Dr Temperance Brenner, like her creator, Kathy Reichs, is a forensic anthropologist. She works in North Carolina, specialising in ‘decomps and floaters’. This ensures that in Flesh and Bones (Heinemann, £18.99) you get plenty of authentic sounding detail with your gore. So when a human hand is found sticking out of a drum full of asphalt at the local speedway track, Reichs carefully includes plenty of stuff about how to extract the body — start with a power saw, then move on to an air hammer — and about the drum itself: ‘the size of the drum suggested a 35-gallon...
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