On the campus of the University of Tennessee lies a patch of ground unlike any in the world. The "Body Farm" is a place where human corpses are left to the elements, and every manner of decay is fully explored -- for the sake of science and the cause of justice. The scientist who created the Body Farm has broken cold cases and revolutionized forensics, and now, in this heart-stopping novel, he spins an astonishing tale inspired by his own experiences.
A woman's corpse lies hidden in a cave in the mountains of East Tennessee. Undiscovered for thirty years, her body has been transformed by the cave's chemistry into a near-perfect mummy -- one that discloses an explosive secret to renowned anthropologist Bill Brockton. Dr. Brockton has spent his career surrounded by death and decay at the Body Farm, but even he is baffled by this case unfolding in a unique environment where nothing is quite what it seems.
The surreal setting is Cooke County, a remote mountain community that's clannish, insular, and distrustful of outsiders. The heartbreaking discovery of the young woman's corpse reopens old wounds and rekindles feuds dating back decades. The county's powerful and uncooperative sheriff and his inept deputy threaten to derail Brockton's investigation altogether. So do Brockton's other nemeses: his lingering guilt over the death of his wife, and the fury of a medical examiner whom Brockton dares to oppose in court.
Carved in Bone is a richly atmospheric, superbly suspenseful, and magnificently rendered trip into the world of forensic science, the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, and the dark passageways of the human psyche. Full of vivid characters and startling twists and turns, this thrilling novel heralds the debut of a major new voice in crime fiction -- and an unforgettable work from the hand of a scientific legend.
About the Author
Jefferson Bass is the writing team of Jon Jefferson and Dr. Bill Bass. Dr. Bass, a world-renowned forensic anthropologist, is the creator of the University of Tennessee's Anthropology Research Facility, widely known as the Body Farm. He is the author or coauthor of more than two hundred scientific publications, as well as a critically acclaimed memoir about his career at the Body Farm, Death's Acre. Dr. Bass is also a dedicated teacher, honored as U.S. Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Jon Jefferson is a veteran journalist, writer, and documentary filmmaker. His writings have been published in the New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today, and Popular Science and broadcast on National Public Radio. The coauthor of Death's Acre, he is also the writer and producer of two highly rated National Geographic documentaries about the Body Farm.
“CARVED IN BONE brims with terrific forensic detail...the real deal.”
-Kathy Reichs, New York Times bestselling author
“A superb mystery—well-plotted, filled with memorable characters, based on accurate forensic science.”
“Southern-fried forensics. Nothing too fancy, but it does taste good going down.”
“[A] knockout...full of rich and sometimes stomach-turning forensic detail.”
-Lansing State Journal
“Fantastic forensic detail and an engaging hero … an authoritative, compelling new voice to the forensic mystery.”
-Jeff Abbott, USA Today bestselling author of PANIC
“Offers terrific forensic details and the science of solving cold cases. It is electrifying, provocative and full of surprises.”
-Dr. Henry Lee, forensic criminologist and author of CRACKING CASES and HENRY LEE'S CRIME SCENE HANDBOOK
“Percolates with wit, gentility, and scientific savoir-faire ... alive with verve and charm...engrossingly entertaining.”
-James Starrs, Attorney and Author, A VOICE FOR THE DEAD
“Move over, Kathy Reichs. The Sherlock Holmes for bones has arrived.”
-Katherine Ramsland, Author of The Forensic Science of C.S.I.
“A gripping murder mystery.”
-Emily A. Craig, Ph.D., Kentucky State Forensic Anthropologist and author of TEASING SECRETS FROM THE DEAD
“CARVED IN BONE introduces a captivating protagonist and is full of obscure, fascinating forensics. [A] fine new talent.”
-Stephen White, New York Times bestselling author of MISSING PERSONS
“[F]ascinating...a delightful course in “how to examine a skeleton,” and the intrigues of the Tennessee moonshine backwoods!”
-Michael M. Baden, M.D., author of Remains Silent and former Chief Medical Examiner, New York City
“[A] unique corpse, solid science, quirky humor and a lovable protagonist.”