2023 Book Review: Deja Dead

Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs

A Mystery/Thriller, 1997 by Scribner, 532 Pages 

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Slow start. You spend a lot of time building background in this one, which makes sense since it’s the first to introduce us to Temperance Brennan. But that makes for a slow start. 
  • I say this every time I read one of these books but it’s important to remember this is not the Tempe Brennan of the show you’re familiar with. She’s not as dry, she has an ex-husband and a child, and she’s sober with effort. While that wouldn’t have been a negative when this book came out in 1997, it’s something to keep in mind if you’re picking it up after already watching the show. 
  • I didn’t love the main character’s internal monologue in this one. I don’t remember reading so much of that in the later books, so it may be something that gets tamped down as the series goes on, but it’s a lot in this one. Random song lyrics were probably the most annoying, but there were others as well. It distracts from what is happening in the story and makes it a little hard to focus on what we were talking about. 

What I Did Like:

  • The characters. Although they’re not the ones you’ll know and love from the TV show, I did like the dynamics between Temperance and Detective Ryan. They play off each other nicely and set up a good working relationship that will carry the rest of the books in this series. 
  • Mistakes are made. That is always important in a book about solving a crime. It’s unrealistic to imagine a detective, or anyone working a case, will get it all right on the first try. I like the realism behind errors.
  • The forensic connection is well written. Obviously, that is Kathy Reichs’ background and expertise so it makes sense that would be well done. The forensic science in this one is written in such a way that it doesn’t go over the reader’s head but also teaches you something. 

Who Should Read This One:

  • Fans of crime novels who are looking for something different will like the way this series takes a look at forensic anthropology as another avenue for crime solving. 

My Rating: 3 Stars

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