Temperance Brennan, the forty-something heroine who normally divides her time between North Carolina and Montreal as a forensic anthropologist—a professional role that mirrors that of her originator—travels to the Guatemalan village of Chupan Ya to examine bones found in a well. She expects her month of donated service to yield information on the deaths of twenty-three women and children who disappeared twenty years ago when soldiers raided the village.
The country’s violence continues into the present day as two of Tempe’s colleagues meet assault on their way to the dig and the Guatemalan authorities discover a body in a septic tank. When her Quebec employer asks Tempe to help with the septic tank body recovery, it is not only because of her prior expertise in such an operation; it is also because the Canadian ambassador’s daughter is one of four young women who recently vanished from Guatemala City. Tempe will be teaming not only with a handsome young Guatemalan investigator but also with her old friend Andrew Ryan, the Montreal detective.
Sparks fly as danger, lust, and scientific breakthroughs turn this book into more than a mystery involving autopsies and morgues. With the latest findings on fetal bone and cat hair DNA, plus the political ramifications of stem cell research, the inimitable Kathy Reichs educates as she enthralls in this escapade for her highly-acclaimed heroine.