Thursday, March 20, 2008

Jefferson Bass "Body Farm" Series

The pen name Jefferson Bass is actually based off of the names of the co-writers for this series.

Jon Jefferson is a journalist, writer and documentary film maker. The only film of his I was able to discover on IMDB was "Biography of a Corpse," which makes sense, when you consider who his co-author is.

Bill Bass is the creator of the University of Tennessee's Forensic Anthropology Center, more popularly known as The Body Farm. Being the sick and twisted person I am , I love this idea and think Dr. Bass must be a genius. This center tracks the changes in decomposition of human remains in various conditions. Does a body stored in the trunk of a car have the same level of insect activity as one that is houses in an enclosed car? The people at the body farm can answer that for you! You may ask, where do they get the bodies for these studies? Why through donations, of course. Not sure if you want to be cremated or burried. Donation can be an option you may want to explore. I don't think I am game for that though.

The series features Dr. Bill Brockton as the founder of the Body Farm. A professor and researcher, he of course, stumbles onto various plots and issues.

This is taken from the book jacket of the first book, Carved in Bone:"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."

This was a good a quick read. I learned something new...always a bonus AND the sequel came out not too long after I discovered the first book.

Flesh and Bone follows the growing romance in Dr. Brockton's life as well as a heinous crime in which he is the prime suspect. A fast and ferocious read.

Devil's Bones didn't grab me quite as quickly and no where near as hard. Dr. Brockton is back, licking his wounds from book 2. He is working on two cases, plus still dealing with the fallout of the issues from Flesh and Bone. The authors seem to be over-extending themselves, and instead of doing one story really well, they do three in a rather lack luster manner. Not only are there three cases, but they are entirely separate. Oh can't have everything.

The pace picked up about half way through, and while I am already a fan, I will confess, if this had been my introduction to the series, I would have put it aside after a few chapters.

I will read the next book, and hope that the Jefferson Bass writing team are better coordinated next time.

All that said, I would still recommend the book for people that are growing tired of the angst ridden Kay Scarpetta series.

No comments: