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Cut to the Bone

(Body Farm #8)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  3,363 ratings  ·  356 reviews
Jefferson Bass’s Cut to the Bone, the long-awaited prequel to his New York Times bestselling mystery series, turns the clock back to reveal the Body Farm's creation—and Dr. Bill Brockton's deadly duel with a serial killer.

In the summer of 1992, Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton and Tennessee Senator Albert Gore begin their long-shot campaign to win the White House. In the swe
Paperback, 512 pages
Published June 24th 2014 by Harper (first published September 24th 2013)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  3,363 ratings  ·  356 reviews

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Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-reads
Dr. Bill Brockton is a forensic anthropologist teaching at a Tennessee university. He also consults on criminal cases using his expertise in forensics to help local authorities. In this book the bodies are piling up and strangely there is something familiar about the crime scenes. When another body is found in a recreation of a crime scene Dr. Brockton investigated years before he realizes that not only is there a serial killer at work, but also this is a serial killer who possibly has a persona ...more
Becky Hutchison
Oct 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes suspense, mysteries, forensic science, anthropology, archaeology, good storytelling
Shelves: mystery
CUT TO THE BONE is a suspenseful, entertaining prequel to the successful BODY FARM MYSTERY SERIES written by Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson. Bass is the real-life forensic anthropologist, Anthropology Department chairman, and Body Farm director upon whom the book's protagonist, Dr. Bill Brockton, is based. CUT TO THE BONE tells a fictional story of the vision and development of the real Body Farm at the University of Tennessee (UT) and parallels a suspenseful serial murder mystery. Though the s ...more
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read my full review:

My opinion: OK...gotta preface this review with saying I am a HUGE fan of the writing duo of Jefferson Bass. Not quite an Annie Wilkes level of fan, but pretty dang close. I was hooked with the first book in the series and have just gotten more sucked in with each new release.

Cut to the Bone is no different. Incredibly strong writing skills partnered with dynamic, personable characters and a rockin', twisted storyline make this a not-to-be missed read. '
Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cut to the Bone by Jefferson Bass.

A prostitute is found murdered in a most heinous way and then another murder victim is discovered and another. Dr. Bill Brockton of the anthropology dept at Tennessee University feels more than the usual anxiety over these murders. Yes they appear to be committed by the same person...a serial murderer. Yes these atrocities are in in the extreme. Yet there is more so much more. Dr. Brockton realizes that these murders were committed by a shadow from the past. A s
Nov 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've enjoyed the Body Farm series, and I especially liked this book. Might be the best of the series. ...more
Oct 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review Copy Provided by Author via Sisterhood of the Traveling Book

After a bit of a disappointing read in the previous book in the series, I have to admit that I was a bit scared to pick up this one. But I was pleasantly surprised. This book took the reader back in time, a time when Dr Brockton’s wife is still alive (for those who have read the series, you know how that plays out) and a time when his relationship with his son was less fractured/ more like what you would expect a father son relat
Mar 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jefferson Bass presents their latest novel, full of as much excitement and thrill as any other. Set as a prequel in 1992, it meets the rigourous standards needed by not contradicting the later books in the series and lays wonderful groundwork for character development. When Bill Brockton begins investigating a murder along a mountainous hillside, he is reminded of an old case he worked, but chalks it up to coincidence. Meanwhile, a serial killer is on the loose, killing prostitutes and leaving t ...more
Mar 25, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like series & characters, some cussing & detailed gore, which don't enhance the exciting plots. Can recommend to those whose tastes run to such. ...more
Gloria Cangahuala
"Cut to the Bone" is the first Jefferson Bass novel I've ever read. What an introduction to a great writing team! In the tradition of other forensic thriller novelists like Kathy Reichs, Jefferson Bass combines a fascinating premise, interesting cast of characters, and skilled storytelling to produce a riveting novel. What makes "Cut to the Bone" different from other forensic thrillers is that it is not so much a mystery as it is a puzzle. From the start, the reader knows who the killer is; what ...more
May 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I won this book from Goodreads First Reads.

Cut to the Bone is a prequal to the Body Farm series from Jefferson Bass. Since it's part of a series I don't want to get into too much detail in case it may spoil other books but the story takes place back in 1992 and features Dr. Bill Brockton who wants to begin his body farm to study the forensic science of decomposing bodies to help the police solve murders. Dr. Brockton works cases with the local authorities quite often getting called to crime sce
May 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the ending. Moved this book from a 4* to a 5 *. I will certainly be reading more from this author. I have been meaning to read him for a year or more.
Strange that I should choose this book to read as the first book by this author. It is considered a prequel to the series even though it was written eight books after the first book. After reading the synopsis for the book, I though it would be a fairly good read. I was not disappointed. Once I started reading I found myself totally engrossed in the book. Finding out it was somewhat about the origins of "the body farm" only served to further engage my interest. Being a fan also of the writings o ...more
Robin Overman
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great book kept me excited to read it I’m getting the others now... awesome read
Carol Sandford
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
Another excellent thriller from Jefferson Bass, although I must admit, I wouldn't like to be connected to this Dr B in any way. He sure does bring bad luck to his loved ones lol! ...more
If you are at all squeamish at all don't read this book. It's over the top descriptive of dead bodies, the crimes committed against women and into the mind of the killer who also tortures animals in detail.

So this is a prequel to the rest of the series. It's full of making smart men sound like red neck idiot hillbillies and an average man into a superman of a detective even though he is not. The time line of some of the research is also off by a decade or so. It is full of no mystery because one
Terri Powers
This was an easy-reading, interesting enough, crime thriller written by Jon Jefferson and Dr. Bill Bass. Part of The Body Farm collection, this story focuses on Dr. Bill Brockton, an anthropologist at the University of Tennessee, who assists with forensic fieldwork when he’s not teaching classes. Sheriff Jim Cotterell, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agent Wellington Harrison Meffert II, Bubba Hardknot, to most people, Tyler Wainwright, Brockton’s graduate assistant, and Detective Kitteredge r ...more
Apr 02, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I wish I liked this book - I wanted to like it, because I like the idea of the series, but the last several I've read have just been too graphic for me. This book is different from the rest of the series in that it changes perspectives between the various characters, which I didn't find compelling. I found myself skimming and skipping vast swaths because I was disgusted or bored. The forensics parts were interesting, as they always are, but the rest of it feels almost gratuitous.

I think my prob
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes, I just hate books like this! I have read Jefferson Bass books for years, and I really enjoy them for the most part. But though this book was a prequel it was written recently, and it is a much rougher to read than the earlier books were. There is a a lot more violence, sex, and just plain uncomfortable situations in the book. Even though I enjoy reading mysteries and police procedurals...I don't usually want all the detail with the book. This was a bit more than I could handle. That's ...more
DNF @ 25%: This is most definitely a “me thing”. First, I’m a quarter of the way through and I’m surprisingly bored. Second, and more important for me, is that the chapters alternate between the main investigator/professor Dr. Brockton’s and the killer’s point of views. I do not like when books focus so much on the killer and their thoughts and actions; I’d rather see the investigation solely through the eyes of the investigators. That’s totally a personal preference. There’s nothing wrong with ...more
Nancy Ellis
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The prequel to the series, this introduces Dr. Bill Brockton and tells the story of the beginning of the Body Farm at the University of Tennessee. Actually, as he tells us at the end, there are several alterations which were necessary, but basically it's the beginning of the story. I thought it got off to a slow start, but once the action started, it really kept rolling! About halfway through, I couldn't put the book down. A serial killer with a vendetta against Dr. Bill carries out his nefariou ...more
Jan 27, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susannah Carleton
2 1/2 stars. Interesting story that includes the start of the Body Farm, as well as some of Bill Brockton’s early cases. The story is set in the fall of 1991 and January of 1982, which were not the dates that correspond to the initial Body Farm study that the book describes.

The drawback to this book was the excessive number of points of view, and the authors’ use of a different point of view in each chapter.

This is the worst—and most poorly written—story in the series thus far. Hopefully, subse
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't like this book. I didn't like the story and there was too much violence and too much gore. Also, it seems that there was a chronological problem in the story line. The protagonist mentioned a 2 year old case about a woman's body that was found in the woods (body stuck to a tree that has been dragged by animals, stolen hyoid bone, etc.). This case actually happened in one of the previous books, which makes it in the future ; when the main character's wife was dead and his son was an adul ...more
Becca Rose
I won an ARC of this book through Goodreads giveaways.

I loved this book it was amazing! The story had me hooked from the beginning and I didn't want to put this book down. You get to see multiple POV's including the POV of the serial killer and even his victims. Because of the different perspectives you feel like you're there. It was pretty crazy and intense. This was the first Body Farm novel that I've read but it surely won't be the last!
Vicki Elia
Audiobook Review
3 1/2 Stars

In this prequel to the series set in 1992 Tennessee, Dr. Bill Brockton conceives of 'The Body Farm' during a hunt for a serial killer. The story is intriguing, and it's interesting that it's only been a little over 20 years ago that modern-day forensics was born. What made this story less than sterling were two things: the narration, and the religious substance that permeates the culture and the plot. It was, however, a worthwhile read.
Jul 17, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Coming to the series late I had the option to start with book #8 which is the prequel for the series.
Other set up the series, nothing too deep into the body farm or the characters. And as a mystery I give a D-. To those who read this after the first seven you must have given some thought to why and will you read the next.
I'll experience book number one now.
Annette M Rager
Jul 27, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy a good mystery. Not much for animal abuse in a book. Only read to chapter 2 where Bass goes into great detail about feeding a live rabbit to a snake. Put book down, will not finish reading.
I really enjoyed this one and I LOVE how Drs. Jefferson and Bass set it in the past. It was great meeting the young(er) Dr. B.
Cathy Dreyfus
Apr 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Prequel...I haven't read the rest of the series yet but I am really interested now. ...more
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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

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

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