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Death du Jour - Kathy Reichs

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Author: Kathy Reichs / Genre: Crime / Thriller

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      08.08.2009 09:40
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      Brilliant, highly recommended

      Death du Jour is the second book in the series starring Dr Brennan, and is just as good, if not better. This book starts with a bit more excitement that the last book, with Brennan exhuming (digging up) a body from the 1800's. Shortly after this there is a fire in a house where five bodies are found, including two small children who were only eighteen months old. These two stories run along side each other for a while, which does get a bit confusing at times. This book also details Brennan's life as a tutor of a class in a small town called Charlotte in America and again, she goes back and forth between here and Quebec, in Canada throughout the book, making it slightly confusing. Whilst in Charlotte, Brennans daughter comes to visit and they go to a small island which is owned by one of Brennan's friends. He is breeding monkeys on the island and there is a long section in the book which explains all about the monkeys actions and how they develop, which seems a bit irrelevant. After all this though it eventually leads to another two bodies being found buried on the island. The book then works its way through investigating the deaths and ends up being involved in a cult and you find out that all the deaths are linked together, even though they have been found miles apart from each other. The book is believable to an extent. We can understand that lots of bodies are found in the course of a few days, as that is Brennans job, although she does make reference to not ever having found this many bodies in such a short space of time. This is where the title comes from - Death du Jour means 'Death of the Day' and there is reference to this towards the end if no one had worked it out by then. There is a lot of technical jargon again, about the monkeys and a bit about how bugs can determine the cause of death. But again, Brennan is meddling in things that should be left to the police and even gets attacked at one point. But if she didn't meddle then there wouldn't be a story, so it can be forgiven. Because there are so many bodies in different places and themes running through the book there are sections which I liked where Brennan goes through a series of questions in her head. This reminds the reader where they are and what still needs to be uncovered and found out. There are about three of these sections and it helps keep the story together and keep the focus, for Brennan as well. There is then a dream which Brennan has at the end, which doesn't make too much sense to start with but when they go out to make the final search, what she has seen in the dream comes back to her and points her in the right direction. I think maybe Reichs was wondering how to bring it all together at the end and a nonsensical dream seemed to have worked, linking all the deaths to this one cult. I liked this book much better than the last one because it was faster paced and Reichs builds up the suspense, making the reader go right to the end to find out answers to the questions. The only bits I don't enjoy as much is the technical bits because these tend to go over my head and can seem a little long, but it doesn't take away the enjoyment from the rest of the book. Reichs also includes a love theme in this book which distracts the reader, for a short while, from all the death and destruction that is going on around them. I would definitely read this again and it is highly recommended

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        23.04.2009 10:22
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        A 1999 novel by Kathy Reichs

        *Be aware this review does contain minor spoilers* Well I'm still working out the kinks in writing reviews of books but as I've started to read a lot more recently I thought I'd give it a whirl. My other half is a huge fan of crime novels so I borrowed 'Death Du Jour' written by Kathy Reichs for some bedtime reading and I must say whilst I found the plotline to be fascinating and brilliantly weaved together the overall result was very dull. Kathy Reichs is an American crime writer, forensic anthropologist and academic of the aforementioned subject and has written a string of books most of them which are loosely based on the hit tv show 'Bones' which she has also worked as a producer for. It's easy to see that the main character in 'Death Du Jour' is based more or less on the author herself. Dr Temperance Brennan is also a forensic anthropologist and also teaches the subject at university level. She is the major heroine and character throughout all of Reich's books and in this particular story finds herself investigating the exhumed body of a nun, a murder on a desert island and a horrific arson concering twin babies and everything seems to revolve around a mysterious cult who will stop at nothing to escape the supposed coming armagedon. The basic plotline behind the story is not apparent at first as the writing seems very scattered with the protagonist jetting all over the country and moving back and forth between three different cases. However, it soon becomes clear that all the murders she is investigating are linked. Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed all the information about cults and marvelled at how the story was bought together and all the crimes seemed to link to one person, I did find that a lot of the book was pointless filler as Reichs attempts to allow the audience to connect with her main character. Through introducing Detective Ryan [a possible love interest], Brennan's teenage daughter Katy and various other people in her life. I don't really feel anything towards the characters at all though the burning curiousity to see how the pieces of the puzzle will slide together is definately the main reason why I kept turning each page. Reichs is at her strongest when she is describing autopsies and various proceedures used to discover a corpse's identity and such. When it comes to characterisation the novel isn't very gripping and even the climax at the end doesn't generate any responsoe of fear for the characters in danger. In her defense, Reichs manages to create blinding imagery that can be often quite repulsive such as a step by step discussion on how insects feed on a dead corpse and lay their larvae amongst others. Reich's background in forensic anthropology is apparent throughout the book and becomes the main focus of the story. Some parts of the plot are easier to connect than others with the instance of Tempe's younger sister being drawn into the offending cult apparent for at least three chapters before the author makes the big reveal whilst the conclusion of the book seems far too rushed to really build any suspense. However, there are still a lot of surprises that make this novel a pretty decent read and will definately get your brain ticking over. If you like hard and gritty crime novels with a tangled web of deceit and clues that unravel on the final pages then this book is definately for you. If like me you need some sort of strong character to relate to then you won't find that in this book as even the author's attempts at romance don't spark much interest. Kathy Reichs is an exceptional talent at her chosen field of work but it just doesn't seem to transfer well onto the written page.

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          30.10.2008 15:50
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          A book too interested in the small things

          I am not someone who likes to be patronised. In fact, it is one thing that will probably turn me against someone instantly. I don't need hints or subtle clues - if you want something from me ask me straight and I will reply with my answer. I find that the balance between informing a reader and patronising them is a difficult one. How do you get a breadth of knowledge across to someone without them feeling that you are lecturing them and not sticking with the story? In TV this problem often leads to an intelligent hero being stuck with a more simple side kick so that it seems natural to constantly tell them exactly what you are doing (and in turn inform the audience). Does Kathy Reichs use this time honoured approach (which has even been implemented into her own spin off 'Bones' TV show)? Does she cobblers. Dr Temperance Brennan returns and for once is not involved in recent murder and mayhem. Instead she has been asked by a group of Nuns to look in the ruins of a church for one of their long dead sisters who is to be potentially canonised. However, as usual trouble follows Temperance and when a local house goes up in flames she is asked to identify the bodies. It seems that several people have died and that it was arson. If these two cases were not enough Brenan becomes involved in a third when two corpses are found on a wildlife sanctuary. Can Brenan juggle all three cases and her personal life which appears to be under threat by a mysterious stranger? The problem with 'Death Du Jour' was not so much the story as Reichs' writing technique; I just could not get along with it. The book is a very healthy 400+ pages and in my opinion could have been edited down to a much more succinct novel that would have captured the imagination. Instead the book feels very flabby and this is for two reasons. Firstly, Reichs seems intent on adding layer upon layer to her mystery as the book unfolds. We are introduced to three separate cases, not all at the beginning, but over the first two thirds of the book. I for one do not want to suddenly have yet another mystery piled on me when the book should be winding to its conclusion. I think this is due in part to the second issue with Reichs' style - authenticity. I am all for crime novels trying to be authentic, but police work in reality is a little dull and does not always follow a linear path. This is fine in real life, but trying to recreate the workload of a typical forensic pathologist in a realistic manner does not make for vibrant reading. The bigger issue with authenticity is the dull descriptive parts of this book that seem to dominate it (and add an additional 100 pages of extraneous details). At this point Reichs introduces her patronising tone. Dr Brennan is an intelligent woman so it makes sense that she would describe her techniques to a less knowledgeable person. The issue I had was that whenever Brennan talked to someone outside her field she became a dullard and had to have everything explained to her. I know this an attempt to inform the reader, but it smacked of falsehood. A forensic pathologist who knows nothing about insect activity on a corpse? Rubbish. What the countless paragraphs full of description do is take momentum away from the story to the point where the book plods along at an awful pace. Rather than tell us about the killer Reichs thinks the reader is more interested in 20 pages on how anthropologists study scrape marks on bone. If I was interested in anthropology to this extent I would read a non-fiction book. Character wise Brennan is still refreshingly different from the normal cop on the edge. A 40 something single woman she brings with her a totally different set of issues and baggage from the fare I usually read. Unfortunately, for Reichs the private lives of my heroes is not top of my agenda as I like the story and action better. However, if you are looking for a crime novel with a little added depth it can be found here. It appears to me that Reichs is good at what she does - crime novels with detail. In fact I guess she was a pioneer in the field bringing her own keen knowledge of pathology to the crime genre. However, I think that others have adapted her style since and improved upon it e.g. Simon Beckett. What should have been an action filled novel looking at three separate crime scenes became a slow look at the intricacies of pathology. Some people may read crime books for this level of detail, I do not. The story was poorly handled and the book overly long. Author: Kathy Reichs Year: 1999 Price: amazon uk - £5.49 play.com - £5.49

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            07.10.2006 13:53
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            Death Du Jour-again another aptly titled novel as this is very much Death Of The Day

            Having just finished the first of her novels,Deja Dead,I looked forward to reading this superb sequel with great anticipation and am happy to say I was suitably impressed. The book begins with forensic anthropologist Tempe Bremman doing some work for the catholic church as she attempts to identify the bones belonging to a girl from the last century,whose name has been forwarded to the Vatican for sainthood.No sooner has she discovered something interesting however when she receives a phonecall taking her away to the scene of an arson. When it becomes apparent that there are more victims than originally thought and that some of these died paticulary nasty,grisly deaths before the fire was even set,the case begins to get more and more complicated. Tempe's own personal life also threatens to get involved with the arrival of her sister,Harry,in her flat whose presence only serves as a distracting influence. As the case progresses,it becomes clear that there are links with some kind of religious cult and when Tempe seeks out an expert in this subject,she finds herself also reluctantly being caught up in the search for a missing girl.The cult itself seems very reluctant to offer any assistance to Tempe's investigation and before long,she is again being threatened to leave things well alone!! Not to mention that every time she turns around,another set of grisly remains appears to turn up-even on a weekend trip to a research island with her daughter!!!At times it feels as though Tempe is in danger of morphing into Jessica Fletcher as there seems to be more bodies on the scene than in an episode of Murder She Wrote,Diagnosis Murder and Midsomer Murders combined.Discovering how all these events link together however(though they at first appear to be all seperate cases)is part of the fun and by the end the novel manages to reach a satisfying conclusion. Kathy Reichs relies on her own personal knowledge as a forensic anthropologist to bring a heady touch of realism to these novels and though Tempe often seems to go beyond her brief,invading the territory normally covered by the detectives,she comes across as a strong,determined character.Already with these two books,Reichs seems to be surpassing Cornwell in talent and ambition and is definetly a contender in the top crime writer stakes.To my mind the only other writer who has come close to this author is probably Karin Slaughter but her books are a much easier read and not as in depth and detailed as this series. If you are not keen on the grisly,detailed forensic examinations of partly decomposed corpses then these books are not for you.Reading before bed or during lunch likewise may leave you both awake and hungry.At the very least they may give you nightmares-like Slaughter's novels,those written by Kathy Reichs are not for the faint-hearted!! They are nonetheless very well written and it will be very interesting to watch how certain characters develop-already one of my favourites is the eternally moody police detective,Claudel whom Tempe always seems destined to cross paths with.Likewise it becomes clear that some kind of romance is on the cards with another detective Ryan.I look forward eagerly to sharing some of my time with all of these again when I pick up the next in the series,Deadly Decisions. I'll be sure to let you know what I think when I'm done....

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              15.02.2005 11:46
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              It is rare to find an author whose first book urges you on to want to read all of their published work. In my life so far, I have found very few – Diana Gabaldon, Jane Austen, Martina Cole – and now Kathy Reichs. After recently reading her first novel, I was soon reaching for her second – Death Du Jour. I have since bought all her novels from Ebay! Reichs’ heroine is Dr. Temperance ‘Tempe’ Brennan. Like Reichs herself, Tempe is a forensic pathologist based in Canada. As you would expect with such a job, this involves a lot of work with corpses. Hence, her books are not for children - or adults of a nervous disposition. But they don’t come across as gratuitously gory either and many potentially horrific descriptions are de-sensitised somewhat by the medical terms used. This gives an authority to her work, which puts her novels above the level of horror or simple gore-fest. Death Du Jour – Death of the Day – re-introduces the reader to Dr. Brennan and others from Deja Dead. Along with her cat, ex and daughter, we now meet Harry, Tempe’s wacky sister. Tempe’s love interest - Andrew Ryan of the homicide squad - is back, in both a personal and professional capacity. Because of this, it is helpful to have read the previous novel first, but not essential. This novel begins with an historical exhumation. Tempe is called to the Convent Notre-Dame de L’Immaculee-Conception in Quebec, where the body of Sister Elisabeth Nicolet (died 1888) is buried – somewhere. The corpse needs to be found, so the bones can be verified then proposed for sainthood, in recognition of the nun’s work with smallpox victims. However something which seems reasonably straight-forward turns out to be anything but easy, as the body is not where it is supposed to be. When Tempe’s investigations are concluded, she discovers something surprising about the nun’s remains, something that leads her to do her own bit of historical research… While occupied with the potential saint, a matter of contemporary urgency interrupts Tempe. A suspected arson has occurred in St-Jovite. There are corpses in the house, charred so badly that Tempe’s knowledge is needed to help identify them. But as the property is examined further, it produces more shocks and other grisly discoveries which are destined to keep Tempe’s workload high. As if that wasn’t enough to keep her busy, things develop further. Sister Julienne from the exhumation site contacts Tempe, worried about her niece Anna, who seems to have disappeared. She was working for Dr. Daisy Jeannotte, Professor of Religious Studies at the McGill University and renowned oddball. Is she connected to Anna’s sudden vanishing act? There are whisperings of Satanism and bizarre cults – and could Tempe’s sister be involved? As she puts out feelers in her continuing research, Tempe herself seems in danger too. What is going on? Is everything connected – and if so, how? How many murders have been committed and are they linked? Will Tempe – and her family – all get out alive? Kathy Reichs has a great way of writing. Her plots are strong - being complex, but not confusing. Her characters are wonderfully described, so you can visualise them easily and soon feel you know them well enough to form an opinion on their personalities. Her descriptive pose is often poetically beautiful and her use of medical and technical terms hits just the right note. As if all this wasn’t reason enough for everyone to buy her books right now, her best talent is in the build up of suspense she initiates early, cracking up the power until you are unable to leave the pages. This results in too late nights, the inability to physically put the book down and a rejection of all outside influences, as you are completely engrossed in her words. As you finish the last page, it is tempting to replace it in the bookshelf and immediately pick up her third novel. But no, I must resist. Savour the story, review the unravelling of the many threads, enjoy the moment… Okay, that’s long enough. Deadly Decisions, here I come! DEATH DU JOUR by Kathy Reichs ISBN 0-09-925519-7 www.randomhouse.co.uk Cover price £5.99

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                07.11.2004 13:44
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                Death Du Jour is the second book from Reichs after Deja Dead (sorry I don't have accents etc.). Each book has the same herione and her story continues through each of the novels. Although the story continues, each is a novel in it's own right. I read the 2003 novel then went back to the 1999 novel. I can see disadvantages of this - e.g. the herione Tempe Brennan forms a relationship in the later novels but in this novel she is just getting together with him. Plot: Tempe is a forensic anthropologist who spends the South Caronlina summer in Quebec/Montreal where she has to withstand harsh winter weather. She is exhuming the remains of an old nun who is now proposed for sainthood. However, she finds that the remains are no longer there. This makes her job a lot harder as the ground freezes. She takes her daughter Katy on a trip to meet a guy who would be able to help her with a project for her course but things go wrong and Tempe ends up discovering a half burried body on an island. Things go from bad to worse when more and more people are found missing and maulled. There is a horriffic arson attack on a house with children in it, the bodies are not discovered until a little later but imagining two 4 month old babies that have had their hearts removed while they are still alive can be a little too much to imagine. The body count rises and rises and Tempe seems to always be the one to try and solve it as though she is a police detective. This was probably completly coincidental but as I was reading the book, I thought to myself that this seems a little like 'Murder, She Wrote'. No matter where Jessica Fletcher goes to stay there is always a murder and she just happens to be in the right place at the right time to solve it. Then I flicked the TV channel and it was actually on!! The same thing happens with Tempe - no matter where she goes, Death just seems to follow her. The novel is based on work Kathy Reichs has actually done herself as she is a forensic anthropologist in North Carolina too. This is not a biography though but she does add notes in the back of the novel to the places she got the inspiration for in Bare Bones. Real life cases though are what she isn't allowed to discuss but she does say she has found a lot of the things she mentions. Because Kathy has this first hand experience, she is able to give clear descriptions which mean you are able to get a very vivid picture in your head - not always good! I'm not going to lie to you and say this is a perfect book for night time reading to your child as it certainly isn't! The descriptions are very vivid and are really pretty disgusting at times. Even just the word 'putrified' sends shivers down my back! The novel is in the first person giving Tempe's character full control of feelings and thoughts. Unlike Bare Bones, this novel contains very little humour from the Quebec detective Andrew Ryan - Tempe's future flame. One thing I did find better than her 2003 novel was there were a lot less abbreviated terms and those that are mentioned all have their proper names included so even if the reader has no knowledge of Forensic Anthropology, I was certainly still able to understand what they were talking about. Tempe's sister Harry features a lot in this novel which introduces more of her side of the family. Harry gets herself tangled up though in these guesome goings on! The novel contains a lot of French phrases, most of which have their English meaning beside them but at the beginning of the novel, Tempe says she thinks accents and graves were created for her to make mistakes so most of the French is very simple... e.g. 'Bonjour', 'Comment ca va?' .... etc. = Hello, How are you? Looking at Amazon there seems to be two releases of this book - 1999 and 2000. I have the 2000 edition with it's white cover. Deja Dead has a darker cover and all the rest of Reich's books have black covers with ominous pictures. I don't think that the picture on this cover has any significance as I could not really place where it could be in the novel although there are a couple of places that it could related to. One of the greatest quotes from the book is one that features twice and is also printed on the back blurb: "Another Day. Another Death. Death Du Jour. My God, how many such days would there be?" Death Du Jour translates as Death of the Day - quite rightly so as there is a Death a day! The novel also contains two chapters from her next book 'Deady Decisions'. I haven't started reading them yet as that will mean I'll want to buy that one too! After having bought Kathy Reich's 2003 book 'Bare Bones', I knew I had to buy another in her collection. In my honest opinion, I loved this one even more than the first I read! I did note some comparisons between this book and Bare Bones - although each is the same length (over 400 pages) and both have 35 chapters, Death Du Jour has a smaller font and packs a lot more into it. Bare Bones seemed a much easier read but I preferred this one as it has a better plot and more to cover. I managed to buy this book for the great bargain price of 1p at the Amazon Marketplace - the book is in very good readable condition - the cover and spine are just a little creased. I then had to pay 2.75P&P but the retail price of the book is 6.99GBP so I still made a huge saving!

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                  21.02.2001 21:19
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                  After the impressive debut with “Deja Dead” (see my opinion on it lower down my list), I had very high expectations indeed for this second novel by Kathy Reichs. Then one month, there it popped up in my book club magazine (hurrah!) and off went my order. The blurb sounded fairly similar to the first novel, with an equally bland an uninspiring front cover. They really should get a different artist for the next one. I've bought many books beforte on the strength of the 'look' and information on the outside. If it wasn't for taking a chance with the first book i'm quite sure I would've missed this one too. This time they don’t even put a quote on the rear of the book. No recommendations either. When was the last time you picked up a crime/thriller novel and were faced with a blank rear cover?! • Quotes This time they have put a small snippet from the book on the inside of the front inlay sheet; here it is to give you a flavour of the writing style of Kathy Reichs: - “In Quebec, winters can be slow for the forensic anthropologist. The Temperature rarely rises above freezing. The rivers and lakes ice over, the ground turns rock hard, and snow buries everything. Bugs disappear, and many scavengers go underground. People, too, burrow in. Hunters, hikers, and picnickers quit roaming the woods, and some of last season’s dead are not found until the spring melt. The cases that are assigned to me, the faceless in need of a name, decline in number between November and April…” A good quote from the early part of the book but they chopped a whole sentence out of the middle of it! I think they lost the bottle to include it. It was in between the “scavengers go underground” and “People, too burrow in” sentences. Here it is, see if you agree with me on this poor quote editing! “The result: Corpses do not putref y in the great outdoors. Floaters are not pulled from the St. Lawrence” • Genre Anyway, back onto the book. The subject matter in her novels can be on the dark, morbid or macabre side of things as it predominantly deals with death. Decomposing ones at that. Anyone of a squeamish nature may not be attracted to this as some of the scenes are described in quite graphic and precise detail, even down to the smells! Again, Death du Jour (Death of the Day) is written in a similar style to the first novel and contains a few sections and phrases using the Quebecois French wording rather than the English. This helps to give a more realistic feel for the culture in the Montreal sections of the book and doesn’t hinder in any way the readers comprehension or enjoyment of it. • Brief outline of the plot As an expert in the field, we initially find Dr Temperance Brennan, suffering from the cold in the grounds of a church, conducting a dig to discover and exhume the remains of Sister Elisabeth Nicolet, a nun from the late 19th century. The nun in question has been put forward for sainthood and her remains must be found to receive treatment. But why have her remains been moved to an unmarked grave in a remote part of the cemetery? Tired and weary after the day’s exertions at the church, she settles down for some much needed rest at her Quebec home … then the telephone rings. A house in the St Jovite district has been set on fire, a particularly bad one to have to involve a call at that hour. What ensues from the scene of the fire, and the many questions that it throws up, will take Dr Temperance Brennan back to North Carolina to a mysterious cult and a desperate chase to discover a killer out of control. • Characters Death du Jour (I'll abbreviate to DDJ to avoid boring you to death with it and save my fingers from RSI) again fe atures Dr Temperance Brennan (commonly abbreviated to “Tempe”) as the main character. For the benefit of those of you who haven’t read Deja Dead, her character is a forensic anthropologist working partly in Montreal and partly in North Carolina. This “fictional” character is so obviously based on Reichs herself, as she is also a certified forensic anthropologist (FA). Her CV is mighty impressive (Professor of FA at the University of North Carolina, FA for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of North Carolina and the equivalent position in Quebec) and obviously qualifies her as a real life expert on the subject. In writing terms, she has a head start on some of the more technical details of the novel and with the locations of Montreal (Quebec) and Charlotte (North Carolina), which she obviously knows very well. The other characters are not overly important in this novel as it does tend to rely very heavily on Tempe, but they do nonetheless add some substance to it. Reichs further builds on Tempe’s family relationships with her teenage daughter Katy, her ex-husband Pete and her rather flaky younger sister Harry. The detective/police contacts that Tempe deals with are not that well fleshed out. Pierre LaManche, her superior from the chief medical office in Quebec could have been developed a lot more. Claudel is the ever grumpy, arrogant and aloof Montreal detective. The exception here is the Montreal homicide detective Ryan, who is banded about as the intermittent love interest. One of the few characters other than Tempe that is actually likeable. • Verdict This technical and geographical aspect is only a part of the book, as it is a work of fiction, so strong believable characters and an intricate (intelligent) plot is also essential. Technical expertise alone won’t make a compelling read. This is the mistake I think Reichs has made with this second book. The wo nderful detail from the forensic side is what makes her books so different but in this case she seems to have gone a bit over the top with it, at the expense of the plot. The use of Quebecois language is more common in DDJ but often has the English translation afterwards so it doesn’t lose the reader. Personally, I think it adds a distinctive style to her books and gives a more accurate depiction of the Montreal characters. It starts off on such a slow pace that I found it very hard to get into. The sub-plot with the remains of the nun, Sister Elisabeth Nicolet, bored me to tears. It seemed to me to be out of place. Yes, it does show another side of the work performed by Tempe but it really wasn’t all that interesting. Some of the historical parts of this sub-plot were good and the eventual recognition at the end of the book re: her burial was a nice twist. The main plot seems to get a little bogged down in the first half of the book but does spring to life eventually. This is a worthwhile read but is not for the faint hearted or the impatient either. Not as entertaining as her first novel Deja Dead but it’s still good. I’d recommend you read Deja Dead first. If you like that then try this one too. I’m wavering on whether to give three or four stars for this. I’ll go for four in the end as I think I am being quite a hard judge on this work as Deja Dead was so good. It set a very hard task to follow. • Availability Published in hardback by Heinemann (£15.99 RRP, £13.59 amazon) ISBN: 0434007366 Published in paperback by Arrow (£5.99 RRP, £4.79 amazon) ISBN: 0099255197 Published on audio cassette by Random House Audiobooks (£13.00 RRP, £11.70 amazon) ISBN: 1856865223

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                    17.08.2000 04:43

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                    This is another winner from Kathy Reichs. This takes Dr Tempe Brennan from an old skeleton of a long dead nun to a series of grisly murders. I found myself wondering how the two threads were going to be linked thus making a bit of a mockery and an unbeleivable book. I was pleasantly surprised by the plot and how it thickened. Once again this author has written a novel which takes the reader deep into the black side of life which is well researched. She deals with the emotions of those involved realistically and empathically. Kathy Reichs is likened to Patricia Cornwell. However, I find Reichs much more readable.

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                    21.06.2000 02:22
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                    Following on from the success of 'Déjà Dead', Kathy Reichs has written another novel featuring Dr. Tempe Brennan, forensic anthropologist, also with French words in the title. Here, the title roughly translates to 'death of the day' in a gruesome version of restaurants' 'dish of theday'. It is March in Montreal. Brennan is exhuming the remains of an old nunwho is now proposed for sainthood. However, she finds that the remains have been moved. Hours after returning home, she is summoned to the scene of an arson,where a young family has died. There are no witnesses and there seems to be no reason behind the arson. There is a killer out of control and itsoon becomes clear that Tempe is going to bring the killer down. 'Déjà Dead' was launched in England with a sticker saying 'better than Patricia Cornwell or your money back'. Well, Heinemann have followed up the same policy with Death Du Jour. The only question is - will people be sending their books back or has Reichs produced a Cornwell-beater? I think that the answer to this question is a resounding 'yes'! I criticised the ending of Déjà Dead because I thought it was one that had been used too many times before. I am pleased that I do not have to repeat the criticism here. The book was fast right up to the end and the ending was actually a believable one and not as obvious as the ending in the first book. Reichs has taken her characters from the first novel and really worked on them, improving and developing them all the time. I noticed that the English of some of the French characters seemed to be written in a stilted, formal style, like that of M. Lamanche. Whether this was deliberate or not, it certainly added to the atmosphere. Reichs has obviously based Brennan on herself a lot and that is why the book is technically accurate, down to the last little detail. The descriptions of the places are very vivid and the plot itself is very spicy with twists and turns all over the place. The author injects some humour in at the same time and in my opinion,this is a lot better than 'Déjà Dead' is. If you were a fan of the last novel, you will love this one even more and if you are just a crime fiction fan, then you must not let this pass you by. I think this is one book where the money is going to be staying in the tills and the book is going to be staying on the shelves. Highly recommended.

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