Thursday, 10 May 2012

Book 30 of 2012: Monday Mourning

Another series I’ve been getting through very swiftly has been Kathy Reichs’ Temperance Brennan books. The most recent of these that I’ve read being the seventh, Monday Mourning. Despite not remembering so much of the last book I read, I remembered quite a lot of this one; mainly the finding of the women and the fire.

This book begins with three girls bodies being discovered in the basement of a pizza parlour. Claudel believes that they are an archaeological find but Tempe believes otherwise, a mysterious phone call makes her more certain. The investigation goes on to find a man who kidnaps and holds girls captive… except there’s slightly more to it than that.

This one had rather less of an element of suspense to it. As I said, I could remember more of it, especially the ending so I didn’t feel quite the urgency when I was reading it that I’ve had with previous books. It’s for this reason that I’m really looking forward to getting beyond the next book and on to the five or six that I’ve never read. It’s so good reading these books for the first time when you don’t know exactly what’s going to happen.

I think that the way this one was done was clever, there was a good build-up and as usual there were the classic Reichs cliffhangers. It’s a little bit tiresome having Claudel and Tempe always sniping at each other, especially as the previous books often end with some sort of taciturn understanding being reached between them, only to have it dissolve by the next book. Claudel did seem to be friendly with Tempe by the end of this one, so we’ll have to see how that plays out in future books.

It did also follow the classic formula with three chapters from the end, Tempe winds up in hospital. I remember when I was first reading these books, by the time I got to this point, reading them one after the other, I was getting a bit fed up with this always happening to her. I can see that it is a nice and easy way to wrap up the case and tell the reader the outcome without Tempe having to recount it all. I’m curious to see if this trend will continue with the future books.

One of my favourite things about this series of books is the relationship between Tempe and Andrew Ryan. They’ve got this sort of not-quite-on, not-quite-off thing going on. In this one it’s definitely veering more towards the side of not-quite-on, Ryan spends most of the book being rather distant. I did kind of want to give Tempe a thump and tell her to just ask him outright but it all comes out in the end. I vaguely remember being a bit disappointed by them in the next book, though I don’t remember exactly why. Plus, there’s only so far they can really go with the back and forth stuff, sooner or later they’re either going to have to hook up properly or else move on. I realise these are crime books first and foremost, but Reichs does the slightly mushy romantic stuff pretty well, so I always look forward to it cropping up.

Waking to the Tuesday morning weather report, I knew I was in for killer cold. Not the occasional mid-forties damp with whine about in January in North Carolina, I mean subzero cold. Artic cold. If-I-stop-moving-I’ll-die-and-be-eaten-by-wolves cold.Page 13

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