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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2001 by Temperance Brennan, L.P.

All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

S CRIBNER and design are trademarks of Macmillan Library Reference USA, Inc., used under license by Simon & Schuster, the publisher of this work.

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ISBN 0-7432-1822-1

Dedicated with button-bursting pride to:

Kerry Elisabeth Reichs, J.D., M.P.P., Duke University,

Class of 2000

Courtney Anne Reichs, B.A., University of Georgia,

Class of 2000

Brendan Christopher Reichs, B.A. ( cum laude), Wake Forest University,

Class of 2000



As always, I owe many thanks to many people:

To Ira J. Stimson, P.E., and Captain John Gallagher (retired), for input on aircraft design and accident investigation. To Hughes Cicoine, C.F.E.I., for advice on fire and explosion investigation. Your patience was amazing.

To Paul Sledzik, M.S., National Museum of Health and Medicine, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, on the history, structure, and operation of the DMORT system; Frank A. Ciaccio, M.P.A., Office of Government, Public, and Family Affairs, United States National Transportation Safety Board, for information on DMORT, the NTSB, and the Family Assistance Plan.

To Arpad Vass, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Oak Ridge National Laboratories, for a crash course on volatile fatty acids.

To Special Agent Jim Corcoran, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Charlotte Division, for outlining the workings of the FBI in North Carolina; Detective Ross Trudel (retired), Communaute Urbaine de Montreal Police, for information on explosives and their regulation; Sergent-detective Stephen Rudman (retired), Communaute Urbaine de Montreal Police, for details on police funerals.

To Janet Levy, Ph.D., University of North Carolina-Charlotte, for specifics on the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, and answers to questions archaeological; Rachel Bonney, Ph.D., University of North Carolina- Charlotte, and Barry Hipps, Cherokee Historical Association, for knowledge about the Cherokee.

To John Butts, M.D., Chief Medical Examiner, State of North Carolina; Michael Sullivan, M.D., Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner; and Roger Thompson, Director, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Crime Laboratory.

To Marilyn Steely, M.A., for pointing me to the Hell Fire Club; Jack C. Morgan Jr., M.A.I., C.R.E., for enlightening me on property deeds, maps, and tax records; Irene Bacznsky, for help with airline names.

To Anne Fletcher, for accompanying me on our Smoky Mountain adventure.

A special thanks to the people of Bryson City, North Carolina, including Faye Bumgarner, Beverly Means, and Donna Rowland at the Bryson City library; Ruth Anne Sitton and Bess Ledford at the Swain County Tax and Land Records Office; Linda Cable, Swain County Administrator; Susan Cutshaw and Dick Schaddelee at the Swain County Chamber of Commerce; Monica Brown, Marty Martin and Misty Brooks at the Fryemont Inn; and, especially, Chief Deputy Jackie Fortner, Swain County Sheriff 's Department.

Merci to M. Yves St. Marie, Dr. Andre Lauzon, and to all my colleagues at the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Medecine Legale; Chancellor James Woodward at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. Your continued support is greatly appreciated.

To Paul Reichs, for his valuable comments on the manuscript.

To my superb editors, Susanne Kirk and Lynne Drew.

And, of course, to my miracle-worker agent, Jennifer Rudolph Walsh.

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