In Kathy Reichs’ eleventh book, Devil Bones, forensic anthropologist, Temperance Brennan is called in to study the skull of a teenage girl found in a cellar. What she discovers surrounding the skull looks like relics from a satanic ritual — a decapitated chicken, animal bones, beads, and feathers.
Shortly after, a headless body of a teenage boy appears on the banks of a nearby lake. A pentagram and the numbers 666 are carved into his chest. Brennan and the detectives wonder if the two cases are related. If so, does this imply the presence of Devil worshipers?
Meanwhile, an extremist politician creates fear among the citizens, setting in motion a witch hunt to find the murderers. Brennan must fight time and circumstances as bodies pile up and the public’s frenzy for blood and “justice” increases.
Though this mystery is a good one and Reichs keeps the reader wondering who the killer(s) are, the story disturbs at times, especially when dealing with the occult. Through Brennan, Reichs studies cults such as Wicca, Santeria, voodoo, and others. She paints others who don’t accept these groups as valid forms of religion as intolerant. The “Christian” in the book is a fanatical jerk who misrepresents his faith.
Reichs made some very misleading statements in this novel, claiming Wiccans are not Satanists. They are. She also states that this is a religion that predates Christianity. But Wicca is not a religion. Secondly, Reichs’ meaning of Christianity is unclear. She confuses the change after Christ’s coming with the faith of the God in the Bible. Wicca predates Christianity as we know it today, but not faith in God.
When it comes to Devil Bones, the reader must decide if a few hours of an entertaining read is worth dealing with the very questionable underlying messages. I am still a fan of Reichs’ work, but this book is a disappointment when dealing with matters of faith.
Review copy provided publisher. Thanks!
**Originally posted on Fiction Addict.