By: Kathy Reichs
Scribner, New York
I found Kathy Reichsí previous bestseller, Bare Bones, to be a
confusing and rather ill matched hodgepodge of coincidences and
happenstances in search of a plot. I had enjoyed her previous five
Temperance Brennan mysteries so much that was almost reluctant to read her
latest entry, Monday Mourning, for fear that she had, in fact, lost
her touch. I quickly found my fears to be groundless. Monday Mourning
is once again Kathy Reichs at her best!
The novel opens with Tempe Brennan, professor of forensic anthropology
at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and forensic anthropologist
for the province of Quebec, excavating the skeletal remains of what appear
to be three young women left in the basement of a pizza parlor. Itís a
bone-chilling Monday morning in a frigid Montreal and Tempe finds herself
caught in a maze of intrigue and emotions as she vows to discover the
secrets buried with these lost girls.
There are three elements to the Brennan mysteries that I have come to
expect and Monday Mourning delivers on all three: First is insight
into the science of forensic anthropology. Kathy Reichs has proved to be a
master of describing and explaining very complex processes and procedures
in terms comprehensible to the layperson; in this case her explanations of
carbon-14 dating and strontium-87 analysis as they pertain to recent
corpses are wonderfully done.
Second, Iíve come to expect complex plots, interesting and
complicated characters both central and tangential to the plot, and a
completely unanticipated revelation of "whodunit" at the denouement.
Third, the truly great Tempe Brennan mysteries will have an action
sequence that puts the heroine in harmís way and almost literally leaves
the reader gasping for air. More often than not these sequences, so
eloquently described by Kathy Reichs, will put Tempe in a deadly and
Monday Mourning delivers on all three of these elements and this
satisfying entry in the Tempe Brennan series makes me anxiously anticipate
the next volume a year from now.
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