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The Bone Thief: A Body Farm Novel (Body Farm #5)

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  3,872 Ratings  ·  221 Reviews
“The Body Farm novels have become bestsellers because of their attention to the fine details of forensics combined with great plot lines.”

Deseret News (Salt Lake City)


The latest Body Farm novel from New York Times bestseller Jefferson Bass, The Bone Thief is a must for fans of Patricia Cornwell and TV’s C.S.I. The hero of four previous thrillers—Carved in Bone, The Devil
ebook, 416 pages
Published March 23rd 2010 by HarperCollins e-books (first published March 1st 2010)
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Sabrina 99.9% positive Bill was the only man to sleep with her in that time frame and it's written in the previous book that she hadn't been with anyone in a…more99.9% positive Bill was the only man to sleep with her in that time frame and it's written in the previous book that she hadn't been with anyone in a while so unless she slept with another man right after Bill or while she was hiding out which we don't know as the end of this book then yes that baby is Dr. Bill Brockton's.(less)
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Community Reviews

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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
Mar 27, 2011 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Svetlana Kovalkova-McKenna
It was just not my cup of tea, I guess. Too many references to previous books. It was annoying and did not allow me to see the book as a stand alone work. Those references applied pressure to read the first books in the series. I understand some reference to previous books, but here I feel that a large part of the story was rooted in previous books in the series and the storyline kept going back to "ghosts of the past." The new storyline did not start going untill it was 1/3 way into the book. I ...more
Linda I
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
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
Aug 14, 2013 Rebeka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 05, 2010 Dorie rated it really liked it
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
May 02, 2010 J.R. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jamie Clanin
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.
Erin L
Jul 14, 2016 Erin L rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, audiobooks
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.
Jul 18, 2010 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 03, 2013 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Mary Drayer
Dec 09, 2016 Mary Drayer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh the Body Farm series transports me into another world. ❤Them all- ...more
Cornelia Wippich
Ein sehr sehr spannendes Buch aus der "Body-Farm"-Reihe. Das Autorendou schafft es perfekt forensische Fakten mit einem spannenden Plot zu verknüpfen und die Hauptfigur Dr. Bill Brockton ein weiteres mitreißendes Abenteuer erleben zu lassen. Um der Handlung folgen zu können, empfiehlt es sich zuvor die anderen Bücher der Reihe zu lesen, ist aber auch als eigenständiges Buch gut lesbar. Die Charaktere werden gut beschrieben und herausgestellt ohne langatmig für Kenner zu wirken.
In diesem Thriller
Cathy Umbehagen
Just okay. Mediocre plot. Flat characters. I was looking forward to a "forensic thriller" , but found little in the way of thrills. I caught myself shaking my head at some points in the book because the main character just did some really dumb things for a supposedly intelligent man. A disappointment all around for me.
Ann Bledsoe
Not for the faint hearted, it's an in depth look at a bone farm and how they operate to help police solve cases...
One of the more interesting books in this series. The information on tissue donations was very interesting as was the moral dilemma that Bill Brockton finds himself in. There are still some unanswered questions from the previous book. I was a little surprised to see the story line continue and to know that it should show up again in future books. Will definitely continue the series.
Mar 18, 2010 Kristin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 17, 2010 Jlaurenmc rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Heather Anne
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
Oct 17, 2012 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Gail Cooke
Mar 25, 2010 Gail Cooke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Jun 08, 2010 Denise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 03, 2016 Tjfox rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Ashley Dawn
Jul 01, 2011 Ashley Dawn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 29, 2011 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,
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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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