Dr Temperance Brennan is uncovering the prehistoric marshy swampland of Dewees, a barrier island north of Charleston, South Carolina, when one of her students calls her over to see what they’ve found. It’s a freshly buried body; still with some soft tissue connecting the vertebrae. The remains show that he is a middle-aged Caucasoid male, but who he is still cannot be answered. To add to the complications, there is an odd fracture in the sixth cervical vertebrae.
Just as Dr Brennan starts to piece together the evidence, another body is found, hanging from a tree in a national park. Once more examining the body, there is the same fracture. It’s not the fracture that would be achieved through jumping from a height with a noose on, and thoughts as to how the body got to the tree are confused. The body has ID, however; it is incorrect and the man they believe it to be is still alive.
As Tempe digs deeper in, the investigation becomes more and more inhumanely cold. Break No Bones is a good read, although not as exciting as Reichs’ first novel, Déjà Dead.