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An interesting story about the illegal trade in body parts

  • May 10, 2010
This is my first book by Jefferson Bass (actually a pair of authors, Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson). When I began this book, it sounded like a story about grave robbing. I didn't find it all that interesting in the beginning, but it definitely got interesting later! It turns out to be a story about the (mostly illegal) ways in which bodies or body parts are stolen for purposes such as biomedical testing and companies who train surgeons to perform new surgeries.

The story's main character is Dr. Bill Brockton, a forensic anthropologist and professor who teaches at the University of Tennessee and runs its Anthropology Research Facility also known as "the Body Farm." Here, those who have donated their bodies to science after they die are left in the Body Farm to decay and decompose, which offers scientists (and the police) insight into how to tell when (and where) a person died.

The FBI thinks something fishy is going on in regard to bones being stolen, and they think they know the culprit, so they enlist Dr. Brockton to help set up a sting so they can catch the guy and make sure it sticks. Unfortunately, this takes time and, in the process, Dr. Brockton finds himself in danger.

There is a fantastic sequence toward the end where the good doctor has to escape into the wilderness to avoid imminent danger. This was one of the best parts of the book, I thought, in terms of really keeping you reading. Except for the end, I read most of the book over a period of a few weeks, so it probably would have been more exciting if I'd read it in just one or two sittings.

I found parts of the story (especially about the ways in which body parts were being stolen and used) quite outlandish until I read the Author's Note at the end, which indicates that quite an active black market in body parts does indeed exist. The story also involves funeral home and crematorium fraud, where bodies that are supposed to be buried or cremated aren't, or at least not all in one piece. There has been enough of that in the news in past years that I can believe that part! And you can't get more authentic information on forensic anthropology or the Body Farm than from the guy who CREATED the Body Farm--Dr. Bill Bass, one of the authors.

I can't say this was necessarily a "WOW! You HAVE to read this!" book, but it was an enjoyable read and a very interesting and well-written story.

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May 10, 2010
This author (authors) sounds so much like Kathy Reich/Patricia Cornwell. Those two folks write so well, I'll be interested to try this one and see if it's as good..... Thanks for the review.
More The Bone Thief: A Body Farm No... reviews
review by . July 16, 2010
Disclaimer: A free copy of this book was received from Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review.    The Bone Thief by Jefferson Bass is the second Body Farm novel I have read, and I'm sad to say it is just not any better than the first. Jefferson Bass, a composite of Jon Jefferson and Dr. Bill Bass, have joined the growing glut of authors cashing in on the CSI craze by writing about forensic anthropologists and/or medical examiners or pathologists, however Kathy Reichs, Karin …
review by . May 30, 2010
For some reason, I've never read any of the Body Farm novels by the team of Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson (hence, the author pen name of Jefferson Bass). I'm not quite sure why, as I like the forensic anthropology genre made popular by Cornwell and Reichs. So to rectify that, I picked up the latest book in the series, The Bone Thief. I'm guessing I'll end up going back to read the earlier ones also, as The Bone Thief was enjoyable and well written.    The story revolves around …
review by . April 01, 2010
The top -notch team of Dr.Bill Bass, who founded the Body Farm, and Jon Jefferson, a crackerjack journalist, writing as Jefferson Bass does not let you down in this interesting, literate and informative Body Farm novel. In the event you are not familiar with the Body Farm, a tract of 2.5 acres funded by the University of Tennessee had been designated under Bass's direction to document the progression of decay of human bodies. In forensic science investigators need to know when the person in question …
review by . March 25, 2010
   To date the topnotch team of Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson writing as Jefferson Bass has brought us a number of forensic thrillers, Bones Of Betrayal (2009), The Devil's Bones (2008), Flesh and Bone (2007). Each is solidly based on accurate forensic science, well plotted, and chillingly rendered. Precisely what readers would come to expect from Bass who is known throughout the world for his expertise as a forensic anthropologist and founder of the University of Tennessee's Body Farm. …
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Sheri ()
Ranked #69
I have been a customer reviewer on Amazon.com for well over a decade and an Amazon Vine reviewer since the program began. I enjoy writing product reviews that will help customers make a buying decision. … more
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About this book


New York Times bestselling author Jefferson Bass delivers an authentic and knuckle-biting thriller in which forensic anthropologist Dr. Bill Brockton must confront a crime of unimaginable proportions on his own doorstep. Find out why Booklist says, "Fans of forensic fiction will want to add this author to their list of favorites."

The Bone Thief

Dr. Bill Brockton has been called in on a seemingly routine case, to exhume a body and obtain a bone sample for a DNA paternity test. But when the coffin is opened, Brockton and his colleagues, including his graduate assistant Miranda Lovelady, are stunned to see that the corpse has been horribly violated.

Brockton’s initial shock gives way to astonishment as he uncovers a flourishing and lucrative black market in body parts. At the center of this ghoulish empire is a daring and prosperous grave robber. Soon Brockton finds himself drawn into the dangerous enterprise when the FBI recruits him to bring down the postmortem chop shop—using corpses from the Body Farm as bait in an undercover sting operation.

As Brockton struggles to play the unscrupulous role the FBI asks of him, his friend and colleague medical examiner Eddie Garcia faces a devastating injury that could end his career. Exposed to a near-lethal dose of radioactivity, Dr. Garcia has lost most of his right hand and his entire left hand. Out of options, he embarks on a desperate quest: both of his ravaged hands will be severed at the wrist and ...

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ISBN-10: 0061284769
ISBN-13: 978-0061284762
Author: Jefferson Bass
Publisher: William Morrow

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