Kathy Reichs’ Déjà Dead, TV’s “Bones:” Read THIS, don’t watch THAT

*** ½

cover deja deadPocket Books, 1997

0671011367 (ISBN13: 9780671011369)


I went on a bit of a rant with this one…

I’ve been writing this review in my head since page three. First and foremost, what jumps off the page the most in Deja Dead is how different Kathy Reichs’ Dr. Temperance Brennan is from the main character on Fox’s “Bones.”

If I were Kathy Reichs, I’d be pissed.

I watched “Bones” for a few years, but was finally turned off by the huge deal made on the show about Temperance Brennan’s appearance. Sure, she’s a beautiful woman, but it’s a little over the top that every time she walks into the room people’s reaction is one of disbelief that a beautiful woman can have brains and excel at her career.

The show puts out a message that a woman who can be both beautiful and intelligent is an anomaly; brains and beauty are mutually exclusive. It also feels like the show deliberately tries to downplay the other female characters’ beauty by giving them cheap clothes and a less-than-flattering wardrobe.

Anyway, I found the show to be pretty shallow and the characters centered on the rarity that is Brennan: beautiful and smart. I found “Bones’” Brennan especially shallow, with more attention given to her appearance and the power it has over people than her character’s personality, background, or what makes her tick. Sure, they give her a background and a personality, but it’s nothing like Reichs’ character.

Reichs’ Brennan is completely different. It feels like a whole new character. In the novel, Brennan was actually married, is divorced, has a young adult daughter, and is a much more complex and developed character than the show has been able to achieve in over eight years on the air. Not once in the novel does any character fall all over him or herself because Brennan is so beautiful.


Even though I liked the plot and the story, I don’t really like mysteries that do not give the reader enough information to solve who did it on their own. This book reminded me of the episodes on “Law & Order” where they introduce the killer in the last five minutes. Wonk-wonk- how the hell was I supposed to figure that one out?

On the other hand, I did like the description, and loved the characters, even Claudel. The novel was fast-paced and fun to read. It has been over 15 years since it was published, and some of the Internet and technical references are a bit outdated, but not enough to take away from the story.

I will definitely read the second book in the series.

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