The murder of a Jewish businessman starts forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan on a strange case that will take her from Montreal to Israel. Following the autopsy of Avram Ferris, a stranger hands Tempe a photo of a skeleton.

The picture purportedly dates from 1963, and when Tempe shows it to her old friend, biblical archeologist Jake Drum, he is electrified. The bones may be those missing from the legendary Masada site. Tempe locates the long - hidden skeleton, which testing shows dates back 2,000 years.

But Jake has his suspicions about the bones, and if what he suspects is true, the news could cause a firestorm among major religions of the world. Jake takes Tempe to a tomb that he suspects is a final resting place of Jesus' family, and there they are attacked and the ancient bones stolen. Whose bones are they and why are people willing to kill to keep the secret?

Tempe has really gotten herself into a mess this time. Reichs' fascinating and intricate plotlines make her stories both highly enjoyable and frighteningly possible. (Jun., 368 pp., $25.00)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith