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The Bone Thief (Body Farm #5)

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  3,651 Ratings  ·  209 Reviews
New York Times bestselling author Jefferson Bass delivers an authentic and knuckle-biting thriller in which forensic anthropologist Dr. Bill Brockton must confront a crime of unimaginable proportions on his own doorstep. Find out why Booklist says, "Fans of forensic fiction will want to add this author to their list of favorites."

The Bone Thief

Dr. Bill Brockton has been ca
Hardcover, 356 pages
Published March 23rd 2010 by William Morrow (first published March 1st 2010)
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Jan 09, 2011 Kristin rated it it was amazing
I have read every book in this series and strongly hoped this one was better than the last (Bones of Betrayal) because I found that one to be a real letdown after the others were so good. With The Bone Thief, the team of Jefferson Bass is back on its game. Drawing from current topics, this book finds Professor Bill Brockton involved in an investigation into black market dealings of cadaver body parts after a simple request for a DNA sample for a paternity suit results in Brockton discovering tha ...more
Gail Cooke
Mar 25, 2010 Gail Cooke rated it really liked it

To date the topnotch team of Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson writing as Jefferson Bass has brought us a number of forensic thrillers, Bones Of Betrayal (2009), The Devil's Bones (2008), Flesh and Bone (2007). Each is solidly based on accurate forensic science, well plotted, and chillingly rendered. Precisely what readers would come to expect from Bass who is known throughout the world for his expertise as a forensic anthropologist and founder of the University of Tennessee's Body Farm. When team
Apr 09, 2010 Dorie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
The writing team of Jefferson Bass has yet to disappoint me with any of their books, and this one was really good as well. The plot centered around black market body parts and human tissue research, which was a fascinating subject to explore. Bill Brockton is roped into assisting with a sting operation with the FBI, and risks alienating Miranda, his young assistant and good friend. For some reason, even though I've read a lot of the books Bass has set at "The Body Farm", this one really made me ...more
Apr 26, 2010 Samantha rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the first couple Jefferson Bass novels however the last two have been pretty unbelievable. Not sure how realistic the plot is and therefore it makes me wonder about the other parts of it. I feel like the characters are changing way too much and way too fast in this series. Some of them are doing things that I never dreamed they would do or say. I thought the plot about the selling of human body parts was going to be interesting. However it became unbelievable very quickly. I'm n ...more
Jun 02, 2010 J.R. rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries

A routine endeavor to recover DNA from a corpse reveals the body has been desecrated and plunges Dr. Bill Brockton into a case which poses both personal danger and a moral dilemma for the forensic anthropologist.

Brockton agrees to go undercover for the FBI in a sting operation to stop grave robbers engaged in a black market body parts scheme. His secret involvement poses a rift with Miranda Lovelady, his graduate assistant and self-appointed social conscience, as well as threat to his life.

At th
May 27, 2010 Michael rated it liked it
The latest "Body Farm" novel, based on the real-world program at the University of Tennessee, finds the series take a slight change of pace. Dr. Bill Brockton is brought in to consult on a paternity case, only to find when the body in question is exhumed that the arms are missing, replaced by PVC pipe.

The investigation leads to Brockon's involvement with an FBI sting center on a businessman who purchases bodies for various medical conferences and to sell on the black market.

Meanwhile, Brockton
Jun 08, 2010 Denise rated it liked it
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid forensic science novel..., May 26, 2010 This review is from: The Bone Thief: A Body Farm Novel (Hardcover) This fifth book in the Body Farm series was fairly interesting and moved quickly though a long drawn out scene at the end of the book seemed unnecessary and pointless. Suffice to say that before starting this one, you should have read the other 4 previous novels in the series in order to completely understand the characters and the plot. In this work of fiction base ...more
This is the fifth installment of the Body Farm novels that the duo Dr. Bill Bass (a real life world renowned forensic anthropologist who founded the Body Farm in Tennessee) and Jon Jefferson (veteran writer) have published. The best way to describe the Body Farm novels is to compare them to my favorite crime/drama television shows: CSI meets Criminal Minds meets Bones all rolled into one satisfying and unpredictable read. The Bone Thief was no exception.

When Dr. Bill Brockton is called upon to t
Jul 28, 2010 Erin rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Another solid Body Farm Novel. Again, the forensics are top notch but aspects of the story are a bit cheesy. The subplot with his former love Isabella seems forced. Even his relationship with his grad student Miranda seems a bit fake in this book. All in all, though, I enjoyed it because of the forensics and the Knoxville backdrop.
Sep 17, 2010 Jlaurenmc rated it really liked it
The Bone Thief Continues the Body Farm Books
Body Farm founder Dr. Bill Bass continues his semi-autobiographical mystery series with a fifth entry, The Bone Thief. He and his writing partner Jon Jefferson form the team known as Jefferson Bass, and together they bring life to fictional forensic anthropologist Dr. Bill Brockton. Readers following the series have seen Brockton through good times and bad. Most recently Brockton lost yet another love interest when she fled after her heinous crimes wer
Jan C
Oct 12, 2012 Jan C rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, south, 2012
I generally enjoy the Bone Farm series. There were parts of this that were a little disturbing. For one thing, it is not a very good idea to read about autopsies on public transportation.

And, at a certain point, it gave me bad dreams one night so I had to put it down for a while. I think it was all that talk about substituting body parts. Because that doesn't happen to me very often. Where something I have read during the day so stayed with me that it affected my dreams at night.

And so I was re
Mar 27, 2011 Patricia rated it really liked it
When Burton DeVreiss, Attorney, contacted Dr. Bill Brockton it was to inform Brockton that he had obtained an order to exhume the body of Trey Willoughby to obtain a DNA sample to be used as proof of paternity. Dr. Brockton and his assistant Miranda were shocked when the body was exhumed and the silk suit worn by the deceased was cut open. Trey Willoughby’s arms had been removed and the sleeves filled with white PVC pipe.

This is just one of the many puzzles presented by this fifth book in the se
Jamie Clanin
Jun 21, 2011 Jamie Clanin rated it liked it
Well written with plenty of action and medical detail, and connected back nicely to the previous book. At the same time, the conclusion seemed rushed. The buildup took a little while, but then the pacing picked up and several major events happened all at once right at the end.I would have liked a little more, so the writing and story must have been good enough to keep me involved. Much better than the first one I read, and definitely a series I'll stick with.
Ashley Dawn
Jul 20, 2011 Ashley Dawn rated it really liked it
Dr. Bill Brockton runs the ‘Body Farm’ where donated bodies are laid out in plots, carefully kept track of by his assistant and studied for different affects on decomposition. Burt DeVriess, ‘Grease’, a defense attorney calls Dr. Brockton to examine a body that is being exhumed for a paternity case. The only problem is, when the body is exhumed, it is obviously missing some pieces!

Black market body parts are a big business. At least that is what the FBI is using to convince Dr. Brockton to go un
Author’s Note: Fact and Fiction, “’This book is a work of fiction,’ Reads the disclaimer in the front of this novel. ‘Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.’ ‘That very disclaimer itself is part fiction: Although many characters and most plot threads in the The Bone Thief are woven entirely out of thin air, this book has many bases in scientific and biomedical fact. Within this subject area, truth rivals or surpasses fiction in ways that are mostly ...more
May 04, 2012 Bea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series (A Body Farm Novel) is due to become another of my favorite series if Jefferson Bass keeps up the good writing.

The setting is in Knoxville Tennessee, an area that I am familiar with. The story line involves forensic pathology, a topic of interest to me. And, the book is labelled SUSPENSE, a genre I enjoy. would be surprising if I did not like this book.

The writing team of Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson have created an interesting story. Dr. Bill Brockton runs the body farm,
Jun 06, 2012 Allison rated it it was ok
Just to clarify, I listened to the playaway audiobook at work. The thick accents become tiresome after listening to it for hours. I enjoyed this book overall. The details of the scientific aspects were interesting to me. The main character seems to find solace in his scientific facts. Although I found the extreme detail of everything he ate throughout the entire book to be odd. I don't know why someone would dedicate that much time to describing what his son was eating at Panera and describing h ...more
Feb 05, 2013 Matt rated it it was amazing
Jefferson Bass is blessed with the ability to write a concise novel that explores numerous areas within the medical field and keep things interesting enough to have readers understand the process. Those who rave over BONES (or Kathy Reichs books) or even the Patricia Cornwell series will surely lap up this book, the fifth installment in the series which has kept my attention from the word, GO! Bass is able to always keep the material fresh (pardon the pun) and new, while still stringing the stor ...more
Linda I
Nov 10, 2012 Linda I rated it it was ok
The hardest part about finding good crime thrillers for someone who has a strong science foundation and a penchant for reading well-written crime novels is having to wade through the mediocre to find those rare diamonds (well, I guess the same can be true for much of life, like dating). Unfortunately, this is another one of those oh-hum, mass market appeal, watered-down forensics story. Bummer. The storyline felt sloppy, loose and totally predictable. Well, predictable except for one minor revel ...more
Aug 04, 2013 Heather rated it really liked it
Poor Dr. Brockton - always getting himself in a pickle. I sure do like these books. Humor, emotion, mystery, science-y stuff - I enjoy it all. Now, on to the next one!
Aug 20, 2013 Rebeka rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Okay, I'll start off with complete honesty... I ALMOST gave this book only three stars. The reconciliation between Brockton and his son felt so forced and contrived, with the conflict never really adequately explained, I was left shaking my head in dismay. And the plot twist at the end about the relationship between the two main villains... was that really necessary? Honestly... it was just plain weird. I don't even know why that was included.
That being said, I still loved this book. I learn so
May 21, 2015 Matthew rated it really liked it
I've enjoyed this series in the past and this one was no different in that aspect. However, it had the potential to be a great five star read for me but the ending just killed my enthusiasm. The plot was great throughout the book and definitely kept my attention but near the end, it felt like the author realized that it was time to wrap things up and just threw the ending together. And what about the little side plot that get sprinkled throughout the book, only to be swept aside and put out of m ...more
Ronald Howell
Oct 25, 2016 Ronald Howell rated it really liked it
Another quickie from Jefferson Bass. This time Dr. Brockton helps the FBI.
May 02, 2015 Michelle rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 17, 2016 Tjfox rated it liked it
Not really sure what the difference is, but I’m not loving these books as much as I did when I first started the series. There is still a lot to like, but there is also a lot that I’ve started having to sort of skim through.

I do love to learn something new when I read a book, but this book, like the last one, seems more like an academic text rather than a fiction novel in a lot of places. It is one thing to have some specifics included when addressing a new topic, but I don’t need pages and page
Heather Anne
Jun 16, 2016 Heather Anne rated it liked it
The concept of the Bone Thief was extremely intriguing because I always love it when professionals either assist in or write books that reveal the realities of their field. Thanks to Dr. Bass the story did not falter when it came down to the medical accuracy of the story. Based off of that this book would have truly hit the mark, however, the plot sequence and writing style left this book short for my standards.
As the story progresses it becomes very apparent that there are multiple story lines
Erin L
Jul 14, 2016 Erin L rated it really liked it
Review of the audiobook

This is the first of the series that I've read, but it's the 5th in the series. A lot of mention is made of previous events. The reader is given enough information to follow along, but I would have benefited from reading in order rather than starting here.

That said, I enjoyed this book. The characters are interesting, the mystery intriguing and the technical details utterly fascinating.
Sep 16, 2016 Natalie added it
Shelves: did-not-finish
My first Jefferson Bass experience and definitely MY LAST. A typical excerpt...

Sir Galahad's was closed, too, so we ended up buying coffee from a Starbucks and and doughnuts from a Krispy Kreme counter. I suspected hat the Krispy Kremes were not what had sustained Sir Galahad on his search for the Grail, but they did taste divine: warm, cloudlike puffs of dough, deep-fried to airy perfection, then varnished with a crisp, delicate sugar glaze. "That's tasty," I marveled. "That would be worth a se
Gita Madhu
Sep 21, 2016 Gita Madhu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
I can't quite remember how it went but I enjoyed it.

As a fan of Bones I tend to look for crime fiction based on forensics.

These days, books are written and published in large numbers. Yet there are complaints that people don’t read enough.

Could be it’s not that people have, overnight, developed a reluctance to read. Could be a lot of what’s being published is frankly bad writing?

So what should constitute good writing, given that the aim of such a style is to cause the reader to read, to read t
Sep 26, 2016 Beth rated it really liked it
This is the fifth Body Farm novel by the team of Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson and it is clear that they have figured out how to write a darn good story.

Taking place on the campus of UNC where Dr. Bass really does manage a "farm" of dead, decomposing bodies, The Bone Thief's Dr. Bill Brockton investigates the body part black market (including lots of real information that is gruesome). Asked to be part of an FBI sting, Brockton is both saddened by its required duplicity and endangered by its t
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Question about Isabella 2 27 Aug 12, 2014 01:55PM  
  • Beyond the Body Farm: A Legendary Bone Detective Explores Murders, Mysteries, and the Revolution in Forensic Science
  • Dead Guilty (Diane Fallon Forensic Investigation, #2)
  • The Human Bone Manual
  • Trail Of Blood (Theresa MacLean #3)
  • Introduction to Forensic Anthropology
  • Thief of Hearts (Body of Evidence, #2)
  • Mortal Evidence: The Forensics Behind Nine Shocking Cases
  • Capitol Betrayal (Ben Kincaid, #18)
  • The Calling of the Grave (David Hunter, #4)
  • Malicious Intent (Dr. Anya Crichton, #1)
  • The Immortals (Taylor Jackson, #5)
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
More about Jefferson Bass...

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 Yard (Body Farm, #6)
  • The Inquisitor's Key (Body Farm #7)
  • Cut to the Bone (Body Farm, #8)
  • The Breaking Point  (Body Farm, #9)
  • Without Mercy (Body Farm, #10)

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