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The Bone Yard: A Body Farm Novel (Body Farm #6)

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  2,547 ratings  ·  219 reviews
In this latest thriller from New York Times bestselling author Jefferson Bass, Dr. Bill Brockton discovers the dark side of the Sunshine state when he's called in to investigate human remains found on the grounds of a boys' reform school in Florida

The Bone Yard

The onset of summer brings predictably steamy weather to the Body Farm, Dr. Bill Brockton's human-decomposition r
ebook, 384 pages
Published March 8th 2011 by HarperCollins e-books
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Donna in Southern Maryland
Apr 20, 2011 Donna in Southern Maryland rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys a good crime story with good forensics
I have read each of the Body Farm books, but this one was especially interesting because it touches on the story of the North Florida School for Boys that is located right outside of Marianna, Florida. My Grandmother lived near there, and as a child, it was always a treat for us to drive through the grounds and look at all the Christmas Light Displays they had put up. Then several years ago I saw a report on CNN detailing horrible things that had happened tot he boys that had been held there.

Book Concierge
Dr Bill Brockton, forensic pathologist, responds to a personal call for help from a former student now working in Tallahassee. Her sister has died – reportedly a suicide – but Angie St Claire has her doubts. His quick trip to help Angie turns into a much longer assignment when a wandering hound digs up an old skull – or two.

I really like this series. Brockton is a serious scientist, and heads the Department of Anthropology at the Univ of Tennessee in Knoxville. This is the site of the (in)famou
Star (The Bibliophilic Book Blog)
Mr. Bass uses forensic anthropology and engaging writing to bring to life a fictional tale of horrific tragedy. This is a fact-based fictional novel which details the lives and deaths of young boys at a reform school in Florida. The subject matter is grim and gruesome, but is told with compassion and clarity. The desires of many that the past be laid to rest and the bodies never be found are thwarted by the discovery of bones by a playful dog and a diary by Dr. Brockton and Angie St. Clair, who ...more
This was a gruesome read. The writing team managed to suck me into the story not only on a surface level, but on a deeper emotional level. This story turned my stomach and what makes it even worse is that it is based on the Florida Reform School and the horrors that occurred there.

I went on to do some research on the White House Boys to whom the book is dedicated and found a book written by one of the former residents. I started it, but I'm not sure I can finish it. I read a lot of true crime b
Angie St. Claire is a Florida police officer taking an advanced forensic course with Dr. Brockton at the Body Farm (based on the real life Body Farm in Tennessee where cadavers are left to decompose for research purposes). On the last day of class she receives a telephone call with bad news; her sister has committed suicide. Several days later she calls Dr. Brockton and asks him to visit her because she is certain her sister was murdered and would like his expertise. Facing a long and boring sum ...more
As the book opens, Dr. Bill Brockton is teaching forensic techniques to a class visiting his “Body Farm” at the University of Tennessee. Angie St. Claire is a visiting Florida forensic analyst who leaves abruptly when she receives an urgent phone call. Later she calls Dr. Brockton and asks him for help – her sister’s death has been ruled a suicide, but she believes she was murdered by Angie’s brother-in-law. Bill and Angie form a professional bond over investigating the family death, and when a ...more
The Bone Yard drew me in from the first chapter. Not surprisingly, Jonathan Bass paints a clear and authentic picture of the research facility. After all, Dr. Bill Bass is an expert in forensic anthropology and created The Body Farm in University of Tennessee while Dr. Jon Jefferson wrote and produced two films on the facility. I learned a bit about forensic pathology, which made the book even more enjoyable.

As heroes go, Dr Bill Brockton is an enjoyable one to follow. An acknowledged expert in
Today Jefferson Bass is probably one of the most well-known names in the sub-genre of Forensic Suspense. The writing team of Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson started out by writing Carved in Bone, reached # 25 on The New York Times Best Seller list and so far have written six books in a series named Body Farm. The Bone Yard, the sixth installment in the series is scheduled to be released in paperback edition on March 27, 2012.
A Brief Summary:

Angie St. Claire, a forensic analyst with the Florida
This is not my usual type of book--I don't usually go for procedural crime/mystery novels--but I was intrigued by the reference to the Body Farm in Tennessee. It turns out that Jefferson Bass is a pair of authors, one of whom is a journalist and one of whom is the forensic anthropologist who founded the Body Farm.

The Bone Yard is a good thriller/mystery, and while it has its share of fascinating forensic science, what really got me engaged was the beautiful descriptive prose, particularly of set
Teresa in Ohio
Dr Brockton is conducting a class at the Body Farm when his student Angie from Florida gets a disturbing call and she rushes home. Dr. Brockton is looking forward to a dull summer until Angie calls requesting his help in proving her sister's death was murder. While there he gets to visit her lab and check out a skull that was found by a dog in the outskirts of Florida. After bringing it back to his lab, and learning the identity of it, he travels back to Florida for more answers. This book is wr ...more
This gets a little technical, but is a really good look at a difficult problem: reform school abuse. The authenticity and knowledge of the subject matter makes it rate a 4.0. The book is a reminder of how horrible human beings can be to other human beings and how children are abused by authority figures; the book isn't always pleasant reading because the topic is one that we wish didn't exist. The author's notes at the end, defining truth and fiction, were especially interesting. I've read all o ...more
Tracy Murray
I really want to give this three and half stars. It was a good book. It was a little slow to get in to and seemed somehow disjointed. Perhaps just because I hadn't read any of the other books in the line. I found myself a few times annoyed at what seemed to be the author trying to educate me. It's good to share knowledge and I actually learned a lot about things I didn't before. Just tried a little too hard. The writing was good, the story interesting.
These are great books. They have a punch of suspense and a lot of educational material. In this book Dr. Brockton has stumbled upon an unmarked grave site in north Florida that turns out to hold a number of bodies from a boy's reform school. The story goes in to the history of the school and the boys that were housed there and sheds a lot of unwanted light on the abuse that they suffered.
Abby Murphy
I LOVE the Body Farm series (Can't wait for #9!). All but one of them have had me by the end of the first chapter. But I must say...THIS book has got to be my favorite out of them all. Well done, guys!
It seems that the authors may have finally found their stride! No awkward and unnecessary tangential story lines, such as a pathetic romance with an inappropriately aged woman. And no forced-tension interactions with the research assistant either. This book stays focused on the case at hand, with the main character leaving Tennessee to help identify a skull dug up by a dog in Florida, only to find it's just the chilling tip of the iceberg.

This is a fictional story that is based on factual events
Matthew Williams
This was a strange book for me to read, mistakenly I read this first instead of the series in order but it had a great story of its own so not knowing the background of the characters to begin with didn't really matter. This is down to enough background story coming through in the early stages of the book to play catchup and know what's going on. There wasn't too much going on throughout the short book that's just under 300 pages but enough to keep you interested and reading till the end. I foun ...more
Bill Price
Just a quick review of authenticity and research. It could have used a bit more reality by talking to someone who lived the nightmare. It is hard to find involved persons who are not prone to exaggerations, but they are out there. I was there in 1961-62 for running away from home to escape abusive stepfathers and ended up in this hellhole. What you read about the place is all true and the young were brutalized and in some instances died. Recently 55 bodies have been unearthed, making the total 2 ...more
This book in the series was as well-written as the others, but the plot was the most upsetting to me. Unfortunately, there was a lot of truth used in the plot line - abuse at a boys "reform" school. It broke my heart to read some of the things that were done to those children. However, the authors do the topic justice, and bring the sad issue to light in the hopes that our society will never again allow ANY children to suffer such cruelty, no matter what they may have done to get themselves in t ...more
International Cat Lady
While I didn't think that this was the most well written of tales (the author's writing style is rather pedestrian and he digresses a good bit into mundanity that could well be avoided), I found this a gripping mystery. The fact that it is based (albeit somewhat loosely) on the case of the Dozier Florida School for Boys makes it far more poignant. I could've done without the side story of the suicide/murder of a character's sister, although I can see how that was needed to get the main character ...more
Dr. Bill Brockton runs 'The Body Farm', a Tennessee research facility that studies decaying corpses. At the behest of Angie St. Clair, a forensic analyst from Florida, Brockton gets involved in two cases. Angie's sister died from a shotgun blast that the authorities have ruled suicide - but Angie insists her brother-in-law pulled the trigger; and bones of adolescents who attended a long-defunct Florida reform school turn up, leading to the discovery of a secret burial ground. A hidden journal is ...more
The writing duo that comprise Jefferson Bass can normally be counted on to provide an interesting mystery and The Bone Yard is no exception. What is unusual is that most of the book takes place in Florida instead of Tennessee. Doc Brockton manages to get involved with a couple of unattached skulls that were brought home by a hound. It turns out that there had been a Florida boys' reformatory in the area that had burned down, with several fatalities, some years ago. Were the bones coming from the ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Several years ago, I sat in a crowd of people and watched a body decompose in a series of time-release photographs. In the heat of a Tennessee summer, the decomposition took about two weeks. I was both repelled and fascinated.

The presenter of the photographs? Dr. Bill Bass, founder of the University of Tennessee's Body Farm, a facility designed to study the field of forensic anthropology.

I first heard about the Body Farm in Patricia Cornwell's book of the same name, one of her Kay Scarpetta seri
Luanne Ollivier
I've been a fan of the Jefferson Bass forensic novels from the very beginning. The Bone Yard is the sixth book in this riveting series.

Recurring character Dr. Bill Brockton is the director of the Body Farm (an anthropology research facility) in Tennessee. Here's the neat part - co author Dr. Bill Bass is himself the founder of the original Body Farm and a world recognized forensic anthropologist. His writing, scenarios and plots have the unmistakable ring of truth and authenticity, which make t
Jefferson Bass, the master storyteller dazzles readers with his latest in the Body Farm series. While the reader has been taken away from Knoxville before, this is Bass’ first venture out of state, down into Florida, to help consult on a mysterious skull and a suicide that looks a lot more like murder. The reader can expect the same fast-paced action and character banter that have made the previous five books a success, but some new ideas injected into the mix to keep the story fresh and the rea ...more
Jefferson Bass' books are always a treat and this one was no exception.

After Dr. Bill Brockton attempts to help a fellow forensic analyst prove that her sister's apparent suicide was actually a homicide, Brockton inadvertantly finds himself in the middle of a case that is both horrifying and based in reality. When two adolescent skulls discovered by a dog are uncovered showing signs of severe physical abuse near the burnt ruins of a Boy's Reformatory School, Bass and his team must delve into th
Kathleen Hagen
The Bone Yard, by Jefferson Bass, B-plus, Narrated by Tom Spechschulte, Produced by Harper Audio, downloaded from

The two real-life forensic investigators from the real Body Farm, set up at the University of Tenessee to study human body decomposition, Jefferson Bass, bring us the newest Dr. Bill Brockton thriller. Dr. Brockton is asked by a former student to come to Florida to investigate the death of her sister, which everyone says is a suicide, but which she believes to be murder.
To be completely honest I started reading these books because they are co-written by Dr. Bill Bass, the founder of the famous Body Farm and the University of Tennessee. I have degrees in biological anthropology plus I love crime stuff and Dr. Bass is an amazing man. Along with his co-writer, Jon Jefferson, the Body Farm series truly brings an accurate picture of forensic anthropology to life. This is not glamorous work with fancy labs and stilettos. This is work done in various conditions in and ...more
This was another one I just picked off the shelf not knowing anything about it, but I quite enjoyed it.

I have tried Kathy Reichs (who’s supposed to be the mac daddy in this field) but I couldn’t get into her books. For me they were much too technical, like reading a text book and not a novel. The Bone Yard is much easier read while still conveying all the forensic detail you need to make this kind of book work.

The story has a good setup; Dr. Bill Brockton works at a Body Farm – one of those plac
I liked this book, the 6th in the series by the writing team of Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson ("Jefferson Bass"). I did not love it, however, because I found it completely unbelievable.

The part of the story centering around Angie and her sister was wholly unbelievable. In no way did I buy this woman's supposed grief over her sister's death. She was joking around with coworkers a day after the murder? She didn't possess any sense of urgency or believability or what would be considered true grief,
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Jefferson Bass on FACEBOOK

Jon Jefferson

Bill Bass

Jefferson Bass is the pen name of Jon Jefferson, writer, and Dr. Bill Bass, renowned forensic anthropologist. Jefferson and Bass have collaborated on 2 nonfiction books and 6 crime novels; their 7th novel, The Inquisitor's Key, will
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Other Books in the Series

Body Farm (10 books)
  • Carved in Bone (Body Farm #1)
  • Flesh and Bone (Body Farm #2)
  • The Devil's Bones (Body Farm #3)
  • Bones of Betrayal (Body Farm #4)
  • The Bone Thief (Body Farm, #5)
  • The Inquisitor's Key (Body Farm #7)
  • Jordan's Stormy Banks (Body Farm, #7.5)
  • Cut to the Bone (Body Farm, #8)
  • The Breaking Point  (Body Farm, #9)
Carved in Bone (Body Farm #1) Flesh and Bone (Body Farm #2) The Devil's Bones (Body Farm #3) Bones of Betrayal (Body Farm #4) The Bone Thief (Body Farm, #5)

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