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Deja Dead (Temperance Brennan Novels) Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1998

3.9 out of 5 stars 782 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

A superb new writer introduces her intrepid heroine to crime fiction. Dr. Tempe Brennan, a trowel-packing forensic anthropologist from North Carolina, works in Montreal's Laboratoire de Medecine Legale examining recovered bodies to help police solve missing-persons cases and murders. It's clear to Tempe that the remains of several women killed and savagely mutilated point to a sadistic serial killer, but she can't convince the police. Determined to prevent more brutal deaths, she sleuths solo, tracking her quarry through Montreal's seedy underworld of hookers, where her anthropologist friend Gabby, doing her own scary research, is being stalked by a creep. Despite her ability to work among fetid, putrefying smells that "leap out and grab" and her "go-to-hell attitude" with seasoned cops, Tempe is as vulnerable as a soft Carolina morning. When a grinning skull is planted in her garden, her investigation turns personal and escalates to an intense and satisfying conclusion. Except for imparting an excess of lab information, Reichs, also a forensic anthropologist, drives the pace at a heady clip. A first-class writer, she dazzles readers with sensory imagery that is apt, fresh, and funny (e.g., "fingers felt cold and limp, like carrots kept too long in a cooler bin"). Recommended for all fiction collections, this read is sure to be in demand.
-?Molly Gorman, San Marino, Cal.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Temperance Brennan may not be competition for Kay Scarpetta, Patricia Cornwell's medical examiner, in the romance department, but she's just as stubborn and almost as astute when it comes to sleuthing. While investigating a grisly discovery for the Montreal coroner's office, Tempe finds herself remembering a similar investigation she conducted on the remains of a woman who was savagely dismembered and stuffed in garbage bags. When Tempe's concerns about a serial killer are dismissed by the police, she decides to pursue the matter herself--a course of action that both puts her career on the line and so effectively upsets the murderer's plan that he sets his sights on her. Montreal, with its French culture, is an enticing setting for Reichs' first mystery, and as a forensic anthropologist who spends part of her time working for the Province of Quebec, Reich knows the city well. She also contributes a wealth of authentic medical detail as she follows Tempe on her gripping, convoluted quest to catch a psychotic killer. A high-voltage thriller that readers won't want to put down. Reichs' novel generated great interest at the Frankfurt Book Fair and prompted a big-numbers rights auction. Stephanie Zvirin --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Temperance Brennan Novels
  • Mass Market Paperback: 532 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Star Books (June 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671011367
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671011369
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (782 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #573,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Dr. Temperance Brennen, (Tempe for short) moves from North Carolina, leaving behind a shaky marriage and bad memories for Quebec to be the Director of Forensic Anthropology. When an unidentified female corpse is discovered meticulously dismembered and stashed in plastic trash bags, Tempe remembers a case that was very much like this one in North Carolina, but she cannot convince the police department so she must investigate on her own, which puts her life and some of her loved ones in danger, Can she solve the case before this happens?
This is one of the most gripping thrillers that I have ever read. I was always a big Patricia Cornwell fan, but Kathy Reichs' heroine, Dr. Tempe Brennen, has more depth and personality to her than Dr. Kay Scarpetta. When Kathy Reichs describes scenes, they are amazing in detail, especially in the forensic anthropology area. There are many surprising twists and turn throughout the book, and the ending is the real shocker.
Move over Patricia Cornwell you have been replaced by Dr. Kathy Reichs as far as I am concerned.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
No wonder people have been urging me to read Kathleen Reichs! I finally caved in, began with "Deja Dead," her debut novel, and was swept away by her incredible brilliance.
This is a book that simply cannot be put down. I read it before work, I read it on the train, I snuck it in between tasks at work, I read it at lunch, I read it far into the night when my eyes were hanging on stalks. And still I had to race to the finish.
Temperance Brennan is a fortyish American forensic anthropologist from the South, who is working in French-speaking Montreal. A recovering alcoholic, she is divorced, mother of a college-age daughter, troubled--and incredibly good at what she does. In a tight story heavily interspersed with fascinating scenarios of Montreal, Temperance (called "Tempe") is called upon to autopsy a young female victim of a pathologically gruesome murder. This leads to a foray into the Dark Side as Tempe, convinced that she has seen the work of a vicious serial killer, sets out to prove it to her skeptical (and often chauvinistic) male colleagues.
The exquisitely insane nature of the killer, made all too clear by the havoc he wreaks on his victims, forces Tempe to face her own demons and she tries to stop one from real life. But he may be impossible to stop.
Perhaps "Deja Dead" is to brilliant because in real life, Reichs IS a forensic anthropologist who has lived and worked in the South and in Montreal. Whatever the cause, it is obvious that she is a born writer. I gave this book five stars because it is impossible to give ten. Needless to say, I am already on Book Two of the Temperance Brennan series, and won't be able to stop until I have read them all.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In this debut novel, the heroine, Tempe Brennan, a forensic anthropologist originally from North Carolina is working in the bilingual Montreal coroner's office. Tempe is a fictional version of the author herself who has exactly the same experience base. A forensic anthropologist is called upon to answer many questions regarding bones/corpses that arise--are the bones human, what can be said about the age, sex etc of the person... This sets up nicely the possibilities of a good murder mystery/police procedural and Reichs does a nice job here. The first case involves the discovery of a trashbag with human remains but goes on to identify 5 women whose murders follows a pattern of mutilation and control by a serial murderer with a sado-sexist bent. Tempe uncovers possible connections between the 5 women who se murders dont follow a strict MO but do have similarities. The threat comes close to home as Tempe's best friend is missing and the next potential victim and the murderer taunts her by placing evidence in her yard and threatening her and her daughter.
Tempe herself is a likable character--a divorced mother (19year old daughter lives with father) who is somewhat of a loner and a workaholic. She is not at all perfect--a struggling alcoholic who makes the decision each day not to drink and a rather pushy woman who often steps on the toes of the police investigating the murders. But she has a nice personality and her character is drawn with realistic strokes. I also enjoyed the descriptions of Montreal and the peppering of the dialogues with French phrases (always translated for non-French speakers).
I did find the novel at 532 pages for the paperback version a bit too long. I also agree with other reviewers that it seemed at time Tempe had a death wish--going out on her own to investigate clues when she knew she was a target for the murderer.
That aside, I found Reichs a refreshing and interesting author in the forensic investigation/murder mystery genre.
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Format: Hardcover
Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs deals with the work and life of Temperance "Tempe" Brennan, a transplanted southerner who works as a forensic anthropologist for the Laboratorie de Medicine Legale in Montreal. Her job entails the identification of remains and partial remains of bodies found by the authorities. It provides an intriguing look into this profession and is described in excellent detail. This book initially focuses on a number of seemingly unrelated murders where mutilated bodies are found in various locations around the city. Tempe works continually to find some connection between these and a number of unsolved murders which results in the investigation of a serial murderer who eventually focuses on Tempe. In her pursuit of this investigation, she is confronted by a male dominated organization and at times makes progress through sheer perseverance. I found the location a fresh departure from some of the more " standard locations" used in many mysteries. Some have compared Tempe Brennan to Kay Scarpetta and while there are similarities there are also enough differences to make this an unfair comparison. While there are many positives about this book, I found her continual battle with her inner demon of alcohol overdone and at time tedious which tended to interrupt the flow of the plot line. I also found some of the secondary plot lines such as her relationship with Gabby confusing since she seemed to drop in and out of the plot. Finally additional details about Temperance Brennan would have been welcome since they would have provided another dimension to this character. Overall I found the book to be well work reading and I look for more of Temperance Brennan
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