What is the body farm? It is a research facility at the University of Tennessee where students who are studying forensics can learn about the various stages of decomposition of bodies. There are hundreds of corpses in various states of disrepair. Some bodies are above ground and others are buried.
Angie St. Claire, a forensic analyst with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, asks Dr. Brockton who is in charge of the body farm for help. Angie’s sister has died and the death has been ruled a suicide. Angie does not believe her sister committed suicide. Her belief is that her sister was murdered and probably by her own husband. To add fuel to the fire, the husband did not waste any time burying Angie’s sister. In fact, she was not embalmed. The difficult part is that Angie has to prove her accusations.
Dr. Brockton agrees to help Angie. He also believes that Angie’s sister was murdered because suicide by shotgun is rare, especially among women. As he is beginning his investigation into Angie’s sister’s death, some strange things start to happen. A dog has found not one but two sculls which end up belonging to adolescents. These sculls also appear to contain fractures. Their search to identify the victims leads them to the North Florida Boy’s Reformatory. A diary, apparently written by one of the students, has been found and claimed that one wrong move could land a boy in the Bone Yard. As Dr. Brockton continues his investigation, he finds opposition from the local Sheriff. Why? What is the Sheriff hiding?
Are Angie and Dr. Brockton able to find the answers that will explain how her sister really died? What is going on with the second mystery involving the sculls?
The writing team of Jefferson Bass is never short on details regarding the body farm. Some of the details will make you cringe as you are reading this book. The Bone Yard involves a mystery within a mystery. How is that for a double treat? Most of the action happens beforehand but the exciting part is following Dr. Brockton and watching him using his expertise in order to put all the pieces of the puzzle together to find the truth. The forensic details make for an interesting read as well as one that is also educational for the reader. I have enjoyed several of the books written by the team of Jefferson Bass. The Bone Yard really held my attention and I could not wait to read the next chapter. If you enjoy investigations involving forensics, The Bone Yard is a must read.