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Showing posts from November, 2010

The Real-Life Temperance Brennan: Kathy Reichs on a Case

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It's a case of life imitating art--as well as art mirroring life--when it comes to bestselling author Kathy Reichs and her always-engrossing mystery series featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.
Since first springing onto the scene in 1997 with her debut novel, Deja Dead, Reichs has consistently delivered intelligent, unputdownable tales depicting the painstaking work that goes into piecing together the last moments of someone's life through the study of the bones left behind.
There's an excellent reason for the success of this series; these books are, of course, grounded in real science. Reichs herself holds the same dual positions as forensic anthropologist in North Carolina and Montreal, Quebec as does heroine Dr. Tempe Brennan, so she really knows her stuff. Fortunately for the reader, though, she manages to avoid the pitfalls that sometimes trap other experts who try their hand at writing--that of coming across textbook-dull, or of being patronizing. Inst…

A Game of Cat and Mouse: The Secrets we Prefer to Keep

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Inner demons... we all have them. Those things we wish we’d never done/said/thought, the choices we’d unmake (if only we could), and the internal battles we’re constantly fighting--all the things we’re ashamed of, but can’t escape. When it comes to our deepest, darkest secrets, we’ll go to great lengths to ensure they remain  hidden... and with good reason. So, imagine that one day you receive a letter from a total stranger who claims to know your deepest, darkest secrets. To prove the point, you’re instructed to play a little game, something that, in person, would seem like a parlour trick: you’re to think of a number between one and one thousand, then to open a second, sealed envelope and read the contents therein... at which point you discover that the mystery correspondent has correctly guessed your chosen number. Out of a thousand numbers you could have chosen.  Naturally, you freak out, thinking that if the impossible has just happened--if a complete stranger has inexplicably but …

Snowbound: The Frostbitten Fingers of Fear... and Murder

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He’s like Yellowstone’s Old Faithful, popping up at the perfect moment to do his thing (which typically entails saving the proverbial day). He’s the Timex of heroes, taking a licking (and another, and another), but continuing to keep right on ticking. And, in true Weeble-like fashion, no matter how many times he’s knocked down, he (eventually, anyway) bounces back up. He is, in a word (okay, two words), Mr. Reliable.  Who is he? Why, he’s Jack Reacher, of course--the no-BS, ex-Army MP who regularly fixes problems and makes things hunky-dory again, all while pursuing a vagabond existence of roaming wherever the wind blows him, carrying all his worldly possessions on his back. There’s never a scrape or a tight spot that Jack can’t--sooner or later--wriggle out of, never a trap from which he can’t spring himself. (Not that he’s invincible or anything; he bears plenty of scars for his troubles.) Years of experience combined with an ability to think and act rationally and to harness his powe…