Sara-Jayne Townsend is a published crime and horror writer and likes books in which someone dies horribly. She is founder and Chair Person of the T Party Writers’ Group. http://sarajaynetownsend.weebly.com/
I have to confess to being a Kathy Reichs fan since I read the first book about forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan many years ago. Fifteen books on, Reichs still never disappoints. Tempe is a gutsy and endearing character, a woman of strength but showing vulnerability as she struggles with her own demons – most notably, alcoholism.
This new tale opens with her discovering the desiccated corpse of a newborn baby in a rundown flat in Montreal. This is quickly followed by the discovery of two more tiny bodies, but there is no sign of the woman who lives there – a woman who it is soon revealed has at least three aliases. Disgusted and mystified by the motivations of a woman who could kill so many of her own babies, Tempe joins the search for the missing young woman, in search of some answers. She is joined in her search by two men she has romantic history with – Montreal homicide detective Andrew Ryan, and Sergeant Ollie Hasty, of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The on-again, off-again relationship that Tempe has sustained with Ryan over the course of the books adds a significant amount of sexual tension. In this book, they are in the “off again” stage, but it’s clear that there is still a spark. When Sergeant Hasty makes it obvious that he, too, still holds a candle for Tempe, the atmosphere gets rather tense.
The trio follow the trail around Canada, where they learn that there is much more to this story than a woman committing serial infanticide. They end up in Yellowknife, a remote diamond mining town – the title of the novel is a reference to the diamonds that turn out to be an important part of the plot. Tempe begins to understand that the woman they seek is just as much as a victim as her babies were – but can she uncover the truth before she herself becomes the next victim?
This book will not disappoint Kathy Reichs fans. It is as gripping and page-turning as always, and the tightly-woven plot is deftly unravelled into a satisfactory ending that still manages to offer a glimmer of hope despite the tragedies that are involved.
And does Tempe come to a decision as to whether either of her former beaus can offer her a future? That would be telling…
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