Deadly Decisions

Kathy Reichs, Author Scribner $25 (336p) ISBN 978-0-684-85971-2
Critics (and publicists) often compare Reichs to Patricia Cornwell, as both are women who write bestselling thrillers featuring a female forensic expert. There's a significant difference between them, though. Reichs brings to her grisly novels a scientific detail and authenticity that Cornwell rarely matches--a virtue arising from Reich's background as a top forensic anthropologist for the governments of North Carolina and Quebec, a background mirrored by that of her heroine, Tempe Brennan. But Cornwell--a journalist before she turned novelist--is a more accomplished writer than Reichs, and her more fluid prose and plotting support a heroine who exudes a vitality that Brennan doesn't. Reichs's strengths and weaknesses are apparent in this third novel (after Death du Jour) featuring narrator Brennan, which finds the crime fighter tangling with outlaw motorcycle gangs in Montreal. The novel opens as Brennan, ""sorting badly mangled tissue"" in an autopsy room, is interrupted by the arrival of another body: that of a girl, nine, caught by a bullet that one gang, the Heathens, had intended for a rival Viper. The mangled tissue belongs to two Heathens who'd been en route to bomb the Vipers' headquarters: war is raging among bikers in Montreal, and Brennan is soon caught in the battles, not least because her visiting nephew, Kit, is enamored with bikers--including some involved in the war. The narrative carries Brennan to assorted bikers' hangouts, and to much forensic digging, all of which Reichs handles with an admirable intensity and veracity. Still, the novel has a stiff, storyboarded feel, with a subplot involving Brennan's cop lover--has he turned gang member?--particularly intrusive. The pacing is lopsided, laborious in front and action-stuffed at the back, and the narrative spreads its message about the malfeasance of outlaw bikers with a heavy hand. Overall, the novel works, but the gears show one time too many. Agent, Jennifer Rudolph Walsh at the Writer's Shop. Major ad/promo; 6-city author tour. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/03/2000
Release date: 07/01/2000
Show other formats
FORMATS
Mass Market Paperbound - 384 pages
Hardcover - 464 pages - 978-0-7432-0429-3
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7435-0054-8
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-7432-1077-5
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7927-2393-6
Paperback - 381 pages - 978-0-09-955653-4
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-7435-2011-9
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4423-5363-3
Open Ebook - 416 pages - 978-1-4481-0660-8
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.