'If you like Kathy Reichs, you'll like Jefferson Bass' The Times.
Bill Brockton is exhuming a body to obtain a bone sample for a paternity test. A simple enough job until he discovers that the body's limbs have all been removed. Digging deeper, he soon finds himself embroiled in the massive and very illegal market for human body parts. He becomes drawn into the enterprise, selling donated corpses to the postmortem chop shop - in league with the FBI, hoping to bring the organization down.
All the while, his friend and Medical Examiner, Eddie Garcia, is struggling with the aftermath of their last case. A massive dose of radiation has left him missing one hand and most of the fingers from the other. He's on the waiting list for a transplant, but with so many parts around, Brockton is sorely tempted to jeopardize the investigation - and his own principles - to help his friend. Will he be able to live with himself if he does? Will he be able to live with himself if he doesn't?
Those looking for a mystery in this so-so sequel to Bones of Betrayal, the fifth forensic thriller from bestseller Bass (the pseudonym of Bill Blass and Jon Jefferson), may be disappointed to find the solving of an embalmer s murder relegated to a subplot. Bill Brockton, the chair of the University of Tennessee s anthropology department and head of the human decomposition research facility known as the Body Farm, is still preoccupied with the fallout of the previous book s events, which left his emotions in turmoil and a close friend maimed. The woman Brockton had fallen for, who turned out to be the killer he was seeking, escaped after Brockton confronted her. The present book largely focuses on Brockton s efforts at undercover work after the Feds involve him in a case against an unscrupulous tissue bank. No less than two deus ex machinas at the end undercut the realism.