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Book Title: Deadly Décisions|
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Reader ratings: 5.8
The author of the book: Kathy Reichs
Edition: William Heinemann Ltd
Date of issue: August 1st 2000
ISBN 13: 9780434008209
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 447 KB
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Kathy Reichs’s creation of Temperance Brennan appeared to be a mirror image of the author. Reichs was a forensic anthropologist for the state of North Carolina and the province of Quebec, Canada when I first read this many years ago. Deadly Decisions is the third book in this series and while it's too hit and miss overall, this one is a nice read.
Temperance is called away from Quantico when a young girl named Emily Anne becomes an innocent victim in the escalating turf war between biker gangs in Canada. It has become serious enough that a Special Operations Unit called Caracajou has been formed, and Temperance is asked to join it. Once she does, she learns in heartbreaking fashion how the sophisticated network of the new mafia uses some very old and horrifying methods to remain in control.
Reichs writes Brennan as a classy professional who has overcome a drinking problem in her past. Though widely respected in her field, she has at best a respectful relationship with the stuffy French detective named Claudel with whom she often works. Reichs weaves these details naturally into the crime story, unlike Patricia Cornwell, who eventually let all Scarpetta’s hang-ups and neuroses, and those of Lucy, ruin that series.
Deadly Decisions is a good read, and there is excellent atmosphere in this one. When the body of a second girl buried years before is discovered, Reichs is at her very best. She provides tense excitement but colors it with sadness. The portion about the careful excavation of a body so badly decomposed that only the girl’s bones, and the mystery of who killed her are left for Temperance to uncover is particularly well written.
Also within the narrative Reich's provides touching moments, such as the releasing of balloons at Emily Anne’s funeral. There is an understanding by the author in regard to violence, and how it often occurs suddenly and without time to mourn. Minor but important details such as this add depth to a genre which has increasingly become sensationalized with brutality and gore, desensitizing the reader and removing any resonance. Not the case here, I'm happy to say.
This is a classy read in a genre that has become bloated, and has very much gone astray. Author Kathy Reichs imbues Temperance Brennan with professionalism and humanity, all the while remaining focused on the crimes and the victims. She fleshes out Temperance into a real person we would want on our side in such circumstances. This is a series that found solid ground with this one, and this particular entry is well worth checking out.
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Read information about the authorKathy Reichs is a forensic anthropologist for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, State of North Carolina, and for the Laboratoire des Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Quebec. She is one of only fifty forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology and is on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. A professor of anthropology at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Dr. Reichs is a native of Chicago, where she received her Ph.D. at Northwestern. She now divides her time between Charlotte and Montreal and is a frequent expert witness in criminal trials.
Arthur Ellis Award
◊ Best First Novel (1998): Deja Dead
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