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Deadly Decisions (Aus/NZ)


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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 matchesÄa 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 CornwellÄa journalist before she turned novelistÄis 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 bikersÄincluding 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 loverÄhas he turned gang member?Äparticularly 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 Cahners Business Information.

Crime writer Reichs is amazing! Once again, readers will be eager to learn the grisly details of how her forensic anthropologist heroine, Dr. Tempe Brennan, teases information from the bones of mutilated, decomposed, often animal-gnawed human bodies. Here, Tempe is outraged at the death of a child in a war among bikers vying for the Quebec province drug trade, and she joins the investigation. Tension mounts as she becomes embroiled in the rivalries of outlaw motorcycle gangs, "the mafia of the new millennium." The case becomes more complex as another biker is killed and the death and dismemberment of a teenage girl years before in North Carolina are linked to the Quebec biker mayhem. Then Tempe's Harley-riding nephew from Houston gets involved, revving up the plot as the tale speeds across the finish line to a satisfying conclusion. The author of the best-selling Dj Dead, Reichs roots her skillful storytelling in her own experience as forensic anthropologist in both Montreal and North Carolina. Highly recommended for all public library fiction collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/1/00.]DMolly Gorman, San Marino, CA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Adult/High School-Tempe Brennan becomes involved when two motorcycle gangs declare war, plot revenge, and leave an innocent child caught in the crossfire. Tempe sorts out new and old murders, ties together clues in Montreal and North Carolina, and worries that her visiting nephew is becoming involved with the gangs. Competent young adult readers will enjoy the information on motorcycles and will relate to the nephew. However, there are many characters, victims, and police organizations to keep straight. Reichs explains the latter in context, but then refers to them with abbreviations. Abounding in grisly details, this novel is sure to please Reichs's fans.-Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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