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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Death Du Jour by Kathy Reichs (#2)

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

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb:  Assaulted by the bitter cold of a Montreal winter, the American-born Dr. Temperance Breman, Forensic Anthropologist for the Province of Quebec, digs for a corpse where Sister Elisabeth Nicolet, dead over a century and now a candidate for sainthood, should lie in her grave. A strange, small coffin, buried in the recesses of a decaying church, holds the first clue to the cloistered nun's fate. The puzzle surrounding Sister Elisabeth's life and death provides a welcome contrast to discoveries at a burning chalet, where scorched and twisted bodies await Tempe's professional expertise. Who were these people? What brought them to this gruesome fate? Homicide Detective Andrew Ryan, with whom Tempe has a combustive history, joins her in the arson investigation. From the fire scene they are drawn into the worlds of an enigmatic and controversial professor, a mysterious commune, and a primate colony on a Carolina island.

Read as an audiobook. 

What could have been a really good forensics based mystery was overshadowed by the protagonists poor behavior:  sulking because her sister 'might' have slept with Andy Ryan, snapping at Ryan like she was menopausal or some jealous teenager, going off like a tea kettle from anxiety attacks, demanding that someone drive her around in a very dangerous ice/snow storm at 4 am in the morning or she would By God! do it herself!  It was like watching a grown adult throw a childish temper tantrum.  She was moody, demanding, prone to hysterics, subject to stupidity, and unreasonable often all within a matter of pages.  By the end of the book I detested the main character.  She needed a solid slap upside the head.

I grew increasingly annoyed with the over use of "...a cold wind gripped by body,"  " flowed through my veins,"; " icy fear stopped my heart," "...fear clenched my stomach." " heart was gripped with fear,"  " throat clenched with anxiety,".

By the end of the book all the interesting forensics details had gone by the wayside and I was left with panicked ruminations, foreboding dreams, an ice storm that shut down the Province (except Ryan and Tempe could drive around), and theatrics.  I was quite relieved when I hit that final disk.  By this point I'm sure I've got a lump on the back of my head where I was banging it against my car seat.

Book one: Tempe's house is broken into.  Book two: Tempe's house is broken into.

Book one:  Tempe is threatened.              Book two:  Tempe is threatened.

Book one: Tempe is strangled.                 Book two: Tempe is strangled.

Book one: Tempe is subjected to bodily harm.  Book two:  Tempe is subjected to bodily harm.

Book one: Tempe's best friend is harmed.  Book two:  Tempe's sister is harmed.

Do you sense a trend?  I'm sensing a trend, and not one I'm entirely pleased about.

What I did like about the book was the descriptions of the Low Country down by Beaufort.  The talk of the coast, of the island, of the inter-coastal waterway.   I also like the descriptions and history of Montreal.   And as I said before, the forensics aspect can be really fascinating. But ultimately, it wasn't enough to over come the issues I had with the protagonist.  Which I'm rather bummed about because I was hoping to sink my teeth into another series.  Oh well.  Very reluctant recommendations.

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