Monday, June 18, 2012

Uneasy Relations by Aaron J. Elkins (Book Review)

Elkins, Aaron J. Uneasy Relations. New York: Berkley Prime Crime, 2008.

Gideon Oliver is returning to Gibraltar for a reunion of those who worked on the Gibraltar Woman excavation five years earlier. Journalists have taken remarks intended for pun as truth and have stated that Gideon will be talking about something of greater import to anthropology fraud than Piltdown Man. It's not long before there are a couple of possible attempts on Gideon's life -- or were they just accidents? Two years earlier, one of their colleagues, died in a landslide on the site of their original dig cave. Another member of the group is soon dead. Gideon must convince Gibraltar's chief inspector that a crime has been committed, but it's Gideon's knowledge of forensic anthropology that will solve the case. It took me awhile to become engaged, but once the focus of the book was more on the mystery and less on anthropology with scientific discussions in the mix, I was able to care more about investigation. I have never read earlier installments in the series, and this was the 15th, so it is possible that I might have enjoyed the first part more if I'd had a better knowledge of the main characters. I do think that it works reasonably well as a stand-alone as most of the characters were developed sufficiently in the book. (3 of 5 stars)

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