There is a patch of ground in Tennessee dedicated to the science of death, where human remains lie exposed to be studied for their secrets. The real-life scientist who founded the “Body Farm” has broken cold cases and revolutionized forensics . . . and now he spins an astonishing tale inspired by his own experiences.
Renowned anthropologist Dr. Bill Brockton has spent his career surrounded by death at the Body Farm. Now he’s being called upon to help solve a baffling puzzle in a remote mountain community. The mummified corpse of a young woman dead for thirty years has been discovered in a cave, the body bizarrely preserved and transformed by the environment’s unique chemistry. But Brockton’s investigation is threatening to open old wounds among an insular people who won’t forget or forgive. And a long-buried secret prematurely exposed could inflame Brockton’s own guilt—and the dangerous hostility of bitter enemies determined to see him fail . . . by any means necessary.
With Fascinating Insider Information on the Body Farm!
Jon Jefferson and Dr. Bill Bass do an amazing job of giving us some insight into the world of forensic anthropology. As Dr. Bass starts out with in the acknowledgements: “Some novels are pure fiction; others are fiction that is built on a foundation of facts. This book is of the latter type.” When my eye first looked at this book, I was intrigued. And as I dived into the pages the first time around, I was intrigued. Spellbound actually. Not only that, but I learned. And that’s a good thing for a book that is heavily steeped in science. I learned a lot about many different things about the human anatomy. And the book never makes you feel dumb about not knowing about certain things either. It comes out and explains it to you, almost as if you were sitting in with Dr. Brockton examining these bones in the middle of the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. What the book also does is impart a fair amount of humor into the grim and macabre subject matter. Whether it’s in the form of Dr. Brockton’s incredibly lame jokes, or the humorous interactions that Dr. Brockton has, it definitely lightens the mood and keeps it from being entirely dark. The characters are well established, and they do leave a lot of growth for later on down the line.
For those of you who want to learn more about the human anatomy (after all, there is a wonderful chart of the human skeleton at the back of the paperback I read), or forensic anthropology, or just want a different than normal tale, then I recommend this read to you. I’m looking forward to getting to the next book in the series.
Ok, there’s not much more I want to expand upon my Goodreads’ review. Each of the characters have their own unique charm about them, and I rather enjoyed diving into the mystery of Cooke County (at least, the novel version). I stated in one of my updates on Goodreads that I enjoyed the three different plot lines that were going on. All three of them ended up with some sort of resolution, though the bigger of the two minor plots (the one we get introduced to Dr. Brockton on), kind of leaves things hanging.
Now, I do recommend reading not only this book, but the entire series in general. But, you don’t have to start with this book. You can pick up any one of these books, and minus a couple of things here and there, you won’t be missing much in terms of overall character development. Each one of the books acts independently of each other, while tying little points together here and there. But, go out of your way to at least get introduced to Dr. Brockton, Art, Miranda, and the other cast of characters in Tennessee.