Spider Bones, By Kathy Reichs

Giving us all the gory details

Dr Temperance Brennan is a brilliant forensic anthropologist, but even she is flummoxed when the body of a long-dead war veteran washes up on a beach in Canada.

Brennan's investigation leads her to a military base in Hawaii, where she unearths a decades-old conspiracy and is somehow embroiled in a gang war.

The author is a forensic scientist herself, and the unsparing descriptions of grisly autopsies in her latest novel have the ring of truth. Sadly the same cannot be said of her dialogue, and the banter between Brennan and her love interest falls flat. Still, Tempe's wisecracks raise the occasional smile: "Decomps, floaters, and other aromatics", is her pithy appraisal of her odoriferous clientele.