Ballantine, Oct 21 2008, $27.00
High school troublemaker Chance Brandt is doing community service at the Bird Marsh nature conservatory near Marina Del Rey, California when he receives a weird anonymous phone call that he assumes is a silly prank. The caller insists there are corpses buried in the marsh. Soon after the eerie call, the body of a woman is found and Chance mentions the message he received.
LAPD Special case Investigator Police Lieutenant Milo Sturgis leads the investigation. They quickly find four female bodies with the right hand removed in the marsh. Realizing there is a serial killer on the loose murdering prostitutes though the last homicide does not fit the victims’ pattern as the victim is musician Selena Bass. Milo asks police psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware to help. The focus is on the Bass murder as she was teaching piano to the wealthy offspring of the Vander family with the estate manager the prime suspect due to a criminal history.
Although somewhat similar to most of the Delaware police procedurals, BONES is refreshed by the psychologist playing third fiddle on the investigation with Sturgis being the star; he provides limited assistance on the investigation. The serial killer inquiry is clever and fun to follow with a couple of strong twists. In spite of the hero playing a tertiary role in the case (although Delaware has other goings-on), fans will enjoy Jonathan Kellerman entertaining whodunit.