Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Death Du Jour - Kathy Reichs

Temperance Brennan is called to a fire, where several people died. Not all of them though died in the fire, and the fire was definitely not an accident. On the other hand, Tempe has to find out the truth about a nun who lived at the time of the smallpox epidemic in Montreal.

This is Kathy Reichs: second novel featuring Temperance Brennan, and I liked this one much more than the first one. Having read this second novel, I think of the first one more of someone trying to find their pace, their style, their character in writing. And with the second one, Kathy Reichs becomes more confident in her writing. She seems to have found her pace, and her writing character.

Reichs sets a different pace with this book.And we are also interrupted by Tempe's search for the truth about Elisabeth Nicolet. Are the interruptions just for the sake of pacing the action or do they work in context? I think they work in context. We do find out more about Tempe's work, that it is not just murders, and crimes, but that it can be also for historical purposes. I did find myself in some pages of the book wanting to learn about Nicolet and who she was. The story of Elisabeth Nicolet is interesting on her own, we are shown glimpses of the past, of the society, of how people perceived certain things in that time period.

I liked the theme of the first novel, but really loved the theme of this second novel. The main theme is cults and how these can affect someone's life, how some charismatic people who think they are the new messiahs, lure desperate people into their delusion or scam. Sometimes these cult leaders are scammers, sometimes they are just delusional.

Kathy Reichs manages to show how dangerous cults are, how tehir leaders try and manipulate other people to do their bidding, even to the point of telling them who they can and cannot love. She has done her homework, extensive research into cults, before writing this novel. And this is one of the things that I love abouther books: no junk science, as far as I can tell.

And of course, I will read the next novel in the series. It already sits on my next to read book pile, ready to be opened and enjoyed.