Monday, March 9, 2009

By Jefferson Bass

This latest Body Farm novel from the collaborative team of Dr. Bill Bass and journalist Jon Jefferson is captivating from the first page.

The body of an unidentified, elderly man is pulled out of a frozen swimming pool in Oak ridge, Tennessee, birthplace of the Bomb.  Local police call in  Forensic Anthropologist Dr. Bill Brockton for help. 

 The body is identified as that of Dr. Leonard Novak, noted physicist who played a pivotal role in the famous Manhattan Project.  What starts as a routine autopsy to determine cause of death, turns into a nightmare when Brockton, the medical examiner, Brockton's graduate student and Detective Jim Emert are all exposed to possibly deadly levels of radiation coming from Novak's body.

While trying to come to terms with his own exposure to the radiation, Brockton accidentally meets 87-year-old Beatrice Montgomery, an utterly charming and unreliable guide to Oak Ridge and it's world shaking past.  Beatrice alternates between lucidity and dementia as she spins a story about espionage, treachery, and a long-concealed murder committed as the Manhatten Project hurtled toward its cataclysmic conclusion.

Combining fascinating history and cutting edge science, this novel weaves a dramatic story.  The book is meticulously researched and written with such surgical precision, the reader can't separate fact from fiction.  I couldn't put it down.  What do you think?

Hear the interview

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