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Two Nights

Review

Two Nights

Nineteen bestselling novels. A hit TV show that has run for 12 seasons. These achievements mark the successful, long-standing relationship between author Kathy Reichs and her prolific heroine/protagonist, Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan.

Stepping out into unchartered waters with a new character must have been quite nerve-wracking for Reichs. But this is exactly what she has accomplished with her latest release, TWO NIGHTS. A proud parent who has to accept the fact that his or her baby has grown up and is leaving the nest must be akin to the feelings Reichs experienced when she left the comfort zone of her character. This is especially significant since Brennan bears a striking resemblance to Reichs herself.

Fans of her work now must embrace a new heroine --- and what a complex one indeed! Sunday “Sunnie” Night is an ex-police officer who has shut herself away from the outside world. She bears deep physical, mental and emotional scars from a life-changing event that ended her career in law enforcement. She lives in isolation on a small island and couldn't even tell you the name of her next-door neighbor. However, when a former colleague named Beau comes knocking on her door, she begrudgingly shows interest in a perplexing case with which he needs her help.

"The fact that Reichs has struck out on a new series that is pure thriller and mystery with little to no forensic science shows just how talented a thriller writer she really is."

Sunnie is very happy having stepped away from the world. Her mantra is “need no one, feel nothing.” Beau's presence soon leads to the reason for his sudden visit. The wealthy Orphaline Drucker is desperately searching for her granddaughter, who has been missing for over a year. Fifteen-year-old Stella was last seen at the sight of a terrorist bombing of a Hebrew school. Drucker believes Stella is still alive and possibly the kidnap victim of some cult.

It doesn't take Sunnie long to put a picture together, and it definitely involves more than just a random hate attack of a religious site. Sunnie is a fearsome sight still bearing the facial scars that nearly blinded her in one eye and effectively ended her police career years earlier. Beau knew that once she sunk her teeth into a juicy new case, the bulldog that was Sunnie Night would be uncaged yet again. As soon as Sunnie starts to dig into the case regarding young Stella, she receives threatening notes warning her to back off --- or else!

Sunnie realizes she needs some assistance in this deeply layered case, and that comes in the form of someone she knows very well --- Gus. To avoid any spoilers, I will keep Gus' identity a secret in this review. Sunnie and Gus, along with a few cops and investigators they come into contact with in their multi-state search, make a formidable squad. There are small chapters interspersed throughout the book that could possibly be coming from Stella’s hidden location. They are given in the form of a countdown --- towards what I will not reveal here.

At times, the novel feels like something written by Brad Thor. Blame for the terrorist attacks described within are fully attributed to the Muslim Brotherhood, an evil group of people who have been strategically planting members and growing terrorist cells within our very borders. Their goal is to destroy Western civilization not through bombs and beheadings but from within.

Reichs' plotting is brilliant, and the title, TWO NIGHTS, has a few different interpretations. One is interfused with the countdown chapters that may be coming from the missing Stella. The chapter entitled “Two Nights” speaks of an event known only as The Crossing. That name alone seems hauntingly ominous. It's a race to the finish with many twists and reveals in store. I'm confident that longtime fans of the Temperance Brennan series will be nicely surprised by what she accomplishes here.

One thing you always can count on with a Kathy Reichs novel is a great mystery featuring cutting-edge forensic science. Probably only Patricia Cornwell and Jefferson Bass are in her league. The fact that Reichs has struck out on a new series that is pure thriller and mystery with little to no forensic science shows just how talented a thriller writer she really is. TWO NIGHTS is a solid read with complex characters who deserve to be seen again in future installments of the series.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on July 13, 2017

Two Nights
by Kathy Reichs

  • Publication Date: July 11, 2017
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam
  • ISBN-10: 0345544072
  • ISBN-13: 9780345544070