Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Dose of Suspense

Death du Jour (Temperance Brennan, #2)Death du Jour by Kathy Reichs

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a pretty fantastic read, right up with the first book. Reichs really knows how to keep up the suspense. I love how she keeps multiple story lines going and then weaves them all together in the end. It's not just about one murder; the whole world doesn't stop just because one person got killed and they have to investigate. And yet despite the mounding casework, midterm exams still need to be graded, students need help, and family problems persist. The fact that they still find new cases while current ones are open, as well as the fact that regular life continues outside the LML helps to put it in better perspective. People really do this.


I'm really glad she didn't kill off Harry in this one. The formula seemed very similar to her first book, so I thought that might happen. I think that was better. Maybe it would have been poetic - Brennan can figure out what happened to people, yet she can't save the living or protect her family from the carnage that surrounds her life - but if new traumatic experiences of lost loved ones continued to compound throughout the series, Brennan would become an emotional wreak, or else unbelievable as a character. I think her cat scare (which I'm SO glad was false!) and the cult encounter, along with Ryan's near-death brush was enough for this time around.


The discussion of cults really presents an opportunity for contemplation and introspection. It calls to attention the way we think and interact with the world. Are we being diluted and blinded by those around us, or are we making our own decisions? I always appreciate the opportunity for evaluation and this fit flawlessly into the plot. Very well written in that regard.

There was a bit of scandalous-ness that could have been done without. I think the attempt was to humanize Brennan more, but I think there is plenty of that. She really does ache for the victims she sees and she is not immune to fear or injury.

As far as the murders themselves, I always like seeing the description of the lab work and her interactions with the Québecois. I wish there would have been more elaboration on the reason for the disembowelment as well as the ring symbol on the skin. I also missed an explanation of where the Rohypnol came from, but I suppose those are minor details.

The imagery is superb; I love the way she uses the weather to heighten the suspense as well as to reflect the moods. Overall it was a fantastically thrilling read. I'd pick it up again anytime.

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