Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Death Du Jour - Audiobook Review

Death Du Jour by Kathy Reichs

Format - Audiobook, Downloaded by Audible

Narrator, Bonnie Hurren

Why? 2nd in a new series I'm reading 

What Now? on to #3 but not in audiobook format...and here's another plug for Audible (no I don't work for them)...I downloaded #3 Deadly Decisions to my Iphone and was shocked when the download  was complete so quickly.  I realized then that I had downloaded the abridged version...not the unabridged...I almost had a conniption fit.  I emailed Audible explaining what I had done but didn't really expect them to be able to do anything about it.  Within 24 hours I had a credit to my account for the price of the download and a very polite email apologizing for any inconvenience I had been caused.
Now that's customer service :) 
Unfortunately though, I have yet to find the unabridged version of Deadly Decisions so I may have to go back to the old fashioned way of reading again...on my Nook ;)


While working on a historic case, to establish the sainthood of long dead Elizabet Nicolae, Temperence is called in to investigate a housefire where adults as well as children have been killed in what turns out to be a cult murder.  The cult connections run deep, and once Temperence gets the Canadian officials to get over their macho selves, they begin to put the far flung pieces together in this "better stay sharp or you'll miss a clue" novel.
In the process of Death du Jour, Temperence finds that a cult following is similar to a cancer that spreads wide and within even the smallest niches, only to be discovered after irreversable damage is done.

What I Liked

Detective Ryan - He's not Booth (from the t.v. show)...and that was almost a dealbreaker for me when I was trying to decide which next series to try...but this Temperence is not the Temperence on t.v. either...once I got to know both these characters in the book, the details worked out much better than I thought.  I like their partnership; I think it's inevitable that they'll end up a couple of some sort, but I think they'll also remain professional...that's my hope anyway...if Reichs goes all lovey dovey on me, she'll lose me.  

Reichs got me again...I had absolutely no clue who the villain was...until Reichs decided to unveil it...I was stunned.  Walking around with my earphones in, I actually stopped and said the person's name.  My oldest daughter said, "Huh?"

The movement from Montreal and Quebec to Charlotte, Virginia...Murtrey Island - the island of the monkeys...the movement of the story is one of the many reasons you have to stay alert while reading Reichs.  I think she does that on purpose, and I appreciate it!

Daisy Ginot - the McGill University professor with deep, dark secrets...I can't say much here, but she gave me chills from the first time Temperence met her. 

Elizabet - the bones that begin the mystery...end the mystery...a very comforting and effective closure...possibly one of the best I've read. 

While the storyline is wide, it all connects in the end and sets up just enough lose ends for continuation later in the series...Temperence's daughter Katy connects with an anthropologist mentor, Sam Rayburn of Temperence's on the grounds of the island on which he studies monkey behavior.  Katy is struggling with decisions in her life right now so the connection here brings out some of her characteristics like her mom.  Of course the most direct connection is that 2 dead bodies show up on the secluded island, which is quarantined due to risk of infection for the animals.

Cults are the focus of this novel...and while the novel follows a distinct storyline, the reader also "accidentally" gains a great amount of information about the subject matter...all of the info pertinent to being able to figure out the puzzle.

Temperence's brain doesn't stop when she sleeps...especially when she's working or one time in her life, alcohol numbed that anxiety.  A recovering alcoholic, Temperence works, runs, reads, travels, etc. in order to keep her sanity and stay sober.  Even during the times that she would like a drink, she works through the desire logically...deliberately thinking about how the relief is always temporary and that the consequences, physical as well as emotional, are not worth a drink.  Temperence drinks Diet Coke instead of alcohol, doesn't whine or moan about her status, and doesn't share her story with just anyone.  I think I like this part of Temperence's personality bc it shows how even the toughest, smartest, most together women can and do have weaknesses/challenges over which they climb every. single. day.
The older I get the more I am convinced that the brightest people are at risk of addictive behavior as well as mental challenges.

What I Didn't Like

The use of dogs as part of the villainous torture...I'm biased here, but 
dogs, knives and scalding liquid as forms of torture are gruesome.  I'm also one of those dog owners who doesn't encourage my dog to "get" anything, nor do I reinforce any of her aggressive traits.  The world has enough images of dog viciousness already...hence breed specific legislation, which I am totally against.  

The science and the language - it's not that I don't like these aspects...bc I felt more connected with this 2nd book than I did with the 1st, but it's still challenging for me to keep up at times.  Kathy Reichs' isn't a brainless writer so her books are anything but brainless.

Temperence's sister Harry...accent snob as I am, the narrator's voice wasn't my problem.  Harry's "voice" is high-pitched and whiny...makes me shiver just typing that line.  I don't have a lot of patience for characters who just bumble around aggravating the crap out of everybody else and never learning from their mistakes.  Harry is the complete opposite of Temperence.


Since I liked the first narrator so much, I was immediately taken aback when I realized the narrator this time was different.  Her voice was different with nuances I wasn't sure I would be able to be ok with.  I thought a lot about how difficult I am to please with narrators.  I'm not sure there's anything I can do about it although I did finally get over the differences enough to still enjoy the story.  

Overall Recommendation

"Bones" viewers and mystery, detective novel readers who are also interested in the science and social aspects behind cults, their organization, characteristics of followers as well as leaders, will enjoy this edition of Temperence Brennan.


  1. I haven't read any of the Temperence Brennan books yet, but I have heard good things about the series as a whole. I do think I would enjoy these books, but I am a tickler for starting books in a series in order! I always love audible because their customer service is amazing. Never had one complaint about them!

  2. I hope to get started on #3 soon since we're finally finished with our semester.  I have a stack of fun reads waiting on me!

  3. I have read many many Tempe Brennan books, and I love them.  I'm not running out to get them as soon as they publish, but I end up reading them eventually.  Love the chemistry between Tempe and Ryan...but Reichs is never all that lovey dovey.  

  4. Since I'm so behind on them I won't be running out to get them either.  I like to read a series in order and I still haven't started #3.  And, I'm SO glad to hear that Reichs won't get all mushy on me :P