Title: The Devil’s Bones
Author: Jefferson Bass
Release Date: January 27, 2009
Genre: Crime Fiction
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4 out of 5
When Dr. Brockton receives a set of cremated remains, he is puzzled. That is, until a friend explains to him that those are supposed to be the ashes of his aunt, but his uncle has his doubts. Brockton agrees to investigate as a favor, while also facing the prospect of testifying at the upcoming trial of a man who tried to murder him. Brockton has a lot on his plate, but what he doesn’t realize is that things are about to get a lot more complicated.
I was a fan of the first two novels in Jefferson Bass’ Body Farm series, Carved in Bone and Flesh and Bone, but it wasn’t until this third novel, The Devil’s Bones, that I truly became a fan of the series. I had my doubts as to how Bass could keep up the suspense of the series, and I figured that each book would turn into just another variation on the same plot and theme. But The Devil’s Bones proved that Bass produces unique, fresh novels that are as engaging as they are different from one another.
This novel has many plot threads, as Bill juggles many cases in his day-to-day job. Bass fleshed out all of them well, and kept the reader interested in each. Many of them were new to the novel, but some required being informed about the plots of previous novels in the series. As a result, I wouldn’t treat this book as a standalone. Reading these books in order is the best way to derive full enjoyment out of them.
Brockton is a great character, and Bass develops him further over the course of the book. It’s clear that he’s still shattered by the death of someone close to him, and he’s having trouble moving on. I appreciated his healing over the course of The Devil’s Bones, and look forward to seeing where Bass takes him next. All in all, this is an extremely enjoyable series, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in crime fiction and forensics.