So once upon a time, like maybe a couple of months ago, I became hooked on the television show Bones. I’ve gotten through three seasons of it and am working on the fourth, and it’s all Mary’s fault. That punk. But anyway, Bones is based on this series of books by Kathy Reichs, of which Déjà Dead is the first, so I figured hey, why not read the books and see if they’re as entertaining as the show?
And… they… are? Sort of? It’s hard to say, because basically when they say that the show is “based on” these books, they mean “well, we liked the name Temperance Brennan, and we liked the idea of a forensic anthropologist what solves crimes and stuff.” Reichs’s Brennan is older, has a kid, has a divorce behind her, works in her own private office in a not-very-posh building in Montréal, isn’t big on cultural anthropology but does have a basic knowledge of and respect for psychology… I could go on, but I won’t, because that’s really not what this review is about. But, you know, I could have used a warning going in, so now you have one. 🙂
So anyway, the book. It’s your standard mystery/crime-procedural fare, beginning with the finding of a body. Brennan comes in on this investigations because she’s the bone expert, but she quickly sees a connection between this body and another one she’s recently seen, even if an antagonistic detective refuses to even consider the possibility. Because of the latter part, Brennan goes out and does some stupid stuff, as all wannabe detectives do, and soon finds herself in deeper trouble than she maybe thought she’d be getting into. It gets very suspenseful, and although I took more than a few days to get halfway through the book, the last half of the book was devoured while I should have been writing a paper. These things happen.
I liked the Montréal setting, and Reichs’s little French lessons, and I was definitely interested in all of the scientific happenings even if they got a little technical. And speaking of technical, I don’t really need to know every single detail of every single thing Tempe does or sees or experiences in other ways, so I hope that tapers off after a few novels. All in all I’d say that this book, at least, is the same sort of brain candy as the television show but with a darker tone — don’t go reading this into the middle of the night or you might spook yourself!
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