18 May 2010

Book Review: Bones to Ashes

As part of one of my goals I decided to read 15 fiction books. I made this one of my goals because throughout my first couple years at college all I did was read for necessity, never for fun. Maybe once. And maybe once or twice I actually enjoyed reading some of the required reading. But really, I was just cramming my head with technical information on how to be a nurse that I never had time to just enjoy the written word any longer.


I finished reading book number 6 of 25 last night on shift: It was "Bones to Ashes" by Cathy Reichs.

I have never been much into crime dramas or mysteries, particularly not in the book format. I tolerated it when I was in high school and my mom would turn on the TV on Sunday nights. My dad would be away for work and we could get away with more noise and less talk, though my mom was still in control of the content. "Cold Case", "Law and Order", "Miss Marpel" or "Prime Suspect" was usually on the menu and you did learn to appreciate a good crime drama and mystery when you saw one.

Same with reading one.

It took me a while to get into "Bones to Ashes". It's not the first of Kathy Reich's Tempe Brennan's books, so I was unfamiliar with the character and the history between the characters. But Cathy Reichs did a good job of bringing me up to speed. The personality of Temperance Brennan was quirky and a bit odd, but she seemed well suited to her environment. I kept thinking to myself that if Temperance Brennan had any other job, or worked in any other field, she would be a social misfit.

For me, the best part of her novel was that the story took place in Canada and involved a large chunk of Canadian history. As a Canadian, there just aren't that many successful books or series that involve Canada. Kathy Reichs was also wonderful at interjecting a candid amount of French into the interaction of her characters. It really gave you a sense of atmosphere and that the characters could be real.

The different story lines of the book were well crafted and connected, and I was shocked how intense the book got. Add that with Tempe's personality it made for an excellent read. The only thing I was put off by was the ending. Kathy Reichs ended up summarizing a number of the loose ends for some major plot points. I know endings aren't easy to write but it was a bit of a let down.

Overall, I have to say Bones to Ashes a very recommendable book, though I don't know how keen I am to read the rest of the Temperance Brennan series of books. Maybe one crime/mystery/drama book is enough to last me a while.


  1. I enjoy books that put me in someone else's head. Especially when I know that I could never be that person. Case in point: "My Name is Asher Lev," by Chaim Potok. Check it out. =)

  2. I will add it to my list of "To Read"!