17. Bones Never Lie
  18. Speaking in Bones
  19. A Conspiracy of Bones
  20. The Bone Code
  21. Cold, Cold Bones
  22. The Bone Hacker

2 thoughts on “The Bone Code by Kathy Reichs [Book Review]

  1. Great review Darinda. I have read and enjoyed the first 18, but not any of the novellas. This one sounds interesting and I like the inclusion of a virus. I need to catch up. Thanks for the reminder.

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