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Originally published Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 11:19 AM

'Flash and Bones': Kathy Reichs writes a NASCAR mystery

Kathy Reichs' new thriller "Flash and Bones" is a quick and compelling read, set in the world of NASCAR racing.

The Associated Press

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Kathy Reichs delivers another stellar effort in her Dr. Temperance Brennan forensic series with "Flash and Bones" (Scribner, 228 pp., $26.99).

The Charlotte Motor Speedway is known for NASCAR racing, but it becomes the site of a homicide investigation when a barrel of asphalt containing a body is discovered near the track.

Brennan examines the bones, and when the autopsy reveals the cause of death, the FBI is at her doorstep. Soon the remains are gone and cremated.

A NASCAR pit-crew member approaches Brennan with a question about the body. His sister and her militia extremist boyfriend disappeared 12 years ago.

Could the remains found in the barrel be either one of them? The FBI was involved in the initial investigation, but dropped it a few weeks later.

Brennan can never let a mystery go unsolved, so she risks her career, the wrath of the FBI — and her life — to get answers.

Reichs knows what her readers like, and she has another hit with "Flash and Bones." Knowledge of the earlier books in the series isn't a requirement to enjoy this thriller, an intriguing puzzle that reads like a mixture of Agatha Christie and "CSI."

Reichs is a producer of the TV series "Bones," and fans of the hit Fox show are among those drawn to her books. Overall, "Flash and Bones" is a quick and compelling read that will appeal to anyone who likes reading forensic thrillers.

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