Monday, March 2, 2009

BONES OF BETRAYAL by Jefferson Bass

by Jefferson Bass
William Morrow/Harper Collins
10 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022
ISBN: 9780061284748
Hardback, 368 pages, $24.99
Genre: Mystery

When the body of renowned physicist Leonard Novak is found frozen in a swimming pool in Oak Ridge, Dr. Bill Brockton is called in to help. Dr. Brockton takes the body to Knoxville for autopsy and there it’s discovered Dr. Novak died from radiation poisoning through a small pellet found in his intestines. Brockton, his assistant Miranda, an investigating detective, and the medical examiner are exposed to radiation but the medical examiner received the most dosage and is hospitalized. Dr. Novak was an integral part in the development of the atomic bomb during World War II, and Brockton’s investigation takes him back to the secret city to try to find out who wanted Novak dead. There, he meets Novak’s former wife Beatrice who regales him with stories surrounding the Manhattan Project. In Novak’s home, Brockton discovers a mysterious film strip which leads the investigation in a different direction.

Fourth in the Body Farm series, Bones of Betrayal offers the reader an interesting glimpse into the scientists and laymen surrounding the Manhattan Project, as well as the development of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, called the secret city. Brockton is a likeable anthropologist who is compassionate and caring and who seeks a committed relationship but never quite gets there. The character Beatrice’s anecdotes are enlightening and enhance the story. Some will figure out the mystery, but this book is worth the read simply due to the historical facts relayed.

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