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The Bone Yard (1st review)
Body Farm Novel, # 6
Jefferson Bass

Harper Suspense
March 27, 2012/ ISBN 978-0061807046

Reviewed by Heather Buchanan

What's special about the pairing of Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson into the pen name of Jefferson Bass is that they have figured out a great formula for combining their professional talents in a way to make unique novels. Dr. Bass is a forensic anthropologist and Jefferson is a veteran journalist. This mystery novel does a great job of weaving forensics and crime scene analysis throughout the story.

Dr. Bill Brockton of East Tennessee's Body Farm, the protagonist, is an advocate for the use of forensic science in solving crimes. He is pulled into a case by Angie St. Clair of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, who is studying Brockton's techniques. Angie is the sister of a woman who died under suspicious circumstances years ago, and she wants Brockton's help; meanwhile, the long-buried skulls of adolescent children are discovered in a field by a dog. What ensues is an investigation of the case using both investigators' talents, joined by Special Agent Stu Vickery. There is also a personal side story that preoccupies Brockton while he works on the case.

In this edition of the Jefferson Bass series, the book also serves as an expose of the Florida penal system, so it informs as well as functions as a creative work. The authors describe The Bone Yard as "faction," that is, fiction deeply rooted in reality. Despite the book's intense subject matter, Jefferson Bass uses poetic language and symbolism within notable scenes such as with unmarked graves. While there's grisly detail, The Bone Yard will be an engrossing read for fans who like CSI-style forensic mystery fiction.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Carved in Bone, 1
Flesh and Bone, 2
The Devil's Bones, 3
Bones of Betrayal, 4
The Bone Thief, 5 [review 1] [review 2]
The Bone Yard, 6 [review 1] [review 2]

Reviewer Heather Buchanan is the author of Dark River.
Reviewed 2012