REVIEW: Deadly Decisions by Kathy Reichs

128754Title: Deadly Decisions
Author: Kathy Reichs
Year of Publication: 2000
Genre: Mystery
Format: Audio Book
Length: 4 hrs and 30 mins
First Line: “Her name was Emily Anne.”

Summary: Nine-year-old Emily Anne Toussaint is fatally shot on a Montreal street. A North Carolina teenager disappears from her home, and parts of her skeleton are found hundreds of miles away. The shocking deaths propel Tempe Brennan from north to south, and deep into a shattering investigation inside the bizarre culture of outlaw motorcycle gangs — where one misstep could bring disaster for herself or someone she loves.


“Dear God, why such insanity?”
-Chapter 1

Reichs writing went way downhill with this one. Urgh.

As the great TV show ‘Archer’ rightly stated, “You can’t have a flasback with a flashforward in it. That’s just bad writing.” That’s how the beginning of this novel starts. It was annoying and frustrating. I don’t know why it was done.

Some of the lines that were used had me laughing. One being the ‘Dear God, why such insanity’ line. Brennan was going down an elevator, thinking about her job and gang violence, and suddenly went ‘Dear God, why such insanity?’. We’d only just started the book and already the cheesy lines had begun! One that cracked me up, and it wasn’t necessarily Reichs’ fault was during a scene when Brennan found out her nephew was with some of the biker gangs, the villains of the novel. Brennan was hanging out with Claudel at the time who referred to the bikers as ‘sharks’, and Brennan replied that if she abandoned her nephew and didn’t go to him it’d be like a ‘shark feeding frenzy’. If you were like me, this was what you thought of when you heard that line:

For the rest of the book I was just picturing Brennan doing that; singing ‘Busting feeding frenzy, stay out of the water’.

Like in previous books, Reichs seemed to think that bad guys speak only in curse words. It got so old, so fast. I could only hear someone yell ‘f**k’ and ‘b***h’ so many times in one sentence. Yet, all the good guys were pretty well-behaved, for the one exception of ‘b***ards’, as in ‘We’re going to get those b***ards’. That line repeated by every good guy, gets old as well.

You could play a drinking game with how many times Reichs repeated phrases and words like ‘zapped something in the microwave’ and I’m serious, ‘deadly decisions’.

Reichs rehashed old plots again. Third book and I was tired of hearing of Brennan being boohooey over murder victims. Speaking of plots, Reichs didn’t do a very good job of hiding who the bad guys and murderers were. If you act suspicious and curse a lot, you were probably a bad guy. Maybe in real life she had a dealing with some bad biker gang related crime, but this novel seemed to be a way for her to warn against bikers. You could just feel the hate seeping through the pages (okay, I listened to the audio book, but you get the idea). But it was like… bikers? Really? Were you that stuck on plots that you had to target bikers?

Like I said before, this was the third book in the series. Like I said before, this was the third book in the series. See what I did there? Reichs liked to repeat a lot of old information that had been previously stated and that was by now common knowledge from her other two books. Stating things like that Ryan was Brennan’s boyfriend, that Brennan used to be an alcoholic, cases from the other two books. We get it, we really do. Please stop informing us of the stuff we already know.

I even felt like the gore and the science was over done and unnecessary. Which was kind of bad when that was one of the main things I enjoyed from the last two novels. Another thing I rather liked before was Detective Ryan, Brennan’s boyfriend (who when asked in this book, she kept insisting he was just a friend, but after that make out scene in the last novel when she was just wearing a shirt and panties I DARE her to say that again). Sadly, Reichs took that away from me too. So to remain not too spoiler-y for this review, I will only say that Ryan made about three short appearances in the whole book. Take away probably my favorite character and what do you got?

Our heroes didn’t even solve the main crime! Claudel said, “Hey, we didn’t get them, but we will… someday.” What kind of mystery novel doesn’t have the characters solve the mystery? It’s kind of a law of mystery books and Reichs broke it.

I will be reading the forth Brennan book. Why? I just want to see what happened to Ryan. That’s all. If I don’t find out what exactly is going on the next book I might be done with this series.

Worst part: Read review.

Best part: When Ryan showed up! Yay!

Grade: F

Recommend For: Fans of the TV show Bones. People who don’t like bikers.

Other Books by This Author: Monday Mourning and Grave Secrets


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