Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"Death du Jour" by Kathy Reichs

I read Death du Jour so quickly, I didn't even get around to putting it in my sidebar here before I'd finished it. I'd say it was even more absorbing that Reichs' first book, Deja Dead. The characters are more fully realized this time around, and the dialog in most places was much more natural.

Once again, the story crept inside my head and stayed there until I'd finished the book, which is the main reason I read it in just a couple days despite it being nearly 400 pages long. That's pretty rare for me these days, with my son demanding so much of my attention, though it was normal for me back in my pre-parenting days. It was possibly even more creepy than Deja Dead, as it dealt with things like cults and some decidedly unnatural deaths. So if you're not a fan of creepy books or all those forensic crime shows on TV, you might not dig this.

Death du Jour focuses on a series of seemingly unrelated murders in Canada and South Carolina that Dr. Tempe Brennan ends up investigating more than her jobs as forensic anthropologist and professor would ordinarily necessitate. It involves more personal relationships than its predecessor, and we not only meet up with Brennan's daughter and ex, but also her sister and nephew. And her professional relationship with Montreal detective Andrew Ryan takes a more personal turn as well, much to my delight.

Reichs' descriptions are the most powerful aspect of her writing, something I admire since I often struggle when describing things in my own writing. Here's my favorite passage from this book: "The new flakes lay white atop the underlying gray, like newborn innocence on last year's sins." Good stuff!

(Originally posted on The Huggermugger Blog on Oct. 7, 2009.)

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