Archive for the ‘Kathy Reichs’ Category

Two Nights is a welcome departure from Kathy Reichs’ Temperance Brennan series and does not delve into the forensics of murder. Instead, you get an action packed story that keeps you reading.


Sunday Night has a troubled past as a child, as a marine (?) and as a cop. It is just such an upbringing that entices dowager Opaline Drucker to hire her. A year ago her daughter and grandson were killed in an explosion at a Jewish girl’s school in Chicago. Her granddaughter, Stella, disappeared. The only sign of her existence was an attempt to access a bank account that only Stella and Opaline knew about. There has been no solution to the case, despite the ongoing Chicago P.D.  investigation.

Deep in her gut, Sunday thinks Stella is still alive. Because of her own troubled childhood, she feels a kinship with Stella, which is the only reason to leave her isolated island home in Charleston and head to Chicago.

Sunday criss crosses the country following leads, some of which are hunches as opposed to real leads. She butts heads with local law enforcement…of course. Her methods and demeanor are unconventional, but that is the appeal of Sunday Night. The ancillary characters are interesting characters as well, just adding to the appeal.

I’ll let you find out for yourself why the book is called Two Nights. I’ll let you find out for yourself how the case is resolved. But, I’ll warn you, once you start reading you may not want to put Two Nights down. Kathy Reichs has put together a good story.

As an aside, this new character for Reichs works well for her, unlike Renee Ballard, Michael Connelly’s new protagonist in The Late Show who, for all her rebelliousness, doesn’t generate the excitement that Sunday Night generates. Given the choice, you know which one I’d pick. Let’s hope Sunday Night appears in more books by Kathy Reichs.


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It’s tough when your competition are masters of the trade. Ed McBain and MurderDCMichael Connelly are the masters of police procedurals. Kathy Reichs is the master of forensic anthropology. The crown goes to Arnaldur Indridason for Icelandic mysteries and Thomas H. Cook for literary mysteries. And the head honcho for journalistic mysteries is Bruce DeSilva.

So, while Neely Tucker’s journalistic mysteries, which take place in Washington, D. C., are readable, they don’t live up to the bar set by Mr. DeSilva. In Murder, D. C. Billy Ellison, the son of a prominent Black family in Washington, is found washed up on the shore of the The Bend, the former site of slave trading and currently a run-down park used primarily for drug deals. Sully Carter, reporter for ‘the newspaper’, is the journalist on the scene. Initial interviews with Billy’s mother and her employer, the prominent lawyer, Sheldon Stevens, portray Billy as a boy who had everything. However, as Sully gathers more facts, they soon change their tune, stating Billy was gay and was dealing drugs in a big way. Private investigators hired by Stevens seem to be making as little progress as the police in solving Billy’s murder.

WaysOfTheDeadThose readers who met Sully in The Ways of the Dead, know he’s a likable character. He drinks a bit…well maybe a lot. He was reporting the war in Bosnia when he got wounded and has the scars and limp to prove it. He has a good working relationship with the police as well as one of the major drug dealers in the metropolitan area. And once he gets hold of something, he rarely, if ever, lets go. So, when things don’t make sense, Sully keeps plugging away, regardless of how many times he gets beaten up, suspended from work, etc.

However, Sully Carter doesn’t have the edge and cynicism of Bruce DeSilva’s Liam Mulligan. In addition, the turmoil that the news industry is going through is totally ignored. This is surprising in that Tucker is a journalist, a staff writer at the Washington Post.

The plot of Murder, D.C. is good. The characters are good. You’ll enjoy reading Murder, D.C. I just think you’ll enjoy the Bruce DeSilva/Liam Mulligan mysteries more.

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SpeakingInBonesI didn’t know ‘websleuthing’ exists or what it is until reading Speaking in Bones, the latest in Kathy Reichs’ Temperance Brennan series. It’s only the second book in the series that I’ve read, the other being Bones Never Lie, which preceded Speaking in Bones.

Websleuths attempt to solve unsolved crimes, murders, missing persons, by combing the web to obtain information, locating social media accounts, etc. There are many websites devoted to it. Some sleuths merely want to solve mysteries, others are very competitive, so much so that they will visit the families of victims and interview them and/or confront them.

Hazel “Lucky” Strike is a websleuth. She tells BonesNeverLieTempe Brennan, a forensic anthropologist, that she believes some unidentified bones in Brennan’s possession belong to Cora Teague, an eighteen year old girl who disappeared in 2011. She gives her rationale and while Brennan is wary, she is also intrigued. When Lucky produces a hand held voice activated recording device she recently found at the site in which the bones were found, Brennan thinks the site should be revisited to see if more bones might be located. This leads to a nightmarish series of events involving religious fanatics, more bones and an ending that surprised me.

Besides liking the Temperance Brennan character, I also like cold cases (I was a big fan of the TV show Cold Case) and Tempe’s mother (I like feisty old women in books and on TV, maybe even in real life), the internet wiz, who was less present in the current book. Boo!! So this has all the ingredients I need for an enjoyable, mysterious read. She introduces a good new character, Detective Ramsey, who, while I doubt it, I do hope is in future books. Reichs also concentrates on Brennan’s personal life, so we see Ryan, her on again/off again (now on) boyfriend in less of a comrade and more of a romantic role.

Part of the charm of the series is Reichs’ description of her surroundings, much of it in rural North Carolina with its mountains and forests. There’s a sense of place that some mysteries tend to ignore.

Reichs has made Tempe a real person and allows her to age gracefully, not afraid to refer to old TV shows and pop culture of her youth.. She admits to making errors of judgment, silly mistakes and drawing wrong conclusions. She waffles regarding her romance with Ryan. She gets annoyed at her mother and sister and co-workers. She hates gathering receipts for her tax return (don’t we all????). But she’s also driven and once she takes up a cause/case, she won’t let go.

After one Temperance Brennan book I became a fan. After two books, I’m a bigger fan.

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Temperance (Tempe) Brennan is a forensic anthropologist (as is the author herself) BonesNeverLieand is called in when bones are found and need to be analyzed. This time, when she is called, the MO of the murder is similar to murders which have occurred years before in Montreal. The murderer, Angelic Pomerleau, preys upon teenage girls. She was never caught and has been a thorn in Tempe’s side…the one that got away (every cop has one). Why has Pomerleau moved her crimes from Canada to Charlotte, NC? That’s one of many perplexing issues.

In order to solve this crime, Tempe must work with Slidell, a slob of a detective and must find and recruit her ex-lover, Ryan, who has purposely disappeared after his daughter’s untimely death from a drug overdose. Additionally, there’s the typical rivalry between local and state police for credit/blame depending on whether the case is solved or not.

I have never read a Kathy Reichs book before. I like forensics and used to read Patricia Cornwell until her books became too romantic, mushy and unbelievable and less mystery. So Bones Never Lie was a welcome entree back into the forensic world.

There’s a lot of action, a lot of thinking and a lot of suspense. Although I liked all the ‘good guys’, one of my favorite characters is Tempe’s mother, who suffers from dramatic bouts of depression but when she’s ‘up’, she’s a computer whiz who helps Tempe.

I will admit that I did figure out the mechanism to the book’s end, although not the specifics.

While this story line seems like a continuation of previous books, Reichs included enough back story throughout to appease the reader. As I’ve said in reviews about other series books when I’ve started mid-series, I’m not going back to the beginning of the series, but I surely will keep up as the series moves forward.

I really liked this and mystery fans in general and forensic fans specifically, will enjoy this.

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