Friday, February 21, 2014

Jefferson Bass: Carved in Bone

This is the first novel in Jefferson Bass' Body Farm series and bodies is something that they are never short of:

The Body Farm is a place of science where forensic anthropologist observe how bodies decompose in different situations as well as determine what might have been cause of death or what instruments could cause certain wounds. Therefore, bodies are a common site on the farm and when a body is found in unusual circumstance in a small town not far away Dr. Bill Brockton is called on to consult on the case. But small towns are a funny place where everyone know everyone and there is a tight knit community even by those who do not like each other. Dr. Brockton knows there is something very unusual about this case and not everything is as it seems.

Jefferson Brass, is the pen name for Jon Jefferson and Dr. William M. Bass who is the original creator of the Body Farm (Yes one does exist in real life and they have revolutionized forensics and forensic anthropology), so i'm pretty sure we can both agree that they know what they talk about when it come to bones, bodies and decomposition. Brass sure knows how to create an opening, I guarantee that the first sentences will have you hooked and yet as the book goes on I found that I became less and less interested in the storyline that Bass chose to take. It became tedious to continue to read and this started to happen in the second half of the book especially when Bill is attempting to get the FBI and TBI involved in the case. I understand Bill's motivations for doing so and I understand the reasons the FBI do not want to step in (always politics) but I felt there was too much focus on this aspect.

I was not a fan of the small town aspect within the book, I just never felt a connection with the town and I felt that there was something missing over all in this aspect of the story. I'm not sure what it is, it just did not feel complete to me. But i thought that the religious aspect was an interesting twist as well as the corruption within the police department that add twists, turns and obstacles in Bill's case.

Bill is what made me keep reading this novel and I liked all of the interesting story-lines that are associated with his job and I like how Bass made Bill's work life feel more real with him constantly having to go back and fourth not only between cases but the body farm and teaching classes. Bill is smart (brilliant), insecure, heart broken, tenacious. He is a good mix of positives and negatives as he tries to manage his world after his wife's death.  However, I don't feel like I got to know Bill that well, as I think I was missing a bit of the back story where is family is concerned as well as he personal life and this is the first book in the Body Farm series I thought there would be a little bit more character building.

I would read another novel by Jefferson Bass, as the idea of being based out of the body farm is extremely interesting and you know that when you are reading a Bass novel the information will be correct, well researched and possibly experienced by them as well. Bill is what will keep me coming back for the next novel.


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