Saturday, June 28, 2008

Deadly Decisions by Kathy Reichs

Deadly Decisions is the third installment of the Temperance Brennen (Tempe) series about a forensic anthropologist and her cases set in Quebec. The television series Bones (one of my favorites!) is based on this series of books. I found the first two books to be only mediocre. The stories in the first two books were a little slow and very dry with the forensic descriptions. I found this book to be a little better. I think Reichs is starting to find her groove with the series here in number 3.

In this novel, Tempe gets involved with several murder cases linked to motorcycle gangs in Canada. A young girl gets caught in the cross-fire between rival gangs and Tempe is determined to bring her killer to justice. A set of bike gang twins are killed as well and seem to be linked to the girl's murder. Another female victim is found and also linked to the previous murders. Tempe learns all about the outlaw motorcycle gangs and their evil as a member of a special team focused on these cases. Meanwhile, her 19 year old nephew visits her and she has a friend trying to fix her up with a local news broadcaster. After a while, it appears her nephew has become mixed up in bike gang culture. Her would-be boyfriend Ryan only makes a brief appearance in this novel and leaves you to the next installment for any further romance. But it appears he has gone undercover in a bike gang throughout the course of the book. By the end, most of the murders are solved and killers get their just desserts.

As you can probably guess, you learn quite a bit about Canadian motorcycle gangs as well as just bike gangs in general and their history. There is a great deal of back history explained in the first half of the book. I found this part to be a bit dry and my eyelids growing heavy during these sections. However, I enjoyed the book overall and found it to be better than the previous two books. I enjoyed the forensic explanations and liked that Tempe herself wasn't really in much danger (except for one brief episode during her visit to a biker gang bar). I liked that it was just her trying to solve the case versus her worrying about her life (the 2nd book, Death du Jour was more about her and her best friend being threatened). Reichs did a nice job of moving the story along and not giving anything away too soon. She also did a nice job with developing the witty sarcastic personality of Tempe. My rating: 3.75 to 4 stars.

My brief review of Death du Jour.


allisonmariecat said...

You know, I enjoy Kathy Reichs, but I totally agree about the dry expository passages. It's really nicer when the author filters the research so the reader doesn't have to plow through it all :) She's certainly better than reading the most recent Patricia Cornwell books, though.

I love Bones, too, by the way!

bookfool said...

I've never read any Kathy Reichs. I keep meaning to, but I was a big Patricia Cornwall fan for a while, and I kinda gave up on her stuff after her character, Kaye Scarpetta got way to introspective and angst filled during one novel. I guess on some level I'm always thinking Reichs writes the same stuff. Probably because they're both writing about medical examiner types.

Isn't Reichs the author that the tv series Bones is based one?

Hope its okay, I added your blog to my bloglist. Its a really good blog!!