The Bone Hacker by Kathy Reichs, Book Review of the Latest Bones Book

The Bone Hacker by Kathy Reichs is the latest Bones book. Enjoy a book review with plot outline, what I liked, what I loved, clever book quotes, and hopes for the next Bones book!

Bone Hacker Kathy Reichs book review

The Bone Hacker – Plot Outline

Tempe and Ryan are in the middle of a violent storm at Montreal’s old port when “The Bone Hacker” begins.

“Drops sluiced down my face, watery javelins blurring my vision and stinging my cheeks.”

Kathy Reichs, The Bone Hacker

Tempe’s frequent trips to Quebec keep her and Ryan happy in their new high-rise condo. But Ryan’s retirement is cut short by work while Tempe is faced with a new “Bones” case at Laboratoire de sciences judiciaires et de médecine légale (LSJML), the local forensic science laboratory.

“April teased with warm days that nibbled away at the black-crusted snow.”

Kathy Reichs, The Bone Hacker

The first body remains we are presented are those of a person struck by lightning during the same turbulent storm Tempe and Ryan experienced. The rest of the victim’s body is fished out of the St. Lawrence River days later, revealing an unexpected cause.

The victim’s tattoo suggests a connection to the Turks and Caicos Islands. Tempe contacts TCI Royal Police Force Detective Constable Tiersa “Ti” Musgrove, who insists on traveling to Montreal. Musgrove’s true motivation becomes clear: a string of homicides and missing persons cases in TCI involving young male tourists. The cases are distinguished by bodies reduced to bone in unusual locations. The mystery is heightened by the disappearance of a junior FBI official.

While the apparent victims appear unrelated, there must be a connecting factor, or the island will be subjected to a series of random killings.

Musgrove seeks Tempe’s assistance in the hope that she can lead the TCI team to the murderer (due to her unique forensic skills).

“The sun was mid-morning high, struggling to bump the sky from a dirt gray to a lighter dirt gray. The air was already muggy and warm.

Kathy Reichs, The Bone Hacker

Tempe accepts the assignment, broadening her investigation beyond autopsies (as always, yay!). This includes cybersecurity, surveillance software, encrypted communications, hacking, and spyware. With each revelation, she uncovers the vulnerabilities inherent in technology use. Local cuisine is also involved 🙂

The story unfolds in multiple plots, with mini-cliffhangers at the end of each chapter keeping the reader interested.

“How about you do your bones and leave the sleuthing to me? At least for one day?
A day is not what he got.”

Kathy Reichs, The Bone Hacker

The relentless pace and rising body count creates a downward spiral of suspense. Even though I suspected the serial killer’s identity, the story held my attention.

With the FBI involvement at the last minute, part of the questions are answered. Although this sole aspect felt as if it was served on a silver platter (maybe due to the hands-off FBI approach on this case) – due to the complexity of the plot I don’t now how else it could have been done (the book reads at 336 pages).

What I Liked about The Bone Hacker by Kathy Reichs:

Generally, what I love about the Bones / Temperance Brennan books are Tempe’s intelligent and spirited character, the humor infused into the dialogue, the enchanting Montreal setting, and the well-developed supporting cast – these are all aspects of this series that I enjoy.

“As they say, good judgment comes from experience.
Yeah. And expeperience comes from bad judgment.”

Kathy Reichs, The Bone Hacker

What I liked about The Bone Hacker was that the story combines forensics, dry wit, and dual settings to provide a thorough and well-researched look into the science of forensics investigations. Also, the tangent to the Jewish culture was fascinating. It reminded me of my favorite Bones book, Cross Bones.

I loved the premise of the book. It was contemporary, intriguing, and terrifying. How simple it is to hack any navigation system, be it a cell phone or an airplane, with the right code.

All crimes are heinous, some more so than others, but understanding the killer’s motivation can be fascinating – and this explanation was highly satisfactory in The Bone Hacker.

I loved the duality of the title, The Bone Hacker

The duality of the title, “The Bone Hacker,” is intriguing and masterfully creative.

The plot revolves around a serial killer who has a sick psychological need to hack one hand of his victims. It also delves into cyber crime, especially spyware and hacking.

The Bone Hacker by Kathy Reichs a book review

Hopes I had for The Bone Hacker and wishes 🙂 for the next Kathy Reichs Bones book:

I hoped to see Tempe putting herself in danger (as opposed to being in danger, and this she got plenty of in The Bone Hacker). I got used to this from the previous Bones books, just before the denouement. The part where I usually call out “don’t do that! just don’t go there, Tempe!”. It was something I expected, but it didn’t happen in The Bone Hacker.

I also hoped Tempe and Ryan would work together to solve the case, boosting the plot’s energy. Their chemistry adds dimension to Brennan’s life, and their separation in this book left something out, the character that is their relationship.

This dynamic, I hope, will be seen in Temperance Brennan’s book 23, “Fire and Bones” that, I hear, is in the works!

The Bone Hacker by Kathy Reichs, chilling, cracking with bodies, a 5 stars read.

One Reply to “The Bone Hacker by Kathy Reichs, Book Review of the Latest Bones Book”

  1. The Bone Hacker sounds like a complex crime thriller, Pat. Thank you for explaining the duality of the title.
    I saw your review of my book The Winding Road on BookBub. Thank you very much for reading and posting your review. I wholeheartedly appreciate your kindness.

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