New author for me and I am glad to have discovered her.
The story follows Diane Fallon a forensic anthropologist who has returned stateside after having worked for ten years for a human rights organization. Her time with the organization had her identifying mass graves to use as evidence against a ruthless dictator. But it ended in tragedy with Diane vowing never to do that sort of work again.
So she is back home, having been given the directorship of a science museum. But she isn't there too long before an old friend & lover asks her to look at a bone to see if it could possibly belong to the missing daughter of a friend.
So Diane finds herself slowing drawn back into what is really her first love while also dealing with the surprisingly vicious world of museum and academic politics.
As I mentioned above, this is a new author for me. In most of the blurbs I read there were all these comparisons to Patricia Cornwell. Frankly I soured on Patricia Cornwell a long time ago so that made me a bit leery. But then I read a review on Amazon where the reviewer mentioned the multiple plotlines, all the different supporting characters and the various character types. It sounded like a busy, sprawling sort of mystery, peopled with an interesting assortment of characters -- just the kind of story I like sometimes. So I dug in.
And I am glad I did. As the reviewer on Amazon stated, there is a lot going on. But in a very good, never lets the story get stale, way. There are multiple plotlines -- there is a murder mystery that is the main A plot. There is also the mystery of the bones, who are they and are they related to the main murder mystery? And if so how? There is a politics mystery behind the museum. People on the board want Diane to sell but why? And is that related to the murder mystery? There is Diane's background and what happened before she came to take over the museum. And finally there are all the various personalities winding through the narrative and which of the plotlines they belong to -- the musicians who become interns, the grad students, the professors who are constantly bugging her for office space, the sullen second in command, the board members of the museum, the police etc. etc.
All in all I was kept highly entertained as I read the book and, wonderfully, did not guess the guilty party at all.
I really liked Diane as a protagonist. She reads as approachable, grounded and very human. And she also has a few moments where she is a total hardass. There are moments where we are given science-fact information but they aren't intrusive.
I am looking forward to reading more in the series.