Kathy Reich’s Writes What She Knows
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to write my novel. Actually, to be a bit more honest, I’ve been trying to write anything. I’ve placed holds at the library for newly-released literature, and I’ve all-but ransacked the nonfiction shelves for books intending to instruct hesitant souls such as myself into actually breaking down and putting words on pages. And, as the books I’ve put on hold have arrived, I’ve put aside my self-help and dug into the pages, hoping for inspiration to my own work.
For years I’ve sat down every Thursday night an watched Seeley Booth and Temperance Brennan frustratingly flirt their way to solving murders. And so, imagine the surprise and joy of this television-loving book critic to find that the inspiration for this show is none other than a book series. I immediately checked out as many as possible.
Kathy Reichs, author of the Temperence Brennan series, spent years a forensic pathologist even before she sat down to write the books. Because of this, the stories are inexplicably accurate. She confidently uses the lingo and vocabulary that those in the field use, and she uses them in an ease that does not sound researched or even carefully placed.
Devil Bones, though not the first in the Tempe Brennan series, is the first of the two that I read. Supernatural forces seem to be at work when multiple bodies turn up with signs of religious sacrifice written all over them. Evil or not, she must judge exactly how these victims are connected and whose hand is at work.
Similar in fashion is Break No Bones, another installment which examines a series of victims somehow connected to a client of Pete, Temperence’s estranged husband. Personal and professional intertwine not-so-smoothly in this tome between Pete’s interest in his client, Tempe’s interest in the victims, and the sudden interruption between the two when Andrew Ryan, our protagonists’s on-again-off-again through the series, shows up and dives right into the mix.
Supposedly, the Bones television series was created to act as a prequel to the series. But, even with the time-lapse, the characters cannot be seen as the same. Only with suspension of disbelief can we understand that the Temperance Brennan from the series and the Temperance Brennan from the show are one and the same. The defining quality of Emily Deschanel’s character is that she is logical to a point beyond human understanding, which clashes brilliantly against the heartfelt character that David Boreanaz brings to the set. This being said, the Temperance Brennan from the books balances her logic with a dose of humanity, making her seem more believable as a character but less adjacent to the Brennan more readily available to the general public.
Needless to say, reading Reichs is enjoyable, but must be taken separate from Bones. Once that distinction is made, nothing else will stand in the way.