Customer Review

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tempe is terrific, December 15, 2001
This review is from: Fatal Voyage : A Novel (Hardcover)
Kathy Reichs has created a wonderful character in Temperance Brennan, known by her friends as Tempe, a forensic anthropolgist who is brilliant, tough, and compassionate. In "Fatal Voyage," she joins a team investigating the tragic crash of an airplane in the mountains of North Carolina.
Joining the team is Andy Ryan, a Montreal detective for whom Tempe has had feelings in the past. He has a vested interest in the investigation, since his former partner, Jean Bertrand, may have died in the crash while escorting a prisoner. The investigators try to figure out what brought the plane down. Was it sabotage, an assassination, an insurance scam, a mechanical failure or something else?
Complicating Tempe's life further is her discovery of a decomposed foot near the crash site. When Tempe looks into her discovery, she suspects that it has nothing to do with the crash; she believes that it is a separate mystery that needs investigating. Suddenly, Tempe is unfairly accused of tampering with evidence and of illegally removing remains from the crash site. She is ordered off the investigation. It appears that powerful people want to discredit Tempe professionally. Later, when a mysterious man tries to run Tempe down with his car, she begins to realize that her life may be in danger, as well.
In "Fatal Voyage," Reichs has created a large and colorful cast of characters, such as Ruby McCready, the bible toting owner of a bed and breakfast where Tempe stays, and Lucy Crowe, the local sheriff who is every bit as tough and tenacious as Tempe. The dialogue sparkles and the narrative moves quickly, although you will need a scorecard to follow the many twists and turns in the plot. The ending is a little weak--too melodramatic and unrealistic, considering the excellence of the writing up to that point.
Why does Tempe spend her life poring over the remains of dead people? In this poignant passage, Tempe explains why she does such "unpleasant" work:
"It is for these victims and the mourners that I tease posthumous tales from bones. The dead will remain dead, whatever my efforts, but there have to be answers and accountability. We cannot live in a world that accepts the destruction of life with no explanations and no consequences." That is good writing and Tempe is a terrific character.
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Review Details

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E. Bukowsky "booklover10"
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: NY United States

Top Reviewer Ranking: 120