This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Book Review: The Devil's Bones by Jefferson Bass

This book is the last of my From the Stacks challenge.

I picked this up at the Quail Ridge book sale. It was one of 50 books I managed to stuff in a big bag (that they provided) for $5.

The book is in the same vein as Kathy Reichs and her "Bones" series. Well, I don't know if it's called that, but the TV show is. And I love the TV show. Perhaps I'll try one of her books one day, but I am not a big fan (currently) of series books like this.

And thus, The Devil's Bones didn't do much for me. I can tell when I'm not thrilled with a book as I take my sweet time to finish it. It's rare for me to NOT finish a book, even when it's bad. Although I do it for the sake of writing my own little book review, I also do it after sure stubborness. I don't want to feel "defeated" by a bad book.

And of course, it's a matter of my opinion, since it appears the Amazon ratings for this book is pretty close to five stars. And also, this book was a pre-published review...a "draft", if you will.

Bill Brockton is the subject of this book, and it's series. He is an anthropologist, just like Bones! So, problem number one for me: a copycat, IMO, to Dr. Brennan.

Dr. Brockton is investigating the death of a woman, who died within her burning car. While this investigation goes on, Dr. Brockton also stumbles upon a Georgia crematorium that is, gasp, not buring the bodies, but stacking them around the property. This was problem number two for me. I already know about the _real_ case of the Georgia crematorium not burning the bodies and again, I felt like this was a stolen headline.

Yes, I know that books are inspired by real life, but this was too obvious, too recent and too over-the-top.

On top of these two events for Dr. Brockton, he also had to deal with the fact that a man who tried to kill him the year before (and successfully killed Dr. Bill's lover) had escaped from prison and most likely, was seeking to finish what he started with Dr. Bill.

And none of these three events were particularly exciting. There was never really a concentrated effort to delve into one event thus all three felt like they were just touched upon. So when things were really discovered or something 'meaningful' happened, it wasn't particularly thrilling. Just another page to turn to read on.

There was never an instance of eeriness, mystery or anything chilling...especially when the convict on the loose could have really been a subject of thrills. But no.

Instead, there was a lot of incidental details that dealt with current technology. And since current technology is ever changing, this book's subject matter will become quickly outdated and, to me, useless.

The references were to Google, browsing, the war in Iraq (only once), etc. They were just too specific to what is happening now, and not in a historical way, but in such trivial matters, and just too overdone to make it such a point. This was problem number three for me.

A dud. And I'm thankful to be done, and to be done with the challenge, because I've got three books waiting for my eyes...fresh from the library!

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