Monday, February 8, 2016

REVIEW: Monday Mourning

Monday Mourning
Author: Kathy Reichs
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
303 pages

Forensic Anthropologist Temperance Brennan is back in this 7th novel of  Kathy Reichs' popular series.

Three skeletons are discovered buried in the basement of a pizzeria in Montreal. Brennan believes the remains to be recent. The police disagree. Brennan brings all of her expertise to bear to discover what happened to the three women who were discarded like garbage in a rat-infested basement. What she discovers might just get her killed.

This story had great suspense and lots of interesting twists and turns. I enjoyed this book much better than the previous one, Bare Bones.

I did, however, have a couple of problems with this book.

First of all, I find the romance between Andrew Ryan and Brennan to be a bit annoying. Brennan is a strong woman and a renowned anthropologist. Yet, when she thinks Ryan could possibly be seeing someone else, she gives him the silent treatment, or has temper tantrums. Never once did she just come out and honestly ask him about the situation. I found that less mature than I would hope an educated, strong woman would be in that circumstance. Her behavior towards him was rude and frankly, childish. I know Reichs is trying to build some romantic tension, but for me, it just came off as immature behavior.

And, at one point, Brennan decides to put herself in a dangerous situation. Not only does she endanger herself, but she takes a friend along with her. Two women. Going alone to investigate something they have no business handling alone. They tell no one where they are going or why. Inevitably, Brennan almost gets herself and her friend killed. Is that really a decision a smart woman would make? Surely a better decision would have been to inform her police colleagues, her cop boyfriend or ANYBODY at all where they were going. At the very least, they should have told another friend to call the police if they didn't check in after a certain amount of time.

It seems to be a habit of Reichs to put Brennan in situations where she is delving into criminal investigations she has no business handling herself. Then, the bad guys try to kill her and she miraculously is saved at the last minute. I can see an educated person doing that once....but all the time?? I believe in real life she would be professionally reprimanded for being irresponsible, possibly putting criminal prosecutions at risk, or hindering police investigations. I hope in the later novels in this series that Reichs finds another way to build suspense, rather than Brennan making the same stupid decisions.

All in all, I enjoyed the book. It had enough suspense to keep me reading, despite what I see as horrible decisions on Brennan's part in her professional and personal life.

My rating: 7/10
Some violence, scary situations. Not graphic.
Ages 16+

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