Picks and Pans Review: Déjà Dead

updated 10/06/1997 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/06/1997 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Kathy Reichs

Page-Turner of the Week

FIRST-TIME NOVELIST KATHY REICHS knows how the bodies were done in. After all, she's the forensic anthropologist for both the state of North Carolina and the province of Quebec. In this accomplished and chilling procedural, her heroine, Temperance Brennan (who fills the same positions fictionally), also knows where they're buried. Over the course of a steamy Montreal summer, the divorced and dedicated Brennan links a series of brutal dismemberments to a single pathological killer. Unlike a coroner working with a corpse, she does so from the most meager of evidence—skeletal remains. And much of the fascination here is in the details of how she does it. Eventually, Brennan deduces where the next body will turn up. Even as she tries to convince the police of her theory, the killer begins stalking her. Reichs not only serves up a delicious plot, she also brings a new recipe to hard-boiled cop talk. For example, flies buzz around a rotting corpse "like academics at a free buffet." Readers will expect more books from Reichs. They'll want Déjà Dead all over again. (Scribner, $24)

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