Explore the world of Kathy Reichs

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 25, 2011

Dr. Betty Middleton
Rowan Public Library
SALISBURY ó If you are a fan of Patricia Cornwellís medical examiner novels, then you will love Kathy Reichsí Dr. Temperance Brennan.
Kathy Reichsí first novel, ěDeja Dead,î propelled her into the spotlight when it became a New York Times bestseller and won the 1997 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel.
To date, she has written 13 novels which have been translated into 30 languages. Her books have been the inspiration for the Fox television series ěBones,î with Temperance ěBonesî Brennan as the main character.
A large portion of the novels is based on Kathy Reichsí real-life experiences.
She is adamant about getting the scientific explanations correct to help the reader better understand her chosen field.
Currently, Reichs is a professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, a consultant for the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Medecine Legale for the province of Quebec, and she has also consulted with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Chapel Hill.
In the novel ěBreak no Bones,î Dr. Temperance ěTempeî Brennan takes her archaeological students from UNCC to work on a site of prehistoric graves on Dewees, a barrier island north of Charleston, S.C. During their excavation they uncover a ěnot so prehistoricî body.
ěFatal Voyageî brings the forensic anthropologist back to North Carolina to join the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team in the investigation of an airplane crash in North Carolinaís Smoky Mountains. She stumbles upon a body part that doesnít match up with the remains of any of the planeís passengers. As usual, she works to trace the remains, which turn out to belong to a man killed 40 years ago.
In ěCross Bones,î the death of a middle-aged orthodox Jew in Montreal leads Brennan to the Holy Land, where the clues lead to ossuaries found in Masada and Jerusalem. The carbon 14 dating of the ancient skeletons indicates a first century AD connection and the names seem to link all of this to the family of Jesus.
Brennan, the fictional heroine in the novels, also a forensic anthropologist, shows the parallels with the real life of Dr. Kathy Reichs. Reichsí ability to hold the readerís attention is due to the real-life experiences she brings to her writing, and the professional expertise which helps her explain the details so we can all understand.
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