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I don't review books I don't like!
*****= An all-time favorite
by Kathy Reichs
Reviewed August 3, 2004.
Scribner, New York, 2004. 305 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (F REI).
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004, #8, Mystery and Adventure
I enjoyed Lisa Scottoline’s books enough that I was interested in trying other thrillers written by women. Temperance Brennan, like her creator Kathy Reichs, is a forensic anthropologist who divides her time between North Caronlina and Quebec.
In Monday Mourning, Dr. Brennan is in Quebec in the middle of winter. She’s been called in to investigate three human skeletons found in the basement of a pizza place. The detective in charge of the case figures they’re from an old burial site and are material for an archaeologist, but Tempe has a bad feeling about them, especially as she quickly sees that these are the bones of teenage girls.
“Forensic anthropologists are experts in the human skeleton,” Tempe tells us in a courtroom scene. “Our expertise is sought when a normal autopsy, focusing on organs and soft tissue, either is not possible or is severely limited and the bones must be examined for answers to crucial questions.” Kathy Reichs gives us information about her job throughout the book and manages to keep it fascinating. This unusual approach to a detective story kept me interested and reading on. I admit that I also enjoy reading about a smart woman uncovering details that the men around her miss.
Of course, readers won’t be surprised that Dr. Brennan ends up getting more involved in the case than simply examining the bones. After all, she needs to convince the detective that the bones are recent. I should warn readers that the details of the crimes discovered are quite horrible. That makes us all the more eager that the criminals should be found and stopped.
This book is a thriller, but it’s also a detective story. Though it’s certainly not a “cozy” mystery, the somewhat cerebral approach makes me lean toward categorizing it under “Mystery” rather than under “Adventure,” where I usually put thrillers.
Review of another book by Kathy Reichs:
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