Sunday, October 19, 2008
Knitting Sticks: 3 1/2
I don't remember when I first encountered the Temperance Brennan series of books. I am not really that much of a contemporary murder/mystery fan but somewhere along the line I encountered Kathy Reichs and her books and I was hooked.
Temperance Brennan is a forensic anthropologist which means that she deals with bones and what they can tell us. She works both in Charlotte, North Carolina and Montreal. This happens to be the 11th book in the series and before I tell you what I thought about the book I have to say that the series is best read in sequence. You can read the books as "stand alones" but some of the finer points will be lost.
Tempe Brennan finds herself working with her old friend Erskine "Skinny" Slidel on a case that may involve voodoo, santeria, murder and dirty politics. As usual she finds herself in danger as she solves the case. The underlying themes are a continuation of earlier books - her relationship with her soon to be ex-husband Pete; her daughter; her relationship with Andrew Ryan. I must say that I am rooting for Ryan but we must wait to see.
All in all I enjoyed the book but it wasn't a tremendously intellectual read. I will say that her books have a fair amount of forensics jargon which can get tedious. Ms. Reichs is acutally a Forensic Anthropologist in Charlotee, NC so she knows what she is talking about. Also, just a pet peeve here, I always judge a good mystery by my "Agatha Christie" standard. You do not pull the murderer out of a hat at the end of the novel, you set the whole thing up and introduce all the characters in the beginning. I don't want to give anything away if you want to read the book but I didn't think that Ms. Reichs did this.