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NC’s Kathy Reichs out with 20th novel in bestselling ‘Bones’ series

Bestselling author Kathy Reichs marks a milestone with her latest mystery, 'The Bone Code.' She spoke to WECT's Ashlea Kosikowski about the new novel.
Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 5:56 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Bestselling author Kathy Reichs marks a milestone with her latest mystery, The Bone Code. The book is the twentieth novel in her series about forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.

The series served as the inspiration for Fox Television’s longest-running scripted drama Bones.

“I was just hoping to get one book published and here we are 20 years later and 246 TV episodes later,” said Reichs, whose first book Déjà Dead became a New York Times bestseller and won her the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel.

The Bone Code follows Brennan as she sets out to help the Charleston coroner when a hurricane washes up a medical waste container that contains two decomposed bodies. The case mirrors an unsolved mystery Brennan handled in Québec years earlier.

“She’s passionate about justice for the dead and the living,” said Reichs of the character.

In the novel, Brennan travels between Charlotte, Isle of Palms and Montreal, as she tenaciously works to gather evidence. Those are all places familiar to Reichs, who divides her time between Charlotte and Montreal.

While Brennan’s investigation has her learning more about mRNA and vaccine development as an outbreak of mysterious origins spreads through South Carolina, Reichs said she started writing the book before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am always looking for things that might be on people’s minds years down the road, two or three years down the road, because it takes me a year to write a book and a year to produce the book,” she said. “I had read this little article about a Chinese doctor who against all agreements in the scientific community took our knowledge of the human genome and CRISPR tool to notify modify the genome and he did that to unborn babies and everyone agreed ethically we are not going to do this. So, I thought wow that’s an interesting premise. What if we have somebody out there who does that or for nefarious reasons? So, that’s one of the plot lines of the book.”

The result is a book that is timely and twisty, leaving fans of the character and Reichs wanting more. Fortunately, that is what they will get. Reichs said she has two more books about Brennan in the works.

“I just signed a new contract for two more,” she said. “So, there will be at least be 22. The next one is tentatively called Cold, Cold Bones and that’s all I’m going to tell you about that.”

Much like the chapters in her books, Reichs leaves us with a cliffhanger.

Find more about Reichs, who is one of only 100 forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology and a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, here.

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