“Death Du Jour” by Kathy Reichs is the second book in the Temperance Brennan series. Once again, we follow Temperance Brennan as she pairs with Andrew Ryan to help solve a horrible mystery. Tempe starts out the book excavating human remains for a convent and is called in the early morning hours to help on a case where a fire broke out and burned down a home. She shortly discovers that this fire was no accident and that two of the bodies belonged to twin babies. Brennan finds herself pulled into an investigation that provides more questions than answers and is so brutal that she has to step away at times. “Though it is my business, I have never grown immune to the sight of violent death.” (Death Du Jour, loc 425). The brutality of these killings lead to inquiries about cults and the further involved with the case that Brennan gets, the more her own life and those around her are in danger.
Although she works in a highly specialized field and has a superior intelligence, Brennan is a very relatable character. Meeting her and interacting with her would be intimidating, but the great part about a book narrated by such an amazing character is that you get to see her flaws that otherwise you might not notice. She is such a brilliant anthropologist that it is easy to forget that she too, is human and becomes weary from her work. That is part of what I really liked about this quote. “I wanted to be somewhere else. To be someone else. Someone who had not spent years smelling death and seeing its final degradation. Someone who did not work day after day reassembling the human carnage left by macho pimps, enraged partners, wired cokeheads, and psychopaths. I had come to the island to escape the brutality of my life’s work. But even here, death had found me. I felt overwhelmed. Another day. Another death. Death du jour. My God, how many such days would there be?” (Death Du Jour, loc 2939). Who hasn’t wanted to escape sometimes from their life? And that’s without having to deal day in and day out with death.
Would I recommend this book? Yes, but not to everyone. It was really well done and I found myself enjoying this book even more than “Déjà Dead”. But the book is brutal and violent. I consider myself to be a bit desensitized to fictional murder, but there were times when even I was taken aback with “Death Du Jour” and the killings taking place. I am however, looking forward to reading the next book in the series. The more I read, the more I understand why these books have been so successful!