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January Feature: Robin Burcell's THE BONE CHAMBER

[ Edited ]

 

Please welcome ROBIN BURCELL to B&N's Mystery Book Club!

 

Bone Chamber : A Sydney Fitzpatrick Mystery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis

 

Special Agent Sydney Fitzpatrick, forensic artist to the FBI, returns to Quantico to help identify a brutally murdered young woman. But when Sydney’s friend and colleague, the forensic anthropologist who assisted her, is killed in a hit-and-run, a covert government team takes over the investigation, and Sydney is suddenly removed from the case. Certain her friend’s murder is connected to the first case, Sydney investigates. She discovers that the first victim was not only an archeological student, but also the daughter of the ambassador to the Holy See. Just before she was killed, the ambassador’s daughter claimed to have found one of three keys that just might lead to a map of the long lost Templar treasure. Sydney’s search for answers takes her to the streets of Rome, and into the underground crypts and caverns in Naples, one step ahead of a ruthless killer. Time is running out for Sydney as a fellow government agent is kidnapped. And the ransom demanded? The Templar map.

Publishers Weekly

Burcell's second novel to feature FBI forensic artist Sydney Fitzpatrick (after 2008's Face of a Killer) offers plenty of action, if not the freshest ideas. After Fitzpatrick helps identify the faceless corpse of a young woman as the daughter of the U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, Fitzpatrick decides to follow mysterious, predictably gruff covert government agent Zach Griffin to Rome. There they search for a “third key,” alluded to by a forensic anthropologist friend and colleague recently killed in a hit-and-run accident. Fitzpatrick and Griffin believe the key will lead them to a map, buried in the crypts of Rome or Naples, that may be connected to bioterrorism and a very bad guy named Carlo Adami. All this excitement takes them through standard variations on the Freemason conspiracy theory and a good deal of underground scrambling, Indiana Jones–style. It's all fun, if somewhat clichéd, and a little burdened by Fitzpatrick's many moments of brooding and indecision. (Dec.)

 

More Reviews and Recommendations

Biography

 

Robin Burcell, an FBI-trained forensic artist, has worked as a police officer, detective and hostage negotiator. After more than 20 years in law enforcement, Burcell now writes full-time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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becke_davis
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Re: January Feature: Robin Burcell's THE BONE CHAMBER

A review from B&N:

 

Multi-threaded International Thriller Satisfiesby Carl80

Reader Rating:  4 stars
See Detailed Ratings

December 24, 2009: Feisty independent-minded FBI forensic artist Sydney Fitzpatrick is off again. This time she bouncing between Washington, DC, San Francisco and various Italian locations. All the while she and her cohorts dodge international hit men. Burcell is a good writer and her varied law enforcement background gives her writing a level of authority lacking in some crime fiction.

 

The novel is a wide-ranging tale of intrigue, sanctioned and unsanctioned black ops, the CIA the FBI, and several other sometimes questionable agencies. Here are active old and new world mafia figures, the Knights Templar, and several world governments. The story dredges up long standing rumors, beliefs based on very sketchy and tenuous evidence, ancient legends and involves some vast and secretive organizations such as the Vatican, Freemasonry and maybe some left-over bits of the Tri-Lateral Commission.

 

Conspiracies within governments, especially those involving questionable banking institutions and practices are fruitful and always interesting. That is especially the case when the venal actions of important institutions from the distant past are held up to the unblinking gaze of modern research. This novel has 'em all. And that's part of the attraction of the book. Burcell has linked in an essentially fanciful way, an incredible chain of real events that reach back to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and possible implications in the modern era. The novel proves that murder, corruption and cynical manipulation with the goal of great power and wealth are not the province of our times.

 

If the novel has flaws it is the multiplicity of threads that wind through the book, sometimes creating a Gordian's Knot of complexities. Nevertheless, "Bone Chamber" never completely loses its foundation in the real world and plausible outcomes. A tense and intriguing ride from start to finish.

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Re: January Feature: Robin Burcell's THE BONE CHAMBER

Another review from B&N:

 

This is an exciting action packed FBI Brownian thrillerby harstan

Reader Rating:  5 Stars
See Detailed Ratings

November 13, 2009: Her superior SAC Harcourt cut short her family vacation before it began so that FBI forensic artist Sydney Fitzpatrick can draw in the features of a faceless corpse of a young woman. When the victim is identified as Alessandra the adopted daughter of the U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, Fitzpatrick accompanies FBI Special Agent Zach Griffin to Rome to assist on the investigation.

 

They search for something called the "Third key" mentioned to Zach by FBI forensic anthropologist Tasha Gilbert who said she has been cursed by a two thousand year old spell before she died in a suspicious hit-and-run accident in the DC area. The two Feds assume the key will lead to a map buried in the crypts of Rome or Naples. They also think that is a clue to a bioterrorist plot being concocted by Carlo Adami.

 

This is an exciting action packed FBI Brownian thriller. The story line is fast-paced although Sydney's constant whine with no cheese (unlike her emotional personal previous case in Face of a Killer) becomes irritating as if she is the first person to have a vacation delayed. Still the mysterious Zach and Sydney make a strong team as they try to break the Third Key code and find out what Adami has planned.

 

Harriet Klausner

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becke_davis
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Re: January Feature: Robin Burcell's THE BONE CHAMBER

Here's a link to Robin's website: http://www.robinburcell.com/

 

author Robin Burcell

 

Here's some info adapted from Robin's website:

 

Robin Burcell, an FBI-trained forensic artist, has worked in law enforcement for over two decades as a police officer, detective and hostage negotiator. She is the author of the Anthony Award winning SFPD a sketch from 2000 BoucherconHomicide Inspector Kate Gillespie novels:Every Move She Makes, Fatal Truth, Deadly Legacy and Cold Case. Her novel about a forensic artist for the FBIFace of a Killer, debuted in November 2008.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About her Sydney Fitzpatrick books:

 

Special Agent Sydney Fitzpatrick, forensic artist to the FBI, returns to Quantico to help identify a brutally murdered young woman. But when Sydney’s friend and colleague, the forensic anthropologist who assisted her, is killed in a hit-and-run, a covert government team takes over the investigation, and Sydney is suddenly removed from the case. Certain her friend’s murder is connected to the first case, Sydney investigates. She discovers that the first victim was not only an archeological student, but also the daughter of the ambassador to the Holy See. Just before she was killed, the ambassador’s daughter claimed to have found one of three keys that just might lead to a map of the long lost Templar treasure. Sydney’s search for answers takes her to the streets of Rome, and into the underground crypts and caverns in Naples, one step ahead of a ruthless killer. Time is running out for Sydney as a fellow government agent is kidnapped. And the ransom demanded? The Templar map.

 

Robin's Kate Gillespie books:

 

Cold Case, 2004 
Anthony nominee for Best Paperback, Macavity Nominee for Best Novel

Three years ago SFPD Homicide Investigator Kate Gillespie was in pursuit of a suspect who murdered a hooker in a sleazy motel, and she nearly lost her own life in the process. The shooter escaped into the San Francisco shadows and the trail went colder than the grave.

Now Kate's appearance on a Bay Area "crime stoppers" TV show produces new leads that carry her back into the sordid world of drugs and prostitution -- and point her toward a local crime boss whose missing wife is possibly linked to multiple men and multiple murders.

But when a dangerous knot of betrayals, secrets, and criminal cover-ups starts unraveling, Kate can only hope she'll be as lucky as she was on that black night at the Twin Palms Motel. Because the only way to the truth leads directly into the line of fire . . .

Deadly Legacy, 2003
Anthony Award Winner

San Francisco P.D. Homicide Inspector Kate Gillespie's investigation into a bizarre apparent murder/suicide is threatening to careen out of control. A dead man might not be dead. The families of the deceased are hiding something. And there are blood-soaked threads reaching into some very lofty places. But most perplexing of all are the shocking revelations of one of the "victims" dark and dangerous history -- the more Kate learns, the less she knows. It's a case that has placed Kate Gillespie on the hot seat as her investigation gets bigger by the moment -- and puts her perilously high on a rabid killer's hit list. 

Fatal Truth, 2002
Nominated for the Barry Award and the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original 

A homicide inspector with the San Francisco Police Department, Kate Gillespie worked hard to get where she is. But a frantic phone call from a snitch threatens to destroy everything she is and everything she's earned. Pulled from the bright lights of the Homicide office onto the shadowy night streets, she arrives at a clandestine meet just in time to see the frightened informer shot dead ... by another cop. Now Kate is a target, on a trail of dirty deals, corruption, and escalating violence that reaches back into her own troubled family history and deep into a department riddled with dark secrets and truths that kill. Suddenly Kate Gillespie is teetering on a "blue wall of silence"and being set up to take a long, fatal fall -- by a relentless killer who's hiding in plain sight. 

Every Move She Makes, 1999
Kate Gillespie, the first female homicide detective in the San Francisco Police Department, and her partner, Sam Scolari, are investigating the discovery of a dead body in a freezer when Sam's wife, the coroner on the case, is murdered, perhaps by a serial killer who has been terrorizing the city. Sam suddenly disappears, leading everyone to think he is the murderer--and leaving Kate to solve the mystery and prove his innocence. She is thwarted, however, by three men competing for her attention: Mike Torrance, the Internal Affairs investigator following Kate in the hope that she'll lead him to Sam; her devious ex-husband, Reid Bettencourt; and Nicholas Paolini, a local crime boss against whom Kate is about to testify and who has been making threats on her life.

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Re: January Feature: Robin Burcell's THE BONE CHAMBER

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Re: January Feature: Robin Burcell's THE BONE CHAMBER

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Re: January Feature: Robin Burcell's THE BONE CHAMBER

Here are links to blogs, reviews and interviews related to Robin and her books:

 

http://success.crimefictionblog.com/2005/03/robin_burcell.html

 

http://www.harpercollins.com/author/index.aspx?authorID=11056

 

http://crimespace.ning.com/profile/rburcell67

 

http://www.crescentblues.com/7_4issue/bk_burcell_cold.shtml

 

You can follow Robin on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/robinburcell

 

You can read an excerpt of The Bone Chamber here: http://www.robinburcell.com/sydney.html

 

Here is a review of our featured book: http://www.thrillerwriters.org/2009/11/the-bone-chamber-by-robin-burcell.html

 

The Bone Chamber by Robin Burcell

In Robin Burcell's latest, The Bone Chamber, FBI forensic artist Special Agent Sydney Fitzpatrick is mysteriously summoned to Quantico to help re-create the face of a murdered, mutilated young woman. Sydney knows immediately this is no ordinary crime. The hit-and-run death of the forensic anthropologist assisting her--a close friend--and Sydney's abrupt dismissal from the case by covert government investigators only strengthen her need for answers. Now her hunt for a killer is carrying her from Washington to Rome to the hidden chamber of a legendary tomb--on the trail of a fabled treasure of the Knights Templar . . . and a curse.

For buried deep in the mysteries of the Freemasons and the Vatican's Holy See is a secret that could rock the world. Suddenly an ancient map is pointing Sydney toward something the Templars wished to hide away forever--something that could unleash an unstoppable tide of blood and devastation.

"Burcell has created a masterwork of historical intrigue and cutting edge forensic science. Suspenseful, shocking, and lightning-paced!" --James Rollins, NYT bestselling author of The Doomsday Key

burcell-robin.jpgRobin Burcell, an FBI-trained forensic artist, has worked as a police officer, detective and hostage negotiator. The Bone Chamber is her latest international thriller about an FBI forensic artist. Face of a Killer received a starred review from Library Journal. She is the author of four previous novels. Visit her website at: www.robinburcell.com/

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Re: January Feature: Robin Burcell's THE BONE CHAMBER

[ Edited ]

Robin, I'm posting the introductions early because of the holidays. I know it's going to be difficult for our authors to check in this week, and some of you have deadlines on top of all the holiday craziness. We'll be excited to see you here whenever you are able to check in. Let me extend a big B&N Mystery Book Club welcome to you -- I'm so glad you are part of our New Year Extravaganza!

 

I've posted some bio information from your website, but I'd love to hear more about your career as a forensic artist and writer. Which came first -- the writing or the art? What led you to the field of forensics?

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jenforbus
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Re: January Feature: Robin Burcell's THE BONE CHAMBER

Hi Robin!

 

Hope you have a great time here at B&N. Got my copy of THE BONE CHAMBER last week and am looking forward to starting it - so thrilled to have Sydney back. Here's to a great 2010!!

Jen

http://jensbookthoughts.blogspot.com
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becke_davis
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Re: January Feature: Robin Burcell's THE BONE CHAMBER

Hi Jen - I brought my copy of The Bone Chamber to Florida with me. Last week was a little nuts and I hardly found a minute to read. Now I'm digging into the mysteries, including The Bone Chamber -- fun!

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Robin_Burcell
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Re: January Feature: Robin Burcell's THE BONE CHAMBER

Thanks, Becke!  I am so glad to be here.

 

Which came first?  I'd have to say the art, because I'm sure I could draw before I could write.  But I'm guessing you're talking forensic art, as opposed to just plain art?  If so, I have been "penning" stories for a lot longer (not including police reports), ever since I was a little kid.  Creative writing was always my favorite subject, even when it wasn't one of the subjects in school.  My English teachers usually had to rein me in so that I would stay on task and not get too wild with the stories.

 

I was probably doing the forensic art thing for at least ten years before my first book was published.  And it was only when FACE OF A KILLER came out that I decided to "marry" the two talents and write about a forensic artist.

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Re: January Feature: Robin Burcell's THE BONE CHAMBER

[ Edited ]

I know I'm also a bit early, Becke.  Thanks so much for taking the time.  And thanks for the warm welcome.  (To you, too, Jen!)  Hope you both enjoy the book!  Figured I'd get a jump start on the posts, too.

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Re: January Feature: Robin Burcell's THE BONE CHAMBER

Hi Robin, and Happy New Year! I'd love to hear more about your work -- it sounds fascinating!

 

I don't know if I mentioned this, but if you go to the main Mystery Book Club page (where you can see all the active threads) you'll be able to see the number of people who have viewed this thread. The numbers are very high already!

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Re: January Feature: Robin Burcell's THE BONE CHAMBER

Happy New Year!  (Almost!)

 

Work as in cop work?  Forensic art work?  Writing?  All?  Let me know what it is you'd like to know.  Or I could even post some links to a few recent blogs where I've gone into detail on some of the subjects...  Or both!

 

 

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becke_davis
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Re: January Feature: Robin Burcell's THE BONE CHAMBER

All -- the forensic art, "regular" art, the writing -- I'm fascinated! Tell all!

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becke_davis
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Re: January Feature: Robin Burcell's THE BONE CHAMBER

I'm about halfway through Robin's book -- it's not a fast read because there is so much going on, but it is definitely one that will hook you. I know we have a lot of Dan Brown fans here, and let me just say, if you liked The Da Vinci Code and/or Angels and Demons, I'm betting you will like this book, too. I love conspiracy books, and I love it when there is a lot going on and plenty of mysteries to figure out. Love a smart heroine, too!!

 

Robin, the deeper I get into this book, the more intrigued I am about your work. Have you ever had cases like the one at the beginning of the book? What was your most memorable "case," if you're allowed to say?

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Re: January Feature: Robin Burcell's THE BONE CHAMBER

Glad you're enjoying the book, Becke.  I'll pop back in soon to address the art and work and try to think of my most memorable case, (and if it can be posted!)  Out running around, doing those last minute New Year's resolutions, cleaning, etc., etc. 

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becke_davis
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Re: January Feature: Robin Burcell's THE BONE CHAMBER

Curse you, Robin -- I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to finish The Bone Chamber. It totally hooked me, and I just couldn't put the darn thing down until I knew how it ended! 

 

Take your time -- I think many of our participants are doing the same thing, although we seem to have a lot of people viewing these threads.

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tonyak11
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Re: January Feature: Robin Burcell's THE BONE CHAMBER

I love Dan Brown's books. I am going to pick up Robin's book this week. I am always fascinated about forensics when writing. I don't dare touch it because I have no knowledge of it and researching it would only skim the surface.

I would love to read some of Robin's insight when she gets it up on the thread!

Cheers to a new year!

 

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Re: January Feature: Robin Burcell's THE BONE CHAMBER

 


tonyak11 wrote:

I love Dan Brown's books. I am going to pick up Robin's book this week. I am always fascinated about forensics when writing. I don't dare touch it because I have no knowledge of it and researching it would only skim the surface.

I would love to read some of Robin's insight when she gets it up on the thread!

Cheers to a new year!

 

 

Tonya - I know what you mean about skimming the surface. I'm always fascinated by authors who write from their personal experience.