Recently, when I went home, my Mum gave me a new book to read called ‘The Bone Yard’ by Jefferson Bass. I thought I recognised the name and quickly came across the website jeffersonbass.com and it was revealed that is a writing team consisting of Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson. Dr. Bass is a world-famous forensic anthropologist and Jon Jefferson is journalist, writer, and documentary filmmaker.
Dr. Bass is well-known for founding the research facility based at the University of Tennessee called ‘the Body Farm’. The research that is carried out investigates what happens to the human body after death and use techniques in attempt to identify time since death. Dr. Bass has authored many books and papers that provide insights into the process of decomposition. One of these include a book entitled ‘Beyond the Body Farm’ and I highly recommend it for those who would want to gain an insight into his work and research, and it’s application to real-life cases.
I was therefore very intrigued to read ‘The Bone Yard’ and I was not disappointed. I have read many of the novels by Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs, both well-known forensic anthropologists and writers, so I am not new to this genre. ‘The Bone Yard’ was just as well written and informed as both Cornwell and Reich’s books but I felt there was an even better sense of realism. This novel went even deeper and further into the methods and techniques used in forensic anthropology compared to the other authors and even provided real life examples. I recognised some of the real life situations used as I had recently read ‘Beyond the Body Farm’ and they were in there, however an author’s note at the end of the book also noted which were real and those of fiction.
I really enjoyed ‘The Bone Yard’ as I typically like this type of fiction, however, I enjoyed it even more due to the amount if detail and technical language, which was frequent but well explained. I would recommend this book to those who have an interest in forensic anthropology and have read Patricia Cornwell or Kathy Reichs, but be aware that it is a little different. It has clearly been written by authors who know their subject very well and are capable of explaining complicated methods. I am very much looking forward to getting and reading Jefferson Bass’s other fiction works, as well as Dr. Bass’s non-fiction books.