Devil Bones (Temperance Brennan Series #11)

Devil Bones (Temperance Brennan Series #11)

by Kathy Reichs

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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Now in mass market from the bestselling author, forensic anthropologist, and producer of the FOX television hit Bones—the riveting #1 New York Times bestselling Temperance Brennan novel.

In a house under renovation in Charlotte, North Carolina, a plumber discovers a forgotten cellar, and some rather grisly remains—the severed head of a teenage girl, several decapitated chickens, and a couple of cauldrons containing beads, feathers, bones, and other relics of religious ceremonies. In a river not far away, an adolescent boy’s torso carved with a pentagram, is found. Are these crimes the work of Satanists and devil worshippers?

Nothing is clear, neither when the deaths occurred, nor where. Was the skull brought to the cellar or was the girl murdered there? As Temperance Brennan is called in to investigate, citizen vigilantes intent on a witch hunt are led by a preacher turned politician, looking for revenge.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416525660
Publisher: Pocket Star
Publication date: 06/23/2009
Series: Temperance Brennan Series , #11
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 167,191
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Kathy Reichs’s first novel Déjà Dead was a #1 New York Times bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. A Conspiracy of Bones is Kathy’s nineteenth entry in her series featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. Kathy was also a producer of the hit Fox TV series, Bones, which is based on her work and her novels. Dr. Reichs is one of very few forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. She served on the Board of Directors and as Vice President of both the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, and as a member of the National Police Services Advisory Council in Canada. She divides her time between Charlotte, North Carolina, and Montreal, Québec. Visit Kathy at


Charlotte, North Carolina and Montreal, Québec

Place of Birth:

Chicago, Illinois


B.A., American University, 1971; M.A., Ph.D., Northwestern University

Read an Excerpt


My name is Temperance Deassee Brennan. I'm five-five, feisty, and forty-plus. Multidegreed. Overworked. Underpaid.


Slashing lines through that bit of literary inspiration, I penned another opening.

I'm a forensic anthropologist. I know death. Now it stalks me. This is my story.

Merciful God. Jack Webb and Dragnet reincarnate.

More slashes.

I glanced at the clock. Two thirty-five.

Abandoning the incipient autobiography, I began to doodle. Circles inside circles. The clock face. The conference room. The UNCC campus. Charlotte. North Carolina. North America. Earth. The Milky Way.

Around me, my colleagues argued minutiae with all the passion of religious zealots. The current debate concerned wording within a subsection of the departmental self-study. The room was stifling, the topic poke-me-in-the-eye dull. We'd been in session for over two hours, and time was not flying.

I added spiral arms to the outermost of my concentric circles. Began filling spaces with dots. Four hundred billion stars in the galaxy. I wished I could put my chair into hyperdrive to any one of them.

Anthropology is a broad discipline, comprised of linked subspecialties. Physical. Cultural. Archaeological. Linguistic. Our department has the full quartet. Members of each group were feeling a need to have their say.

George Petrella is a linguist who researches myth as a narrative of individual and collective identity. Occasionally he says something I understand.

At the moment, Petrella was objecting to the wording "reducible to" four distinct fields. He was proposing substitution of the phrase "divisible into."

Cheresa Bickham, a Southwestern archaeologist, and Jennifer Roberts, a specialist in cross-cultural belief systems, were holding firm for "reducible to."

Tiring of my galactic pointillism, and not able to reduce or divide my ennui into any matters of interest, I switched to calligraphy.

Temperance. The trait of avoiding excess.

Double order, please. Side of restraint. Hold the ego.

Time check.

Two fifty-eight.

The verbiage flowed on.

At 3:10 a vote was taken. "Divisible into" carried the day.

Evander Doe, department chair for over a decade, was presiding. Though roughly my age, Doe looks like someone out of a Grant Wood painting. Bald. Owlish wire-rims. Pachyderm ears.

Most who know Doe consider him dour. Not me. I've seen the man smile at least two or three times.

Having put "divisible into" behind him, Doe proceeded to the next burning issue. I halted my swirly lettering to listen.

Should the department's mission statement stress historical ties to the humanities and critical theory, or should it emphasize the emerging role of the natural sciences and empirical observation?

My aborted autobiography had been smack on. I would die of boredom before this meeting adjourned.

Sudden mental image. The infamous sensory deprivation experiments of the 1950s. I pictured volunteers wearing opaque goggles and padded hand muffs, lying on cots in white-noise chambers.

I listed their symptoms and compared them to my present state.

Anxiety. Depression. Antisocial behavior. Hallucination.

I crossed out the fourth item. Though stressed and irritable, I wasn't hallucinating. Yet. Not that I'd mind. A vivid vision would have provided diversion.

Don't get me wrong. I've not grown cynical about teaching. I love being a professor. I regret that my interaction with students seems more limited each year.

Why so little classroom time? Back to the subdiscipline thing.

Ever try to see just a doctor? Forget it. Cardiologist. Dermatologist. Endocrinologist. Gastroenterologist....

Customer Reviews

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Devil Bones (Temperance Brennan Series #11) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 183 reviews.
stockman More than 1 year ago
The overall plot is not new; it has been done and redone. Brennan spends far more time in this novel as a police investigator than a forensic anthropologist. As a murder mystery, this book was more run of the mill than I would expect.
BarbaraLyn More than 1 year ago
I have yet to meet a book written by Kathy Reichs that I didn't enjoy. Devil Bones is no exception. Tempe is asked to review the remains found in a home under renovation. The bones were found in what could only be described as a Voodoo setting. While she is doing this, a headless body of a teenage boy is discovered on a lakeshore. Are the two connected in some way? Two detectives work with Tempe to discover if this is really Voodoo or some other form of devil worship. Between a preacher/politician trying to get elected and his sermonizing about the find, one of the detectives getting killed and Andrew Ryan coming back into Tempe's life right along with an old high school flame, there is plenty of action to keep your mind whirling. Linda Emond reads with easy and clarity. She provides several voices that are appropriate for each character so the listener has no problem following who is speaking.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have collected and read all of Kathy Reichs' book, so I guess you could say I have been a fan for a long time. However, this book seemed almost like a chore to read. The plot was not bad, but it seemed like the technical jargon in this particular book was stronger than the actual plot. Sometimes I found myself skimming the "tech speak" to get to the conversations developing the plot. If she continues with this format, I may become an ex fan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the book better than the TV series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic! Love Kathy Reichs. She has a way with words, that can express beyond anyone's creative imagination.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Really, what can I say - Kathy Reichs is the queen of forensic mysteries. Reichs works as a forensic anthropologist in the US and Canada. She knows what she writing about. Her character Tempe Brennan is also a forensic anthropologist. The television show Bones is also based on this character. Devil Bones finds Tempe called in to consult on bones found in a cauldron in a hidden cellar. They seem to be part of a religious ceremony. Another body is found and the two may be connected. A local politician is using these murders to stir up the populace. Reich's mysteries are intelligent and well thought out. The details and science are realistic. Her series features some similarities to Cornwell's - the rumpled cop crony, the angry young relative, conflicts with superiors, the on again off again romance with a fellow law enforcement officer and a few others. I just find Reich's writing superior to what Cornwell has put out lately.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kathy Reichs does it again. I couldn't put down this book. She kept me guessing right until the end. She also got the facts right about the Wiccan religon. I also like that Tempe's life is getting some turns in it and not the standard, 'okay let's hook up with the handsome hero.' I look forward to her next book.
churchmama More than 1 year ago
Even though Reichs' books all deal with Temperance and her colleagues, the books are not as formulaic as you might assume they would be. Each book deals with an entirely different forensic situation and the murders take place in different locales that she describes in detail.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan is in Charlotte, North Carolina working as an instructor at UNC-Charlotte and also at the office of the Chief Medical Examiner. She is called out of a boring college meeting by ME Dr. Larabee, who asks her to go to a house where a plumber broke through a wall only to see a previously concealed cellar with a cauldron with a skull on it behind the wall.----------- Temperance arrives at the scene and she sees two cauldrons with the human skull on one of them but it is missing the jaw. She takes it to lab to examine the find. She determines the skull is that of a black teenage female, but cannot decide on when she died. The two cauldrons contain objects used in Afro-Carib religious ceremonies. While Temp tries to identify the victim, a torso of a young male is found with satanic symbols on it. An evangelical councilman plans to use the satanic angle to further his political aspirations by pointing at a person who is obviously innocent. When two more murders occur, Temp interprets the notes of the murdered cop who worked the case, but that only leads her to danger from a vile killer who has no qualms of committing another homicide.---------- Kathy Reichs brilliantly simplifies the forensics sciences without dumbing down the theories or supporting facts, which turns DEAD BONES into a terrific read. There are plenty of viable suspects but no prime person of interest. Thus the protagonist and the police have their work to end the killings. Temp is strong willed who retains her femininity and sense of humor as she works with human remains and living humans while seeking clues to her current case. Readers will enjoy this in depth complex thriller.------- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous 8 months ago
Classic Temperance Brennan!
jamespurcell on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not her best, too much info on nontraditional religions repeated too many times. More like a Holmes, Aha deduction mystery than a forensic proceduual. One of the bright people on Bones would have ided the body as having been frozen in a blink.
kp9949 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Overall this is an okay Temperence Brennan story. Satanism and other dark religions are behind the latest murders Tempe is involved in solving. The personal aspects of the story are very satisfying; the religious aspects are not. I didn't care about the victims or the possible suspects in any way -- good or bad. It didn's seem so much a "murder mystery" as a short tutorial on satanism and "dark" religions. Having read all the Temperence books up through this one I find that I enjoy them less as I go along. We'll see what happens after reading "206 Bones".
raizel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is my first Temperance Brennan book. I was glad to see that in print she is much more normal and funnier than her television character. This was much more a procedural story than a classic-style mystery with the baddie introduced in the first 50 or so pages.
redheadish on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Read this in 2011 after finding 3 of Reichs books at a thrift and buying then reading outof sequence I relized I had to read them all in order! I just love Kathy reichs books!
DanaJean on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was my second Kathy Reichs book and it fell a little short with me. 206 Bones was my first read in the Temperance Brennan series and I enjoyed the plot and pacing of that story. I was really anticipating a good read here. Devil Bones seemed to wander all over the place. A house is being renovated and evidence of some sort of altar with human bones is unearthed. Tempe is called in to help solve this gruesome murder.Although I found the different religious aspects interesting, I felt she spent too much time and energy "teaching" me the difference between Satanism, Wicca, Voodoo and others. And she spent a lot of time pondering her love life and the various men coming in and out of her life. The plot was weak until those moments when she focused on the murders. Unfortunately, she strayed too much from the mystery.
jepeters333 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In Charlotte, NC, a house under renovation becomes the site of heated forensic investigation and unrelenting media attention when a plumber stumbles upon a forgotten cellar. There he finds animal and human remains - including a teenage girl's skull - cauldrons and religious artifacts, all arranged in a gruesome display. Then an adolescent boy's torso, carved with a pentagram, is found nearby. Panic over Satanism and devil worship has Charlotte's citizens on a witch hunt led by an evangelical politician. For Tempe Brennan, nothing about the murders is clear. . . and neither is her own heart, which has her tempted yet reluctant to move on from her departed lover. But as she digs deeper into contradictory evidence from the gruesome cellar, Tempe will unearth the truth - darker and more frightening than she ever imagined.
mikedraper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the 11th book featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.A plumber uncovers a secret room while he is renovating a home. He finds signs of what might be devil worship. A skull is found at the center of a shrine.Temperance investigates and after learning that the skull is from a young girl attempts to find out who the girl was and where the skull came from. While working the case, Temp is working with detective Erskine, "Skinny" Slidell, a detective in the mode of Sam Spade, with few words and hard as nails. As these two investigate the case, they learn of a headless body of a teenage boy found by the side of a river. The body is marked by satanic symbols.The author takes her readers on an adventure into the land of devil worship, Voodoo medicine, Wiccans and other superstitions as she searches for answers. All of this provides an interesting and unique story. There is plenty of action and the story moves with visual scenes as if the reader might be viewing an episode of the TV show "Bones" which is based on the same character.We also learn more of Brennan as a character as the story relates some of her job frustrations and lonliness.It adds to the reader's enjoyment to obeseve the character development and to see her romantic interest.Very entertaining.
pmarshall on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I like Kathy Reichs. I like that many of her books are placed in Montreal, a wonderful city. I like Tempe Brennan who uses science to aid the police in solving violent crimes. I like the variety in her plots, biker gangs, (Deadly Decisions) leprosy, (Bones to Ashes) and non-traditional religions (Devil Bones.) Unfortunately I didn't find that Devil Bones was written with the same clarity and quality as her past titles. I trust this is just a blip and her new book, 206 Bones, will bring a return to her form that has made her a best selling author.An okey read but not the great read I was expecting.
Romonko on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have been reading Kathy Reichs since she released Deja Dead, and I have enjoyed her books very much for the forensic content, and for her characters. This is the 11 book in the series. I like Tempe because she is realistic with realistic flaws. Ms. Reichs mysteries are usually quite difficult to figure out, and this one is to a point, although I did figure out some key things before Tempe did, but it is also a bit confusing. There are so many characters to keep straight, and so many complicated clues, it is difficult to keep it all straight. In this book Ms. Reichs explores some strange fringe religions, and the information about these religions was also difficult to keep straight (at least for me). But the story is there and can be followed underneath all this. I enjoyed the book.
catwithc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed all of Kathy Reichs books, and Devil Bones is a great story. I am fascinated by forensic anthropology, and KR combines a good story with facts about forensic anthropology.
readinggeek451 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another solid suspense novel in the Temperence Brennan series (basis of the TV show Bones).Human bones are found in a sub-basement, along with ritual paraphenalia that Brennan identifies as Santeria. Shortly thereafter, a headless body is found carved with Satanic symbols. Although Brennan protests that they are very different things, other investigators and local politicians are convinced that there is a connection and target a local Wiccan who has ties to the former tenant of the house.To her credit, Reichs makes it very plain that Wicca and Santeria (and voodoo and several others) are *not* Satanist, despite the ignorance and bigotry of several of her characters.
callmecayce on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading this (as in, like, 15 minutes ago) and loved it. This is the eleventh (I think) book in the Temperance Brennan series, and like all of the others, I totally enjoyed it. Kathy Reichs' does a great balance between Brennan's personal life, the cases she solves, and the educating she does in the book. Many mystery authors gloss over the details, or delve too deeply into them, but in Reichs' case, she does a really good job of educating us with the relevant bits of scientific, historical or cultural information that we need to understand what's going on. Sometimes it's done as good exposition (similarly to crime fighting TV shows, but without the clichés -- or if they're there, it's ironic and not a cop out), other times Brennan is thinking out loud (or to herself, as the case may be) and even other times it just comes up in the context of whatever she's doing. I love reading the Temperance Brennan series as much as I love watching Bones. I think the main reason is because they are so different, but in my head, Brennan is always played by Emily Deschanel. In the interview with Reichs at the end of the book, after the novel is over, Reichs talks about how she sees Deschanel's Brennan as a younger version of the Brennan in her books. I think that's a great comparison and I can totally see it. But back to Devil Bones. It's a fun, if disturbing and very sad book (not gonna make you cry sad, but that's fine -- it doesn't need to be). The plot twists totally threw me, which is something I fully enjoy about Reichs' writing. I cannot wait for the next one, whenever it comes out.
kanata on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another gripping book by Kathy Reichs. Unlike Patricia Cornwell she's maintained a level of enjoyment and writing throughout her series that constantly keeps me coming back.
delphimo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is my second journey into a Temperance Brennan novels set in Charlotte, NC, and Canada. Temperance is a busy woman with all her forensic examinations and college class schedule. Since I live in Charlotte, the setting in Devil Bones is interesting, as well as the many characters loosely based on true characters. My only problem is that Reichs provides too much medical data that goes over my head. Reichs's characters are real people with problems and not the glossy Hollywood images. Reichs does her research and gives a textbook commentary on the various occult religions such as Wicca worship and satanic worship. These are interesting, but detract from the story, at times.
tymfos on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Tempe has two cases that appear to involve human remains and ritual. A Wicca coven meets near the site where the second set of remains was found. A conservative Christian councilman is mounting a witch hunt and clashing with Tempe, threatening her job. A pushy journalist is making things worse -- stirring the cauldron of emotion, so to speak. A detective is killed (and no, I won't tell you who).This has to be my least favorite Bones novel, but I finished it. It was way too preachy in hammering home its worthwhile message of religious tolerance. While trying to undo stereotypes about practitioners of alternative spiritualities such Wicca, Santeria, etc. (teaching us that they're not Satanists and don't practice human sacrifice, which I already knew) Reichs seemed equally determined to reinforce secular stereotypes about Christians (as a bunch of intolerant, bigoted fools). I suppose it hit home because there are too many Christians who are that way, but it would have been nice if she'd thrown in a reasonable one or two along the way. Oh, the journalist was pretty much a stereotype, too.There was much melodrama on the romance front and the political fronts, plus Temperance has trouble maintaining her temperance (throughout the series, she's been a recovering alcoholic).When you pared it down to the mystery itself, it wasn't a bad read. I just got aggravated with all the melodrama and the stereotypes.The nicest thing about the book was the dedication -- it was dedicated to law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.