Cut to the Bone
Author: Jefferson Bass
Series: #.5 in the Body Farm series
Review Copy Provided by Author via Sisterhood of the Traveling Book
In the summer of 1992, Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton and Tennessee Senator Albert Gore begin their long-shot campaign to win the White House. In the sweltering hills of Knoxville at the University of Tennessee, Dr. Bill Brockton, the bright, ambitious young head of the Anthropology Department, launches an unusual-some would call it macabre-research facility, unlike any other in existence. Brockton is determined to revolutionize the study of forensics to help law enforcement better solve crime. But his plans are derailed by a chilling murder that leaves the scientist reeling from a sense of déjà vu. Followed by another. And then another: bodies that bear eerie resemblances to cases from Brockton’s past.
The police chalk up the first corpse to coincidence. But as the body count rises, the victims’ fatal injuries grow more and more distinctive-a spiral of death that holds dark implications for Brockton himself. If the killer isn’t found quickly, the death toll could be staggering. And the list of victims could include Brockton . . . and everyone he holds dear.
After a bit of a disappointing read in the previous book in the series, I have to admit that I was a bit scared to pick up this one. But I was pleasantly surprised. This book took the reader back in time, a time when Dr Brockton’s wife is still alive (for those who have read the series, you know how that plays out) and a time when his relationship with his son was less fractured/ more like what you would expect a father son relationship to be like. It also featured many of the secondary characters who have appeared through-out the series from Art Bohanan (the fingerprint technician who plays a significant role in most of the books) to the disgraced (well, in the later books) Medical Examiner Garland Hamilton. It was really weird not to have Miranda though because she is one of the characters who has made the series for me, although I didn’t mind Tyler (although, I can’t remember if he has appeared in later books).
One of the interesting things to me was seeing how far that study of forensic anthropology/body decomp had developed from the time period when this book was set to the more modern books in the series. How, (while the authors admit in the author’s note that the timing was a bit different to how the body farm came about in real life (the real farm was established much earlier), the body farm was actually established – trying to get a space to conduct these often gruesome experiments, figuring out how body’s decompose (which i can’t say is something that I would actually like to study, but hey, to each their own right?). The experiment with the flies wearing Tennessee orange just made me giggle (but you have to read the book to see what I mean).
Anyways, overall, I gave Cut to the Bone 4 stars and felt that it was a big improvement on the previous book in the series that was released. This would be a good book for either someone starting the series as a brand-new reader, or someone well-established in the series.