It’s been a while since I picked up a Temperance Brennan book. And I had honestly forgotten how damn amazing the writing in these are. Not just the great science behind the criminal investigation (which, lets face it, that alone would have me intrigued). But also the touching storyline, the intriguing mystery and the intense reveal at the end. There is a reason that I started reading crime novels after I picked up my first Kathy Reichs novel.
Love, love, love the idea of a time travelling anthropologist! After all, anthropology is all about participating and observing. In studies today, we mostly have to tell our participants that we are actually observing them… but if we travelled back in time? Before anthropologists existed? Well, I can understand not telling people that you’re observing them, after all, anthropologists aren’t something that exists yet.
It’s difficult to write and read about Christianity. It is such a sensitive topic, and one that I tend to steer clear of at all times. However, Reichs manages to use discussions surrounding Jesus and Christianity beautifully. She doesn’t talk about the different aspects of faith, but rather touches upon the different groups who are heavily entrenched within this discussion. And I actually loved it.
Mondays suck. And I love that this was highlighted not only in Reichs’ title for this novel, but also in the fact that every important moment in this story came on a Monday. Each revelation and spinning of the spider’s web happens on that horrible day, and ultimately, the climax and kind of horrible ending (in the best sense possible) also occurs on a Monday. Like I said, Mondays suck.
One of the things that I love about the Temperance Brennan series is that the science and emotions are spot on. In this origin story, it’s the emotions that really come to the fore and provide a strong storyline. Actually, this novella made me shed a tear when I finished it.
This was one of the more complex stories so far in the Temperance Brennan series – a freak discovery of bones in a bag, a plane crash and a baby in an incinerator all combined into one complex tale of mayhem and woe. The complexities of the storyline made it a little difficult to follow the cast at some points. For each of the crimes, there was a different set of players – each crime had its own set of suspects and professionals involved. Their own victims with their own lives. Even new investigators at each point of this story. It builds to create a multifaceted array of characters that can be a little difficult to follow at some points, but also show a very realistic approach to the life of a forensic anthropologist.
I loved, loved, loved this book! It is a great insight into not only the past of Indigenous Australians, but also the process of colonisation and how we can begin to right these wrongs. Rose doesn’t take a negative tone when writing this reflection, whilst making sure that it serves a great reminder that Australia has a long way to go before we can begin to heal some pretty horrible wounds.
This book was such a unique experience for me – it was an engaging and insightful look into phenomenological ethnography. For those of you who don’t know (as I didn’t when I started reading this book), phenomenology is the different ways in which we view the world. Our phenomenological understandings of our realities are shaped by culture, personal experience and spiritual considerations, amongst other things. Ethnographies, of which I have read a few, are anthropological texts. Ethnographies involve the author immersing themselves into another’s culture and life. Here they participate and observe at the same time, at once part of the group and separate.
Every time I think that I have a handle on the legal system outlined in the Temperance Brennan books, Reichs seems to throw a spanner in the works. I finally get my head around the system de Montreal, then we move to America, then we investigate a plane crash, and finally we move onto the jurisdictional system of Guatemala. It’s always great when you learn while reading!
Fatal Voyage helped to ease some of the frustrations of Deadly Decisions; it bought Andy Ryan back to the forefront of the story. I was really enjoying the courting dance of the two main characters throughout the series, and this addition to the series extended on it. Aside from the character connections, I also really enjoyed discovering what happens when there is a plane crash. Logically I knew that there are a lot of people who have to be involved in the retrieval process, but actually learning the intricacies of this, at least for America was really cool.