Oddly enough, the book has been in our library for over 10 years now but I made the connect only recently. And once I did, I read it more out of curiosity than anything else.
For all those Bones fans out there, in case you didn’t know already, Kathy Reichs is the creator of Temperance Brennan (aka Tempe) and the character itself is based on her own experiences as a forensic scientist.
But the similarity ends there. Deja Dead is serious business. The Tempe here is not socially awkward (thus denying the opportunities to get a few laughs from her social gaffes). She is just someone going through a mid-life crisis – a divorce, a teenage daughter, etc. She is also not surrounded by an effervescent team to help out in the investigations. In Deja Dead, Tempe is a gutsy professional and a one man army.
The book is set in Montreal where Tempe works off and on, apart from her career in America. She routinely goes through the not-so-troublesome cases and is looking forward to a weekend vacation when the call comes in. A case of a body found in the woods – mutilated and packed in plastic bags. In turns out to be the body of a girl who recently went missing. While the cops want it to be treated as a stand-alone case, something about it creates the nagging doubt in Tempe that it may very well be part of a larger game. So she sets off with her own line of investigation much to the chagrin of the Montreal PD. In the midst of all this, she has to also deal with the emotional problems of her old friend Gabby, a socio-psychologist, who is working on the social systems of the sex-workers in Montreal.
The crimes are heinous and are described in detail through cold science. The work methods are described methodically and beyond a point you develop great respect for the forensic team. The meticulousness of the procedures followed is impressive and personally, I was surprised that dental records take this much work !
Would I recommend this to everyone ? Probably not for two simple reasons. First, like I have already mentioned, the crimes are graphic. Second, there are a lot of scientific terms used when describing the procedures. Unless you can stomach these, better stay away.
Would I read another Kathy Reichs ? Again, probably not. It was a good read and a page turner no doubt. But I don’t feel the urge to go back for more.