While helping to excavate a newly unearthed chamber beneath the spectacular Palace of the Popes in Avignon, France, Miranda Lovelady—protégée of Dr. Bill Brockton—makes a startling discovery: a stone chest bearing an inscription declaring it holds the bones of Jesus of Nazareth. The find could rock the Church to its very foundations, and it draws Brockton from the Body Farm to determine the truth, using modern forensic science.
But when Brockton and Miranda link the bones to the haunting image on the famous Shroud of Turin, their investigation sparks a deadly tug of war between scientists, the Vatican, and Apocalypse-obsessed fanatics—and a newly slain corpse soon appears on hallowed ground. Suddenly the search for answers to a mystery born in an ancient era has taken on a frightening urgency . . . as a crazed zealot waits in the shadows, determined to trigger the end of time.
Dr. Bill Brockton too often acts like a cookie-cutter action hero in the pseudonymous Bass's seventh novel featuring the Tennessee bone expert (after 2011's The Bone Yard), an awkward blend of a conspiratorial religious thriller and a forensic procedural. Brockton drops his work on a dead undercover DEA agent to rush to France after hearing that his assistant and budding love interest, Miranda Lovelady, is about to be operated on. To his surprise, and to the detriment of some plausibility, he learns on arrival that the message was a hoax to bring him to Europe to tackle the mother of all forensic anthropological exams determining whether a skeleton is, in fact, that of Jesus Christ himself. While Brockton's exam and his related analysis of the evidence concerning the provenance of the Shroud of Turin fascinate, a m lange of assassination attempts and hostage-taking distracts from the science. Bass is the writing team of Dr. Bill Bass, a forensic anthropologist, and journalist Jon Jefferson.
Interesting read but not really a body farm novel
I have been enjoying this series right along and even enjoyed this book. However, it was a bit slow going at first and while the time spent in 1300's France is interesting, it's not what I read these books for. I much prefer Doc Brockton on his home turf dealing with college politics and local bodies. It should by no means be skipped but be prepared for it to move a little slower than the others in this series and for a history lesson along the way.
Best of The Body Farm yet!
I've read many of the Body Farm books and this is hands down the very best. Well written and researched, this is a great mystery and what made it particularly interesting to me was involving the Shroud of Turin and the different artists and religious figures of that time period.
Not nearly as good
This novel was a miss considering the other novels in the Body Farm series. Too much time and description was paid to ancient story lines through flashbacks. The action and science that play pivotal roles in previous books was missing replaced instead with filler ancillary stories. The entire book read as an excuse for the writers to spend time researching a foreign city for their own pleasure rather than constructing a well told tale. A disappointment for sure.