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Death Race

Auto racing is a dangerous game: Hundreds of drivers have perished on the track, including Dale Earnhardt Senior, Blaise Alexander, and Pierre Levegh, who wiped out 86 spectators when he crashed at LeMans.

Perhaps that’s why mystery author Kathy Reichs chose NASCAR as the setting for her new novel, Flash and Bones. Part of the Temperance Brennan series that spawned the hit TV show Bones, the book follows the no-nonsense forensic anthropologist’s hunt for a killer who dumps a body in a barrel of toxic chemicals at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Reichs is a real-life forensics expert, so it’s not surprising that she has a few personality traits in common with her protagonist. For example, when she toured the track with racing enthusiast Barry Byrd, her focus wasn’t exactly on the sport. “My fascination with the adjacent landfill was, I fear, a source of some dismay,” Reichs quipped to her publisher afterwards.

Sat., Aug. 27, 5 p.m., 2011

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