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Deadly Décisions: 02/24/13

cover art

Deadly Décisions by Kathy Reichs is the third in the Temperance Brennan series. In this one the discovery of parts of a girl's skeleton during the investigation into an on-going biker gang war in Montreal opens up a cold case. Brennan is brought in to help identify the remains and is thrust into a turf war that might involve her nephew.

While the TV series spawned from the books has little in common with the source material, the two do share interesting (albeit sometimes obvious) observations on different subcultures and equally interesting scientific tidbits. I suspect the science is closer to reality (though by how much, I can't say) in the books. Certainly Brennan doesn't have access to super smart assistants and their home-brew magic science sleuthing devices. It is for these two details, though (the scientific investigation and the cultural observations) that I both read the books and watch the series.

In the books, including this one, Brennan, while more connected with friends and family, lacks the bravado and fighting skills of her younger TV counterpart. Instead, she seems to have an uncanny knack for getting both herself and her family into trouble with the very folks she's investigating. While these scenes are there for drama, they quickly become tiring.

Take for instance Brennan's nephew. He shows up conveniently enough just as she takes this biker gang case. He, of course, has taken an interest in hogs. He, of course, is naively suckered into a web of intrigue that puts himself and his aunt in danger. His interaction with the ballsy big bad du jour gives Brennan just the connection to crack the case wide open (of course).

All the way through, until the plot paint-by-numbers called for Brennan to connect her personal problems with the case, the nephew insisted he wasn't hooked up with dangerous bikers. It sure would have been refreshing if that had been the case. I realize that probably won't happen in any of the books I read. But I will keep hoping, nonetheless.

Three stars

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