When an Orthodox Jewish man is found shot to death in Montreal, Temperance Brennan is called in to examine the body and to figure out the puzzling damage to the corpse. Unexpectedly, a stranger slips her a photograph of a skeleton and assures her it is the key to the victim's death. Before she knows it, Tempe is involved in an international mystery as old as Jesus, and one that could lead to the rewriting of two thousand years of religious history.
As Tempe investigates, she learns that the stranger's picture shows bones uncovered during an archaeological dig. She discovers the Montreal shooting victim ran an import business that just might have been a front for the trading of black market antiquities. Along with Detective Andrew Ryan and biblical archaeologist Jake Drum, Tempe travels to Israel to probe the origins of the skeleton and the ancient crypt in which it was found. Together they make a startling discovery that raises radical questions about Christ's death and places them squarely in the middle of a swirling controversy. Could one of the tombs really be Christ's last resting place? Are the bones in the ancient ossuary the last remnants of James, the brother of Jesus, as the inscription claims? Or has someone concocted an elaborate hoax?
Using her skills as a forensic scientist, Tempe plunges into the most controversial case of her career. The stakes have never been higher -- the more she learns, the greater the danger. And though Ryan is sexier and more engaging than ever, he may not be able to protect Tempe in this place where there seem to be so many foes.
This is #8 in A Tempe Brennan Mystery.