Death Du Jour by Kathy Reichs
Mystery, Suspense, Forensic, Crime
Temperance Brennan is a forensic anthropologist with a fairly specific skill set that makes her an incredible asset to the Montreal police department. This skill set often also has the tendency of putting her and her loved ones in danger.
It’s winter, and the biting cold of Montreal is not what Dr. Brennan’s southern body is used to. In the ice and snow, she is helping find the body of a century-dead nun who is now up for sainthood. However, the bones of this nun, Elisabeth Nicolet, tell a story that differs from the one that Dr. Brennan has heard.
As this mystery unravels, Dr. Brennan is pulled into another investigation. Two burned bodies are discovered in a chalet near the mountains. One of the first questions asked is, was it an accident? Or was it murder? When it is discovered that it was arson, homicide investigator Andrew Ryan is on the scene. He and Dr. Brennan team up to solve the case. As they follow the leads, they find connections between the murders and Dr. Brennan’s home state of North Carolina. They also find links between a professor at McGill, a furtive commune in North Carolina, and an island full of monkeys.
I really liked this book! I liked it even more than the first one. It was thrilling and fast-paced. Once I started I couldn’t put it down. I especially appreciated how there was less vulgarity in this novel than the first. The subject matter really touched an interest of mine and I was immediately drawn in. Reichs’ writing keeps you guessing the whole time.
Some may argue that it is too formulaic. I would have to counter by saying that that is not always a bad thing. Sometimes people want to know what they are getting themselves into. Some read that kind of thing because they liked it before and know they will like it again! Furthermore, although yes, there is a certain amount of predictability in the way the novel is laid out, Reichs has the talent to keep you guessing and surprise you at every turn.
Some may also argue that there is too much discussion of the specifics of forensics. And yes, there is a lot of that. However, I think it’s pretty interesting and shows you that the author really does know what she’s talking about! I wonder how much she had to dumb that down for us average Joes… He he.
If you enjoy intense mystery novels, or police drama TV shows, this just might be your cup of tea! However, if mystery novels aren’t your thing, or you scare easily, you might want to look elsewhere!
Beth is the founder and editor of Fuelled by Fiction. She is a twenty-something east coast Canadian girl who loves writing about books and feminism.