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The Bone Thief

(Body Farm #5)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  4,930 ratings  ·  283 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
Hardcover, 356 pages
Published March 23rd 2010 by William Morrow
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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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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  4,930 ratings  ·  283 reviews

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 Li'l Owl
The Bone Thief is the fifth book in the Body Farm series by Jefferson Bass.
I highly recommend that you read the books in order as there is a quite a bit of information that is carried over from the previous ones in the series.
Book one is Carved in Bone.

It does make it a little challenging to write reviews as I don't want to give away things that readers have learned from the previous books in the series so it might not make much sense.

Dr. Bill Brockton* has been called in by attorney Burt D
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Bone Thief by Jefferson Bass.

A body needs to be exhumed to make a DNA comparison for a paternity claim. Once the lid of the coffin is raised Dr. Brockton, Miranda (his assistant) and other present are astonished. Limbs had been expertly amputated from the corpse. The first step was to investigate the funeral home that handled the body prior to burial.
This discovery leads Brockton into a world he never gave second thought to. soon the FBI is at his door with a proposition...a plead for his as
Aug 04, 2014 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
Mar 27, 2011 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
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved The Bone Thief, right down to the usual graphic medical procedures! I very much like that the series educates as well as entertains. In this book, Brockton was talked into doing some undercover work when the Feds involved him in a case against an unscrupulous tissue bank. My only complaint was I felt there were too many references to past cases so there was some skimming involved for me. I found myself thinking: "I know, I know, I know! I've read the first four books!!" (The fact that I ...more
Linda Isakson
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
May 24, 2010 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
Apr 14, 2010 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
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
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
Doug Phillips
Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
From time to time, I just need to step back from my regular course of history works and true crime tales to check in with the team at the Body Farm. This book (#5 in the series) lives up to the others in the Body Farm works and reveals many personal details about Dr. Brockton that help to round out his character.

Following the Jefferson Bass team's structure of weaving mystery along with a personal connection for Brockton's character through his consulting, I now feel as though I am starting to
Janet Robel
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series has really grown on me. I've enjoyed the graphic details that make this thriller stand out. Those with weak stomachs need not apply. I think each of these books are fine on their own, but starting from the beginning will enhance the reading experience. ...more
This is truly a suspenseful story. Many different threads each separate but entwined and each fascinating, thrilling, and heart stopping.
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is another great addition to this series. Dr. Garcia's injuries from the previous book take the theme of this book in the direction of the need for donor organs and bodies. However, Dr. Brockton learns that there is a very lucrative black market in cadavers and organs. He is soon pushed into assisting the FBI in an undercover operation to apprehend someone who they suspect is procuring bodies and organs through illegal means. As always with this series, there are subplots and great characte ...more
Jul 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

So once again I've delved in the world of Dr Bill Brockton. Its a series of book that i'm always happy to pick up. This time we find our hero mixed up in the world of organ transplantation. A subject I hold dear as i'm signed up as an organ donor myself. Going into this book I was already a wear of the dark side of this medical practise. People have been known to sell organs the world over and everyone has heard the story of people waking up in baths of ice or though I feel this maybe more fict
Oct 17, 2012 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
Aug 14, 2013 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
Apr 05, 2010 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
May 02, 2010 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
Nancy Ellis
Mar 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book more than the previous one in the series. There was more "action" involving several interesting subplots that all came together in the end. At first it looks like a relatively routine case, exhuming a body for DNA in a paternity suit, but when the body is found to be missing its arms and legs, this leads to deeper involvement in the black market of cadaver parts/tissue, causing Dr. Bill Brockton to go undercover for the FBI. A very enjoyable read and as always I'm fascinated ...more
Jamie Clanin
Jun 06, 2011 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. ...more
Erin L
Jul 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
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 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.
Teresa Crawford
Sep 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Though I rated this book a 4, I really think it's more of a 3 1/2. I did enjoy the book, seemed to have a great mix of humor, fiction and scientific and biomedical facts. I'm just not 100% sold on the plot, but maybe it's just me.

Alas, it won't stop me from heading off to read the next in the series!
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. ...more
Aug 03, 2013 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!
Mary Drayer
Dec 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Oh the Body Farm series transports me into another world. ❤️Them all-
Jan 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: series-2-prime
The Bone Thief • by Jefferson Bass
(The Body Farm Series #5)

Dr. Bill Bass and his collaborator Jon Jefferson use the pen name Jefferson Bass to co-author The Body Farm novel series

Dr. Bill Brockton a forensic anthropologist, the famed director of Tennessee's Body Farm is asked to collect a DNA sample from a corpse that was buried some years ago (2003). Once the body is exhumed and the coffin opened they're surprised to see the well-dressed corpse is just a head, torso and two hands. PVC pipe insi
Trish W.
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-suspense
The fifth in the Body Farm series featuring main character Dr. Bill Brockton in his role as professor and researcher of forensic anthropology, human decomposition, and criminal investigations. The series is written collaboratively by Dr. William Bass and co-author Jon Jefferson, derived from Bass' experiences and career as founder of the University of Tennessee Anthropological Research Facility in Knoxville.

Since Goodreads didn't provide a synopsis, here's a paragraph excerpt from the Harper-Col
Paul Weiss
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
A disturbing tale of grave-robbing and black market traffic in body parts!

Author Jefferson Bass (well ... joint co-authors Bill Bass and John Jefferson, actually) have got a great thing going here! THE BONE THIEF is the sixth entry in the exciting and remarkably successful series depicting fictional forensic anthropologist Bill Brockton's adventures, research, investigations and checkered life as the director of the Body Farm. The Body Farm, as it is quaintly known, is a very real and very renow
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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

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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