Sunday, February 24, 2008

Review of FLESH AND BONE by Jefferson Bass

By Jefferson Bass
Harper Collins/William Morrow
ISBN: 9780060759834
Hardback, 361 pages, $24.95
Genre: Mystery

Chattanooga medical examiner Jess Carter has been acting ME for Knoxville since the suspension of Dr. Garland Hamilton based on testimony by Dr. Bill Brockton, forensic anthropologist and founder of the Body Farm. When Brockton is asked by Carter to help investigate the death of a transvestite mutilated and bound to a tree in a state park, he recreates the crime scene at the Body Farm using a cadaver similar in appearance and body. As Carter and Brockton proceed through their investigation, they acknowledge their attraction for one another and tentatively begin a relationship. But very quickly, Brockton discovers Carter’s nude body tied to the surrogate corpse at the Body Farm, and all clues point to Brockton as the murderer. Brockton is banned from his offices at the University of Tennessee and his house has been taken over by the Knoxville Police Department as they build their case against him. With the aid of friend and renowned criminalist Arthur Bohanan, Brockton begins a frenzied investigation into the murder of Dr. Carter, which puts his own life in peril.

Jefferson Bass is the pseudonym for the writing team of journalist Jon Jefferson and Dr. Bill Bass, the actual founder of the Body Farm. The two have once more created a good whodunit while providing an edifying look into the fascinating world of forensic anthropology. Although the book tackles an issue some may find offensive, this does not detract from an overall good read.

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