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Death du jour May 10, 2009

Posted by Afrozy Ara in Book Reviews.
Tags: , , , ,


This is one book that I just stumbled upon and didn’t know what to expect from the content. Apart from the cryptic name which sounded pretty ominous, and a back cover description full of adjectives like “thrilling”, “chilling”, “startling” and  “nerve-shattering”, I had never heard of the book or the author before. So, I decided to attack it with an open and investigative mind 🙂 – a search on Google explained “du jour” is a French phrase for “fashionable, currently for the day”. It turned out that the story revolves around a chain of murders which happened around the same time, but were discovered throughout the narration of the whole story. Hence the name – Death du jour.

The book begins in the bitter cold of a church graveyard where Tempe Brennan, an anthropologist, and the author’s heroine is working on exhuming the bones of a burial which took place 200 years ago. This sombre and dark beginning sets the tone of the chain of events to follow, in which Brennan is involved in the discovery of burnt, mutilated and decomposed bodies in separate incidents throughout the state. Death seems to follow her wherever she goes. She makes startling discoveries and unearths evidence which point to the involvement of a Cult group, which has turned violent and horribly wrong. Incidentally, the dark happenings of her professional life invade her personal space, when she finds that her sister is involved with this dubious “Inner Life Development” group too!. Many tense and nerve wracking moments await the reader as he wonders – “Can she or can she not?”.

The beginning of the book is a bit awkward, and it takes some time to get a hang of the plot. Kathy Reichs uses abrupt sentences and bits of phrases, which tend to confuse. However, a few incidents and fifty pages later, you are completely immersed in the story. The perpetual question at the end of every chapter is “What Next?” The author is aptly able to hold the attention of her readers, because there are so many clues and bits of the puzzle floating around, so it’s almost irresistible to stop until it ends!

Overall, it is an “unexpected” good read. And, if you are in the mood of some experimental reading, then it’s definitely a “worth it” try!!

The novel’s brief excerpt is here:




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