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Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Friday, 16 November 2018

"Deja Dead" by Kathy Reichs

A serial killer is loose in Montreal. Pathologist Temperance Brennan decides the cops aren't working hard enough so conducts a few investigations on her own.

The strength of this otherwise predictable yarn lies in the detailed descriptions of, for example, the saw marks on the bones of a dissected corpse. For me, however, there was simply too much detail. Two pages on the different sorts of saws and their teeth? I skipped a lot of that. I guess I wasn't the target audience. We're all different.

In chapter 38 there seems to be a confusion between impotence (the inability to get an erection) with infertility (“goodbye spermatogenesis” as the detective says. This wouldn't matter ... except in a book which sells itself on medical detail.

There were some nice descriptions:
  • We sure aren't sitting any speed records clipping this worm.” (C 8)
  • Probably makes him harder than a math final.” (C 12)
  • His fingers felt cold and limp, like carrots kept too long in a cooler bin.” (C 16)
  • The little bastard’s about to blow a vocal chord. You don't get over there pretty quick he's going to circle right up his own asshole.” (C 17)
  • Two black kids ... wore ... pants big enough to have a nuclear family.” (C 35)

But I felt that “His eyes looked cold and hard, like some Mesozoic mammal.” (C 41) was meaningless. Does anyone know what the eyes of Mesozoic mammals (the very first mammals in the fossil record) looked like? And even if scientists do, I don't. 

But my most serious objection to this all-too-putdownable doorstopper was the stupidity of the main character. Even after discovering that she is personally being stalked by the serial killer, even after her best friend has been murdered, even after the killer has left a human head on her lawn, she still evades her police protection detail to go swanning about in Montreal's red light district. Even after finding that said killer has taken an interest in her daughter she fails to alert the police when she discovers her daughter's backpack outside her front door but can't find or in any way contact her daughter. Instead she goes into her house and waits for the serial killer to come and murder her. There comes a point when I refuse to suspend by disbelief any further.

November 2018; 509 pages

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