Month: July 2010

Death du Jour

Death du Jour

Death du Jour

I finished this book today. I was able to read it basically starting late one night and finishing it the next evening. It is the second Temperance Brennan book written by Kathy Reichs. I did read the first book in the series.

This book contains a little less French in it than the previous book in the “series”. The character Temperance Brennan also seems a lot more like the derivative television character that stars in “Bones.”  By that I mean, she is less emotive and more assertive. The story is split between Brennan’s job in Montreal and Brennan’s university job in Charlotte, NC. Much of the story takes place in Beaufort, SC. There is one romantic scene (no sex) involving the character Andy Ryan.

The interesting part of this book is that even if you know how the story is going to go, you still do not feel bored reading along. I was able to guess pretty early on what was going on with Brennan’s sister and the murders that she was investigating. I was not able to guess about the investigation of the nun which started the book, but it wasn’t all that interesting when I did find out at the end of the book. There were some pretty gory parts – babies had been killed. Most people will avoid this book based on that and I cannot say that I blame them. The main problem with the book is that there are a lot of murders. Well, not murders, but actually just dead bodies. At least 12 of them, I think. And while the heavy body count fits with the storyline, I admit that once in awhile I lost track of who the heck each body was etc. Mainly, the bodies are female and around the same age. All kinds of female names and talk of bones. It gets a little too much. Was this Anna? Or was it Kathryn? No! It must have been Carole. Sheesh!

Nevertheless, its a fun read. I like Reichs’ writing style well-enough. Temperance Brennan had a bit more attitude in this novel, which I appreciated. Don’t worry, at one point Brennan does still break down and have a crying fit. (She actually has two, but one is justified – she thought someone killed her cat! Thankfully, Birdie is fine!)

There is a rather long phone discussion between Brennan and another scientist regarding the role of insects and time of death. If you are interested in this sort of thing, larvae and flies and maggots, then this section is probably a lot more engrossing [sic] than if you are reading while eating a pizza. Nevertheless, I do appreciate a little of the “science” in the book. It makes it not seem quite so pulpy. [sic]

3 stars

Dead Until Dark

Dead UNtil DarkI read this book over the weekend. (After being hit by lightning.) I had trouble sleeping and since I had already seen season one of the related TV show (True Blood), I decided to read this book. Its was short and I already knew the storyline. All in all, it was a very quick read. I feel there was too much sex. As I found in the TV series, the main character is daft.  The author refers to her as naive.  I think it was an interesting read because I suspect it is different from the plethora of “vampire” things being published in the last five years.

If I had to describe the writing style, I’d probably say Harris skirts the surface of the story. I mean, people die, and we are told that things are sad, but you don’t really empathize or anything. And if something odd happens, well, its odd, but you don’t feel any big surprises. Everything, including murders, are calmly taken in stride. I considered this, and honestly, I think that’s part of the charm of setting the story in Bon Temps, Louisiana. Things in the South are slower and people do not get “upset” in the same way. I mean, this same story in NY would be very different.

As it stands I am giving it three stars. Its the first in a series (always a difficult piece to write). I do not think it is Harris’ first novel, though. The book is interesting and Harris knew when the book was done and did not drag it out for no reason. I appreciate that. And I was fairly amused at the character Bubba.

3 stars