Review: Death du Jour – Kathy Reichs


Temperance Brennan #2

This is my eighteenth book in my book challenge, and is the second book in the Temperance Brennan series.

Forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan is closing up her last few days in Canada before returning to the Carolinas for the new semester. A nun was excavated to be examined for an application of sainthood. Brennan is finishing up the last things when she gets called out to a house fire in St-Jovite. What she discovers there sets her teeth on edge: mangled babies and an old woman shot to death as well as a couple that has been burned to death. Brennan joins in to help out as much as she possibly can before her departure.

Brennan’s sister, Harry, comes in to stay with a few days while completing another one of her new age courses. Brennan does not notice her sister become more withdrawn and completely like herself. One of the nuns rings Brennan, desperately trying to get someone to assist her in locating her niece who has gone missing. Brennan puts detective Luc Claudel on it, who is not impressed at all.

Returning home and starting the new semester, homicide detective Andrew Ryan calls her to inform her that he will be in her neck of the woods for a while when one of their leads turned up a link between Quebec and Saint Helen nearby Brennan. Meeting up with Ryan leads to a grisly discovery of a further two more corpses – they have been there for three weeks. Something seems amiss, and it seems that the cases should be joined together, though they are two countries apart. Their investigation takes them to a group which has all the markings of a cult headed up by charismatic leader Dom Owens.

Suddenly things start to screw out – Harry seems to have gone missing, the cult is overly secretive and all the victims seem to be tying back to Saint Helen and a mysterious man overseas running the show for payments for both St-Jovite and St Helen. Brennan is being strongly warned to stay out of it, yet she continues to dig. Will she and Ryan sort out what is going on? Will they be able to conclude their dealings and stop the ruckus before the body count escalates further?

GRADE 5It is so frustrating to read her books. I keep thinking that they will be getting better in time. I mean I read this one and couldn’t reconcile the fact that she was more upset about her cat being killed than having lost her best friend of many years in the previous book. As though that was not enough, Brennan always seems to have premonitions as to what is going on yet major difficulties pulling it up. Then she spends pages lamenting the fact that something bothered her and she wasn’t quick enough on the uptake to notice what it was and make a difference. Reichs also writes in a rather boring and predictable manner, and overall I am just not particularly keen on it. It is fine to read as a filler between really good reads, and maybe she gets better (after all, this was like the beginning for her), but I still don’t really like her writing style. Also, the heroine Brennan seems to be incredibly selfish, rude, cold and totally unrealistic. I blame her immensely flawed logic. She just sets my teeth on edge, to be honest. Not the strongest character to lead with. Not the worst book of all time, but definitely not tight and flowing and perfect, there is too much lull and boredom and filler crap lining the pages. But wait – there’s more! More French. Truly, if the language is that amazing, write the book in that language. If you are going to put French in it – translate all of it. Bear in mind, readers are there for a story, not a new language and grammar pop quiz. So what if it was mentioned earlier what it was? Repeat it for clarity and what not.

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