Just finished reading Bones Never Lie by Kathy Reichs, here’s my review.
Just finished this. I read Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta novels and find they keep me turning the pages – provided I don’t read more than one at once and give a good long gap in between! Kindle (yeah! I know!) suggested I try a Reichs novel so I gave this one a go. It’s a lot different from Cornwell’s and doesn’t have the relentless pace that Scarpetta-in-the-first-person and present tense. I read it all the way through.
I like characters that I can get to know quite intimately as I read … unfortunately this doesn’t happen for me with Tempe Brennan. She has some depth but not a great deal and nor do any of the other characters. I don’t know why they are as they are. What has brought them to be the people they are in the story; what makes them act the way they do? This isn’t even hinted at in many cases. Even the villain(s) – and I got what was going on pretty early in the story – are just horrid. I can feel pain and stuff behind what they do but the explanations are bland and feel as if they’ve been read out of a psych school text book and not a good one either. Characters that have real backgrounds are coloured and 3-dimensional, not bland.
It’s something I notice in 70-80% of books I read nowadays, modern books I mean, that the people in them are dull. There may be lots of “special effects”, gore, descriptions of murders, but very little characterisation. The same happens in most films, loads of 3D and SFX but no acting. Have we become a bland species?
The plot in Bones Never Lie is OK. As I’ve said, I got what was going on as soon as the final villain appeared on the scene. That didn’t matter too much as it’s the workings of the plot that I find fascinating rather than getting the answers to the puzzle. Again, the raison d’etre behind both the villains’ actions are mushy as a damp sponge, they could be very interesting characters but they end up rather flat and two-dimensional. The reasoning behind the “red herring” villain is pathetic too both from the police perspective and the villain’s. Really, really, after everything the villain has succeeded in doing up to that point to be so crass is off planet. And that the police would fall for it … well, that’s actually scary!
And why does the book have the title “Bones Never Lie”? There are very few bones in it, or bone-related stuff. It feels like somebody did one of those “pick any three words and shuffle them together until we’ve got something that might sell” jobs. I’m rather underwhelmed by it.
My take on this book … a good draft for a novel, needs lots of work!
And who am I to say … LOL … Reichs probably sells in the millions! People may be very easily satisfied.