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About The Book

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs returns with her twenty-first taut novel of suspense featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan who, after receiving a box with a human eyeball in it, uncovers a series of ever more grisly killings eerily reenacting the most shocking of her prior cases.

Winter has come to North Carolina and, with it, a drop in crime. For a while, temporarily idle forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan is content to dote on her daughter Katy, finally returned to civilian life from the army. But when mother and daughter meet at Tempe’s place one night for dinner, they find a box on the back porch. Inside: a very fresh human eyeball.

GPS coordinates etched into the eyeball lead to a Benedictine Monastery where an equally macabre discovery awaits. Soon after, Tempe examines a mummified corpse in a state park, and her anxiety deepens.

There seems to be no pattern to these random killings, except that each mimics in some way a killing that a younger Tempe witnessed, analyzed, or barely escaped.

Who or what is targeting her, and why?

Helping Tempe discover the answers is Detective Erskine “Skinny” Slidell, retired but still volunteering with the CMPD cold case unit—and still displaying his gallows humor. But as the two infiltrate a bizarre survivalist’s lair, even Skinny’s mood darkens.

And then Tempe’s daughter Katy disappears.

At its core, Cold, Cold Bones is a novel of revenge and why revisiting the past may be the only way to rescue the present.

About The Author

Photograph © Marie-Reine Mattera

Kathy Reichs’s first novel Déjà Dead, published in 1997, won the Ellis Award for Best First Novel and was an international bestseller. Fire and Bones is Reichs’s twenty-third novel featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. Reichs was also a producer of Fox Television’s longest running scripted drama, Bones, which was based on her work and her novels. One of very few forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, Reichs divides her time between Charlotte, North Carolina, and Charleston, South Carolina. Visit her at or follow her on X @KathyReichs, Instagram @KathyReichs, or Facebook @KathyReichsBooks. 

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (July 5, 2022)
  • Length: 352 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781982198671

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Raves and Reviews

“With two dozen books under her belt, Kathy Reichs should be running out of steam but Cold, Cold Bones is vintage Reichs. We have Temperance Brennan, forensic anthropologist, following a trail of weird clues, some good side partners, an excellent Carolina setting, and, best of all, a terrific revenge plot. . . . This is one of Reichs’ best ever.”
The Globe and Mail

“Smart, scary, complicated, and engrossing from the first sentence. Kathy Reichs has written her masterpiece, a story that reminds us that the past is not quiet and never completely behind us.”
MICHAEL CONNELLY, New York Times bestselling author of The Dark Hours and The Law of Innocence

“Reanimates all the ghosts from Temperance Brennan’s forensic past until they thoroughly haunt her present. Who or what is staging this grimly nostalgic murder spree? In Kathy Reichs’ deft hands, the question is given delicious urgency. This page-turning series never lets the reader down.”
HARLAN COBEN, New York Times bestselling author of The Match

“Masterfully constructed . . . The cold cases may be stacking up, but for Temperance Brennan, the real target is very close to home.”
J.A. JANCE, New York Times bestselling author of Nothing to Lose and Proof of Life

“A mystery within a mystery that invites you to get into the action, complete with twisting turns and heart-stopping dives into the unknown. What I love most about Kathy Reichs’ novels is Tempe and Skinny’s witty dialogue. These two iconic characters make one of the best investigative teams in mystery literature. Cold, Cold Bones is the crowning achievement of a master storyteller, a feast for her many fans, and a delight for new readers.”
NELSON DeMILLE, New York Times bestselling author of The Deserter and The Cuban Affair

Reichs is on an incredible streak. . . . The writing is especially sharp here; the story is intense; and Tempe is at her snarky, brook-no-idiots, don’t-mess-with-me best . . . In this consistently satisfying series, rank this one near the top.”
Booklist (Starred Review)

“Reichs supplies a great hook, a double helping of homicides past and present, and all the meticulous forensic details and throwaway cliffhanger chapter endings you’d expect from this celebrated series.”
Kirkus Reviews

“A terrifying puzzle box.”

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More books in this series: A Temperance Brennan Novel