- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow (May 8, 2012)
- ISBN-10: 006180679X
- Source: Author
In the seventh volume of the Body Farm series, forensic investigator Dr. Bill Brockton leaves the body farm-an outdoor enclosure that studies various levels of body decay-to join his protege, Miranda Lovelady, in Avignon, France. Miranda is spending the summer there excavating a newly discovered chamber in the Palace of the Popes. It is there she discovers a stone chest inscribed with the crest of Jesus of Nazareth. Could the bones found inside possibly be the remains of Christ himself? Once the bones are discovered, she calls upon Brockton to help her prove, or disprove, their identity. Both Miranda and Brockton are quite skeptical; ebay is full of fake relics of this time period. But when laboratory tests reveal the bones are two thousand years old, they are confronted with a battle between the Vatican, other anthropologists, and a radical who intends to use the remains to bring upon the Second Coming and ultimately, the end of the world. While investigating this case, Brockton must avoid abduction and assassination attempts, keeping himself free of danger while working on the case of the century.
I’ve been a long time fan of this series, sparked by my study of forensics and criminal justice in college. It was quite rewarding to be reunited with Brockton in a completely new setting: France. Whereas previous books in this series were more focused on domestic cases, this international setting added a completely new element to this series. Religion, and art history play a key role in this novel. Admittedly, I was a bit wary when I read the summary: Brockton discovering the bones of Jesus Christ. It seems that quite a few not so good books with similar subject matters have been released over the years and I was afraid my reverence and respect for the two authors that make up the Jefferson Bass name might be forever tainted. In actuality, the reverse happened: I gained new respect for Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson. Dare I say this novel is my favorite of the series? The fact that this dynamic writing duo was able to take on such a controversial subject matter with such zeal and skill really raised the level of respect I have for these two individuals.
While I stated that this is the seventh book in a series, readers new to these authors can easily pick it up and treat it as a stand-alone. That’s not to say that I don’t recommend you read the entire series, I definitely do. Long-time fans of the Body Farm novels will too be impressed with this novel for we are allowed to get a glimpse of continuing evolution of the relationship between Brockton & Miranda.
Bottom line: If you like the television series Bones, have any interest in forensic investigation, this is the series for you. Highly, highly recommended!
Check out Janice Bashman’s guest post with the authors here!
Additionally, there are a whole host of posts going up to celebrate the release of this novel. Check out the list here.