Title: Deadly Decisions
Author: Kathy Reichs
Series: Temperance Brennan #3
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Anthropology, Science, Crime, Strong women
Publisher: Arrow Books
5th sentence, 74th page: What they’d discovered made no sense at all.
A nine-year-old girl is killed in crossfire on her way to ballet class. The body of a teenager killed in North Carolina is found hundreds of miles away.
Forensic anthropologist Dr Temperance Brennan knows she shouldn’t let emotion get in the way, but when nine-year-old Emily’s body is wheeled into the morgue she cannot help but react.
An exhumation uncovers the bones of yet another innocent in a clandestine grave close to a biker gang headquarters. With her boss in hospital and sparring partner Detective Andrew Ryan mysteriously unavailable, Tempe alone begins a perilous investigation into the lawless underworld of organised crime…
The third instalment of the Temperance Brennan series was another masterful description of crime, forensic anthropology and the intricacies of the underworld. This time, Reichs takes us on a journey through the world of Bikie gangs. I’ve always heard many stories about the hierarchy and the ways in which these groups operate and run, and reading a book about it was incredibly fascinating. It also provided me with more information on their formation, alliances with other groups and the way that law enforcers deal with such a large crime syndicate.
Reichs was able to take the knowledge of Bikie gangs to build a vibrant, and slightly terrifying world. Luckily, the seriousness of this was offset by Tempe’s wit and humanity. I really enjoy reading about the different ways in which she copes with the constant onslaught of death. Especially since the death that she deals with is almost never peaceful. This added an extra layer of reality to the storyline for me. Forensic anthropology isn’t necessarily an easy field to work in (especially when working as part of a crime team, as opposed to a research group), using this knowledge to show the different coping mechanisms that one can use was really interesting, and reminded me of the fact that Reichs herself is a forensic anthropologist.
I liked that this book showed us more of Brennan’s maternal side. Even though we saw glimpses of this throughout the first two books, Tempe’s constant interactions with her nephew Kit helped to cement this. Even though you just knew that something bad was going to happen to him, after all, he needed to be instrumental to the story to be included, it was still really fun to watch the story unfold. I also found it hard to predict what was going to go wrong.
My main issue with this book was the way in which Andy Ryan seemed to suddenly disappear. I had been enjoying the growing tensions between Detective Ryan and Temperance Brennan in the first two books. But this suddenly disappeared. Even though it was well explained towards the end of the book, it was still really difficult to get my head around. I don’t like characters (or for that matter, people) who are hot and cold and I found him to be a bit like this, especially in the beginning.