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Deadly Decisions (Temperance Brennan, No. 3) Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 2001


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Deadly Decisions (Temperance Brennan, No. 3) + Death du Jour (Temperance Brennan Novels) + Deja Dead (Temperance Brennan Novels)
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Star (July 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671028367
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671028367
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (183 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Temperance Brennan is a forensic anthropologist with one of the longest commutes in fiction--from North Carolina to Montreal. She works in both places, and in this third outing (after Déjà Dead and Death du Jour) she manages to make a riveting (if a bit too coincidental) connection between a skull in Montreal and the partial skeleton of a teenager--dead since 1984--in North Carolina. Linking them is a 9-year-old girl shot on a Montreal street, the victim of a war among members of an outlaw motorcycle gang in eastern Canada. Another piece of the puzzle is provided by Tempe's visiting nephew, who is fascinated by the biker culture and is drawn into the mystery Tempe's trying to solve:

"Know anything about Slick?" asked Kit.

"He doesn't look like the pick of the litter."

"Yeah, even from that motley litter." He flipped the picture. "Heck, this guy croaked when I was 3 years old."

There were two more photos of Slick's funeral, both taken from a distance, one at the cemetery, the other on the church steps. Many of the mourners wore caps riding their eyebrows, and bandannas stretched to cover their mouths.

"The one you've got must be from a private collection." I handed Kit the other pictures. "I think these two are police surveillance photos. Seems the bereaved weren't anxious to show their faces."

The science is as accurate as the author can make it. Kathy Reichs's own background--as forensic anthropologist for the chief medical officer of North Carolina and director of forensic anthropology for the province of Quebec--ensures verisimilitude of place and procedure and creates a believable milieu. Fans of Patricia Cornwall will enjoy this solidly written suspense thriller, while those of a less scientific bent, who don't mind a somewhat lagging pace, will skip the details and concentrate on Reichs's fluid writing. All readers will enjoy the way Tempe puts the pieces of the puzzle, as well as the bodies, together. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

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 matchesAa 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 CornwellAa journalist before she turned novelistAis 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 bikersAincluding 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 loverAhas he turned gang member?Aparticularly 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)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author


Kathy Reichs, like her fictional creation, Temperance Brennan, is forensic anthropologist for the province of Quebec. She is Vice President of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, serves on the Canadian National Police Services Advisory Council, and is one of only fifty-six forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. A professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Dr. Reichs now divides her time between Charlotte and Montreal. Deja Dead, her debut novel, brought her fame when it became a New York Times bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. In 2007 Break No Bones was short- listed for the Ellis Award for Best Novel. Kathy Reichs is the inspiration for the television drama Bones; her latest novel featuring Temperance Brennan is Devil Bones. Her newest release, 206 Bones, is due out in the summer of 2009

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 10, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
When I read both of Kathy Reichs earlier Tempe Brennan stories I enjoyed them very much. However, something in the cover blurb for "Deadly Decision" put me off though, and I postponed buying it. A rash of negative reviews on Amazon reinforced this, and I only decided to read this book at last because the next in the series, "Fatal Voyage," is now out and I wanted to catch up. While "Deadly Decisions" isn't Reich's best, it is still a well told story. This is the inevitable plight of good writers that reviewers often over-react when their quality dips. I've done this myself.
The book turns on Tempe Brennan's reactions to the accidental killing of a 9 year old girl during a motorcycle gang killing. She feels so strongly that she volunteers to be the Forensic Lab's liaison with the police team working on motorcycle gang crime, called Carcajou. As a forensic anthropologist she is asked to help with the discovery of an old gang slaying site and in doing so also turns up the skull and crossbones of another young girl. These remains lead her to gang activities back in North Carolina. Tempe is drawn into a complex, deadly game with high powered, deadly opponents.
Tempe is devastated when her lover, Detective Andrew Ryan, is arrested for complicity in the drug deals and illicit trade of the gangs. Another blow comes when her nephew Kit is also drawn into the gang lifestyle by a newscaster, Lyle Crease, who is also extremely interested in Tempe's laboratory findings. There is yet another gang-style killing which arouses the anthropologist's suspicions that all is not well. Now Tempe finds herself in conflict on all sides, with gang members, Kit, and even other members of Operation Carcajou.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Tim Smith on July 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In this, Kathy Reich's third book, Tempe Brennan, a forensic anthropologist, splits time between North Carolina and Montreal. She has been assigned as liaison to Operation Carcajou, a task force on criminal activities of motorcycle gangs.The setting for the story occurs mainly in the Canadian spring " when the thaw offers up the dead, hidden by the snows of a long winter". Two skeletons are found as well as the skull and leg bones of a teen whose body had been lain to rest in North Carolina in 1984. The mystery facing Tempe is to determine how the skull ended up in Montreal and what is the connection to the skeletons of the two motorcycle gang members buried with it.
To complicate her life and add depth to the story, Tempe's love interest , Andrew Ryan, has been arrested for selling drugs. Her nephew Kit, whom she treats like her own son, has come to visit and is fascinated by Harley Davidsons. As the story progresses, she becomes more concerned and worried as Kit becomes involved with intrusive slime-ball reporter Lyle Crease, who also has a love for motorcycles. She becomes afraid for Kit and feels a sense of urgency as bikers are killing each other in a power struggle for the drug trade. The decisions faced by these characters is the underlying theme of the story.
Tempe is presented as a three- dimensional, increasingly complex and sensitive woman expressing her beliefs, fears, attitudes, and feelings. The book is written in the first person so we are privy to Tempe's innermost thoughts. She is a serious and dedicated scientist but we also learn of her feelings toward victims, perpetrators, co-workers, family, and herself. From the beginning, she describes how she feels about children and how she respects victims of violence.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Momo on October 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
When a nine-year-old girl ends up dead in Montreal as the latest victim of an ongoing biker war, forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan vows to help to find the killer. She joins a task force and with her we learn a lot about the groups involved. Vipers, Angels, Bandits, Heathens and so on. We learn who is affiliated with whom and who the warring factions are. Maybe this is a correct rendering of what's going on in Quebec, but in my opinion less would have been more here. It was simply impossible to remember all this information and put it to use throughout the book.
Apart from that I found the story to be an interesting insight into a culture I know next to nothing about. A bombing gone bad leads to the discovery of two long dead bikers and skull and leg bones of a teenage girl with links to Tempe's second home, North Carolina. Kit, Tempe's nephew becomes increasingly fascinated with the biker culture and boyfriend Andrew Ryan is out of the picture as he's suspected of selling drugs.
The story is a bit predictable but it's still fun to read. As with the first two books ("Deja Dead" and "Death Du Jour") coincidences keep piling up and, again, Ms Reichs cannot resist to lecture us about forensic details. This time it's blood splatters and while I usually enjoy reading about forensic science, she lost me pretty quick on this one.
I liked the first two books better, but this one is still good enough for a rainy Sunday afternoon. If you're not desperate to read it though, I'd recommend to wait for the paperback.
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