Sunday, May 15, 2011

Review: Déjá Dead by Kathy Reichs

For the Bones fans in the blogosphere, I would like to tell you about the book that got it all started. Now, the TV show and the book aren’t similar personal detail wise. The only similarities are the following: the name “Temperance Brennan” and the forensic anthropology. Tempe on the TV show has been said to be more alike in personality to Kathy Reichs herself. Tempe in the book is a divorced mom of one daughter, she’s a recovering alcoholic, and the book takes place in Canada.

This novel is truly an amazing piece. It is beyond full of detail on everything, but especially the forensics. It’s actually a good thing for the reader to be familiar with the TV show because the references and medical terminology could be hard to follow (unless of course you work in the medical/forensics field). I know I catch a lot more detail on other programs since I’ve picked up so much from Bones.

This particular story is about a girl being found in a plastic bag: decomposed and cut up. Tempe needs to identify the victim to find some answers. This crime scene is strangely familiar though. It reminds her of another girl who was found in almost the same way. She is convinced that the two cases are related, yet the detectives (especially one of them) refuse to believe in the possibility. She will not give up on provint that they are linked. So she searches (often by herself and not safely either, which is reminiscent of Tempe on Bones at times) to find the truth.

The pace of the book was a bit frustrating in the beginning (this is the first novel of this kind I have ever read), but then I had to realize that this wasn’t an episode of a TV show. Everything that takes place in real life with homicides takes hours upon days upon weeks upon months to get results and answers. As you get to the middle, things start to pick up with the little clues and ideas and details that surface. Reichs describes all the processes of identifying weapons used, identifying victims, etc. She discusses Tempe’s thoughts and fears and opinions, not only relating to the case, but also her own personal life, which is significant to understanding the way she is.

My opinion (without spoiling the details) is that this is a very compelling and well written book. For anyone who’s a Bones fan (or anyone who is a crime show fan), this book is a must read. The ending is powerful, and it certainly makes you want to watch her solve another case. And you’re in luck, because there are more Temperance Brennan novels (currently 13 are published, with #14 coming out soon) and there’s a Young Adult companion series called Virals by her as well.

Bottom line, if you love Bones (and other forensic novels), pick up this book. You’ll love it.

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