Déjà Dead by Kathy Reichs
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Jacket blurb: In
the year since Temperance Brennan left behind a shaky marriage in North
Carolina, work has often preempted her weekend plans to explore Quebec.
When a female corpse is discovered meticulously dismembered and stashed
in trash bags, Temperance detects an alarming pattern and she
plunges into a harrowing search for a killer. But her investigation is
about to place those closest to her her best friend and her
own daughter in mortal danger...
A new to me series - I've known for a while that the TV show "Bones" is very loosely based off of Reich's books, and I've heard the books are good, so it seemed like the time to check one out. I "read" this as an audiobook, and once again the narrator made a world of difference! Loved Barbara Rosenblat, the intonation and cadence she brought, the French language rolling off her tongue like melting chocolate, she really brought the characters to life. Really enjoyed listening to her and thus, the story.
I liked that this was more of a investigative police procedural with a healthy does of forensic investigation than a typical mystery. I liked the anatomical dissection and breakdown, the "behind the scenes" aspect, the reasoning something out over just blunt force "run someone into the ground". Mostly.
Where the plot fell short - and I understand that this was a first book - began when Temperance was wandering around an abandoned monastery grounds, in the dark, in the woods, in the rain and found a bag of bones. Seriously? Just...typical stupid female heroine dumb. She is portrayed as a very intelligent woman and even for her, dumb. In addition, the actual likelihood of finding a bag of bones, in the dark, in the rain, in an unfamiliar woods is incredibly unlikely. I have wandered around the woods, in the rain, in the dark (not by choice - military training) and no, a person is not going to "accidentally" stumble on a buried bag of bones. Yanked me right out of the story and yo! authors! don't yank your readers out of the story!
I also do not find the excuse of "Oh, I couldn't get a hold of Ryan and didn't want to wait 10 minutes for him to come back from the loo, so I decided to take matters into my own hands, and thus set out to follow this very dangerous killer on my own." an intelligent or attractive feature in a female protagonist. What rational woman is going to go chasing after a man who is brutally killing and dismembering women on her own?
So I was disappointed in what I consider the quintessential stupid heroine moves - not telling people where she is going, going out at the wrong time of [night], taking matters into her own hands (especially when she's working for the police department), and not trusting her partners.
Last rant - why does a woman always get a dose of sedative when she starts to cry in the hospital? Really? Let the poor woman vent her emotions without drugs!
Okay, now my last rant - foreshadowing was more like a train whistle screaming "yo! this is gonna happen!". Very little subtlety in my opinion.
Despite my complaints above, I did enjoy the story. Again, I loved the audiobook narrator, I love the setting in Montreal, I loved the forensic side of things. If the author can move away from some of the standard female tropes in forthcoming books, I'll like the series even more.
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