Book Review: The Bone Thief by Jefferson Bass

The Bone Thief
A Body Farm Novel
Jefferson Bass
Harper, March 2011
ISBN No. 978-0061284779
Mass Market Paperback

When Burton DeVreiss,  Attorney, contacted Dr. Bill Brockton it was to inform Brockton that he had obtained an order to exhume the body of Trey Willoughby to obtain a DNA sample to be used as proof of paternity.  Dr. Brockton and his assistant Miranda were shocked when the body was exhumed and the silk suit worn by the deceased was cut open.  Trey Willoughby’s arms had been removed and the sleeves filled with white PVC pipe.

This is just one of the many puzzles presented by this fifth book in the series.  Burton DeVreiss had been involved with Dr. Brockton in an earlier book in the series where a funeral home was negligent in handling the bodies that were entrusted to the home for proper burial or cremation.  Now it looks as though another funeral home is going to be under investigation.

Dr. Brockton, founder of the Body Farm, is contacted by the FBI and requested to go undercover to investigate a black market operation that is selling body parts.  The FBI feels that since Brockton has access to so many bodies that are donated to the Body Farm he is the perfect person to infiltrate the operation.  This is particularly true since Brockton is facing many budget cuts in his department and the department is in need of funds.  Although hesitant at first Brockton finally agrees to go undercover.  Not only does the sting operation put Brockton’s reputation on the line, Brockton’s life is placed in danger.

Dr. Garcia, whose hands were very badly damaged in the previous novel, Bones of Betrayal, is seeking options to replace his hands that were damaged so badly by a radioactive pellet in a body when he was performing an autopsy.  Brockton and Miranda are both working to find a solution or possible hand transplant for Dr. Garcia.

More information has come to light about Isabella, who disappeared at the end of the previous novel.  Isabella had a brief personal relationship with Brockton and this relationship has come back to haunt Brockton.

Several story lines are going on in this novel but they all come together with a satisfactory conclusion but not before Dr Brockton thinks life as he knew it is at an end.

Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid, March 2011.

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