Scribner, June 2004, 25.95, 320 pp.
Tempe Brennan, a world renown forensic anthropologist works for the State of North Carolina through the office of the Chief Medieval Examiner and in Montreal through the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciares et de Medecine Legale. She comes up to Montreal a day early to prepare her testimony for a murder case in which she is to testify in court the next day. Her plans get derailed when bones are discovered in the dirt basement of a pizza parlor. Besides the bones that were dug up by the owner and put in a crate, Tempe finds two other sets of bones in the unfinished basement.
Lab tests prove that the skeletons are all teen-age female Caucasians, but the detective on the case thinks they are a century old, the same age as the building. Tempe's intuition tells her that the deaths are more recent and that the girls were all murdered. Through cutting edge science, Tempe is proven right and the police question previous owners of the store until they think they find the killer. What they end up discovering shocks the unusual unflappable police and in an unexpected twist Tempe finds herself at the mercy of another killer.
Few writers can match Patricia Cornwell when it comes to writing a fantastic crime thriller but Kathy Reichs is one of the rare few. Her protagonist is tough in her professional life but vulnerable when it comes to those she loves. Tempe humanizes police work because she cares and is determined to follow the course she thinks is right even when the police on the case disagree with her. MONDAY MOURNING is a memorable, compelling and eye opening reading experience.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner