'If you like Kathy Reichs, you'll like Jefferson Bass' The Times.
Early summer brings warm weather to the Body Farm in East Tennessee, but Dr Bill Brockton's about to get more heat than he's bargained for. A former student who's now an agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement seeks his help in identifying a partial skull found in the woods in rural Florida. The victim appears to have been a young male who died from lethal blows to the head.
While leading a search for the remaining bones, Brockton and his graduate assistant Miranda Lovelady find a series of shallow graves on the overgrown grounds of a shuttered reform school for boys. According to local lore, the school's poor, troubled students understood that one wrong move could land them in their own plot in the de facto cemetery. As Brockton and his team close in on the truth, they find skeletons in some surprisingly prominent closets... and learn that the ghosts of the past are ever present.
In Bass's uneven sixth forensic procedural featuring Dr. Bill Brockton (after The Bone Thief), Brockton, who's in charge of the Body Farm, a Tennessee research facility where cadavers are left to decay for research purposes, agrees to help a visiting Florida forensic analyst, Angie St. Claire, with a personal tragedy. St. Claire's sister has died of a shotgun blast to the head in Georgia, a death ruled a suicide by the local authorities, but St. Claire suspects her brother-in-law killed her sister. Brockton's efforts to preserve evidence that could support St. Claire's theory ends up taking a backseat to another puzzle, based on events at an actual Florida reform school, where boys were routinely physically abused. Realistic descriptions of forensic work compensate only in part for less than convincing action sequences. Bass is the writing team of Bill Bass, the real-life model for Brockton, and Jon Jefferson.