Cold, Cold Bones (A Temperance Brennan Novel #21) (Mass Market)

Cold, Cold Bones (A Temperance Brennan Novel #21) By Kathy Reichs Cover Image
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#1 New York Times bestselling thriller writer Kathy Reichs’s twenty-first novel is “her masterpiece—smart, scary, complicated, and engrossing” (Michael Connelly)—and features forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan who uncovers a series of gruesome killings eerily reenacting the most shocking of her prior cases.

Winter has come to North Carolina and, with it, a drop in crime. Freed from a heavy work schedule, Tempe Brennan is content to dote on her daughter Katy, finally returned to civilian life from the army. But when mother and daughter meet at Tempe’s place one night, they find a box on the back porch. Inside: a very fresh human eyeball.

GPS coordinates etched into the eyeball lead to a Benedictine monastery where an equally macabre discovery awaits. Soon after, Tempe examines a mummified corpse in a state park, and her anxiety deepens.

There seems to be no pattern to the subsequent killings uncovered, except that each mimics in some way a homicide that a younger Tempe had been called in to analyze. Who or what is targeting her, and why?

Could this elaborately staged scene be the prelude to a twist that is even more shocking? Tempe is at a loss to establish the motive for what is going on…and then her daughter disappears.

“The crowning achievement of a master storyteller” (Nelson DeMille), Cold, Cold Bones is a novel of revenge—one in which revisiting the past may prove the only way to unravel the present.

About the Author

Kathy Reichs’s first novel Déjà Dead, published in 1997, won the Ellis Award for Best First Novel and was an international bestseller. Fire and Bones is Reichs’s twenty-third novel featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. Reichs was also a producer of Fox Television’s longest running scripted drama, Bones, which was based on her work and her novels. One of very few forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, Reichs divides her time between Charlotte, North Carolina, and Charleston, South Carolina. Visit her at or follow her on Twitter @KathyReichs, Instagram @KathyReichs, or Facebook @KathyReichsBooks. 

Praise For…

Reichs is on an incredible streak...The writing is especially sharp here; the story is intense; and Tempe is at her snarky, brook-no-idiots, don’t-mess-with-me best ... In this consistently satisfying series, rank this one near the top." 
Booklist (starred review) 

"Reichs supplies a great hook, a double helping of homicides past and present, and all the meticulous forensic details and throwaway cliffhanger chapter endings you’d expect from this celebrated series." 
Kirkus Reviews 

"Cold, Cold Bones is a thing of clever beauty—smart, scary, complicated, and engrossing from the first sentence.  Kathy Reichs has written her masterpiece, a story that reminds us that the past is not quiet and never completely behind us.”  
Michael Connelly, New York Times bestselling author of The Dark Hours and The Law of Innocence 

Cold, Cold Bones reanimates all the ghosts from Temperance Brennan’s forensic past until they thoroughly haunt her present. Who or what is staging this grimly nostalgic murder spree? In Kathy Reich’s deft hands, the question is given delicious urgency.  This page-turning series never lets the reader down.”  
Harlan Coben,  New York Times bestselling author of Stay Close, Hold Tight, and Tell No One  

"Masterfully constructed...The cold cases may be stacking up, but for Temperance Brennan, the real target is very close to home." 
J.A. Jance, New York Times bestselling author of Nothing to Lose and Proof of Life 

“A mystery within a mystery that invites you to get into the action, complete with twisting turns and heart-stopping dives into the unknown. What I love most about Kathy Reichs’s novels is Tempe and Skinny’s witty dialogue. These two iconic characters make one of the best investigative teams in mystery literature. Cold, Cold Bones is the crowning achievement of a master storyteller, a feast for her many fans, and a delight for new readers.” 
Nelson DeMille, New York Times bestselling author of The Deserter and The Cuban Affair  

Praise for The Bone Code
The Bone Code is a brilliant entry in a ground-breaking series and does Temperance Brennan proud. The story has all the elements we’ve come to expect—it’s smart, gripping, and builds to a heart-stopping crescendo.  More than twenty years ago, these wonderful novels began paving the way for other writers, especially Canadians like me, to be noticed. I owe Kathy and Tempe a debt of gratitude, not just for helping to make my own writing life possible but for hours of white-knuckle reading.”
—Louise Penny, #1 New York Times bestselling author of All the Devils Are Here

"Kathy Reichs is expert at making science both scary and thrilling, and she's in top form in The Bone Code. The story moves at such a relentless pace I couldn't stop turning the pages!"
 —Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of Choose Me

“Over the course of twenty books, Kathy Reichs and Tempe Brennan have thrilled readers with pacey, mazey tales grounded in real science, with plots springing from the author's prodigious knowledge and passion for truth and justice.  We readers are truly grateful—and looking forward to the next twenty!”
—Ian Rankin, New York Times bestselling author of the Inspector Rebus novels

“Few crime writers are as edifying and terrifying as Kathy Reichs. She never lets you forget that “folk do the damnedest things.”
The Times (UK)

“A strong story told in a breezy fashion with an interesting [array of] memorable minor characters.”
Evening Standard (UK)

“[Places] the forensic anthropologist in a race against time…Unmissable.”
Crime Monthly

“I await the next Kathy Reichs thriller with the same anticipation I have for the new Lee Child or Patricia Cornwell. The Bone Code over-achieves. Temperance Brennan uses all her skills as a forensic anthropologist to solve a murder mystery story that races across America at the speed of fright.”  
—James Patterson

Product Details
ISBN: 9781668026557
ISBN-10: 1668026554
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: March 26th, 2024
Pages: 416
Language: English
Series: A Temperance Brennan Novel
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