Carved in Bone by Jefferson Bass
Cover: I wasn't very impressed with the cover. It shows a woodsy scene, which ties into the story nicely.
Characters: Dr. Bill Brockton is the main character. He's a forensic anthropologist who teaches at the University of Tennesee and handles the research experiments at The Body Farm. Bill is very into his work. He uses it as an escape from the loss he has suffered. He also uses it as an excuse to not move forward. Bill seems like a genuinely great guy, though. He has devoted his life to working with the dead in an effort to give them one last chance to tell a story. Bill is definitely not one to give up on cases either. Despite warnings and impending danger, Bill pressed on until he found the answers he had been searching for.
Writing: I thought the writing was done well. Despite forensic anthropology being a very scientific subject, I never felt like the words were too "big" or too scientific for me to understand what was going on. I liked that the authors (yes, there were 2) did a great job at explaining their findings. In addition to using a forensic anthropologist's jargon, the authors also described in great detail what that particular bone may look like or what happens when a person experiences a certain type of injury. I felt like I learned a lot because of this. I also felt like the story was written in a suitable pace. There was just enough excitement when you needed it, to keep the story going. There were a few side stories but not so many that my attention was drawn away.
Plot: I found this story to be very interesting. Dr. Brockton is called in by a local sheriff to help with a case. A body had been found, but there were very few ideas as to who it could be. After determining the person had been murdered, Bill then begins helping with the investigation. This takes him into a small town inhabited by people who stick by their kin. They're the types that will do ANYTHING to protect their families. It's a town where everyone has secrets despite everyone knowing everything about each other. A twist in the identification of the body leads to resistance from the sheriff. Bill presses on and eventually learns the truth behind the murder and the sheriff's shady behaviors. I thought there were quite a few twists and developments in the case. They really kept me guessing as to who was the killer and why they did it.
Overall: 4/5 I really liked this book. I already have the second book in the series and can't wait to read the others.