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Monday, November 7, 2011

Review: Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs

(Book 1 in the Temperence Brennan Series)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Inc. (1998)
Genre: Mystery/suspense
Paperback, 532 pages
Book Source: Paperbackswap
My Rating: 94/100
Recommended by: Nise from Under the Boardwalk

From the author's website:

Her life is devoted to justice — for those she never even knew.

In the year since Temperance Brennan left behind a shaky marriage in North Carolina, work has often preempted her weekend plans to explore Quebec. When a female corpse is discovered meticulously dismembered and stashed in trash bags, Tempe detects an alarming pattern — and she plunges into a harrowing search for a killer. But her investigation is about to place those closest to her — her best friend and her own daughter — in mortal danger….

My Thoughts:

This is not the Temperance Brennen you know from Bones.  This is the original and she has some luggage with her.  This Tempe is much older, with a kid in college, divorced, and a recovering alcoholic.  Tempe is a bit damaged, and I like her for it.  She is not as clinical as the TV version.  This Tempe has feelings.

"The deaths of these women had stirred something in me.  I ached for their fear, ,their pain, their helplessness in the face of madness.  I felt anger and outrage, and a need to root out the animal responsible for their slaughter.  I felt for these victims, and my response to their deaths was like a lifeline to my own feelings.  To my own humanity and my celebration of life.  I felt, and I was grateful for the feeling."  pg. 411

This book was an interesting read.  It is set in Quebec, Canada in the early 1990s.  The police department has finally decided to install a computer system for their records.  Compared to today, it blows the mind a little, doesn't it?  Anyway, through Tempe's relentless insistence of involving herself in the police investigation, it becomes evident they have a nasty serial killer on their hands, and time is of the essence.   The murders are brutal indeed, so if you are squeamish, there are some parts you have to skip past.  Tempe likes to go off on her own little investigations, and that's where things begin to get dangerous. 

The story is told by Tempe in the first person.  There were passages in the story that were quite suspenseful.  I started to skip over words I was reading so fast.  As for the forensic anthropology aspect, I enjoyed that, and there was only one part that started to make my eyes glaze over.  Since it is first person through Tempe, the story contains her thoughts and how she tries to deal with these things in her life, her divorce, her daughter, trying to make a difference in these investigations, how people see her.  These insights are what made this Tempe so much more enjoyable to me.  She is real person with real fears and doubts like you and I.  She also makes the same stupid mistakes you or I might make.  Tempe is someone I would definitely like to have lunch with.

If you are looking for something a little different, something more than just a detective story, try this series.

For more information about the book series or the author, please visit her website:

Thanks to Nise for recommending this book/series!

2011 Challenges Met: Mystery & Suspense, Chunkster