“Death without a face” by Kathy Reichs: hard times for Tempe Brennan

«La mort sans visage» de Kathy Reichs: temps difficiles pour Tempe Brennan

Struggling with health problems, Tempe Brennan, the heroine of the hit series signed Kathy Reichs, faces many difficult situations in The death without a face, just published in a French version. Tempe will have to deploy all of its expertise – in the face of adversity – and discover the identity of a corpse without a face.

While she is recovering from a surgery following an aneurysm, and struggling with nightmares, headaches and what she believes to be hallucinations, Tempe receives a series of text messages annoying. Each time, it is an image of a corpse with no face and no hands, which sprang up. That is the origin of all this?

To find the truth, the expert in anthropology justice pushes his research, even putting themselves in danger. Assisted by Andrew Ryan and ex-investigator of Skinny Slidell, she turns to the methods of medico-legal point.

“I always wonder what is going to hold the attention of the public when I begin writing a new novel. There are two levels explored in this one : one related to Temple, and the other, broader, concerns the society in general. It is a matter of how we can distinguish the true from the false,” says Kathy Reichs, in an interview.

“In this era where everyone can go on the Internet, write blogs or say whatever goes through their head, no matter if it is dangerous or not… how an ordinary person can manage this? Even someone well intentioned can circulate false information. We need to constantly do the sorting between false news and true facts.”

Tempe destabilized

Tempe is going through difficult times in death without a face. “She suffers from migraine headaches and must take medication. It can no longer rely on his own perceptions. For the first time in her life, she wonders if she can rely on his observations.”

Death without a face
Kathy Reichs
Editions Robert Laffont
424 pages”>

Death without a face
Kathy Reichs

Editions Robert Laffont
424 pages

“This is the first time we see it like this,” adds the writer. “This is a woman who really has confidence in it, and it is for this reason that it is really, destabilized. In addition, she realizes she is in exile – it has had difficulties with the new boss. He doesn’t love her and don’t let her get into the lab, do not check. She wants to be involved in this investigation, but must work outside the system. It undergoes a lot more stress than usual.”

In this investigation, the victim severely mutilated and no longer has a face, more hands, more teeth, which makes the work of identification very complex. Kathy Reichs is not inspired by a real case to write this novel, but says that it has already examined the case of a woman who was murdered there twenty years in the Ottawa area. “His body had been abandoned in a forest, and had been severely mutilated by bears.”

She has also explored the web underground – the dark and unsettling side of the Internet, to document. “I was very surprised to see the statistics and everything we could find on the Internet… and all you could find on the web illegal, everything that does not appear on the browsers as usual. This is the whole theme of the novel : anyone can circulate no matter what and it is there, the danger.”

New methods

It is also a question of new methods of investigation, medico-legal. “We use DNA for years, but DNA has always been used as a comparative. Now, we can go much further, by making predictions. […] It is an advancement major, and I spoke for the first time in this book.”

  • Kathy Reichs was born in Chicago. She is a forensic anthropologist and works with the FBI and the Pentagon.
  • She enjoyed international success since the release of Bones and his books are on the list of bestsellers in a dozen countries.
  • The series justice, which is adapted from his work, Bones, first aired in Quebec on Séries+.
  • It became in November 2019 honorary member of the Order of Canada.
  • The tour to promote his new book the United States and Canada has been cancelled due to the pandemic.


Nothing moved out of the slow descent in a spin of a leaf carried by a small breeze wandering. I was going to lure me away when my gaze was attracted by a vague movement near the pin that decorated the lawn of my neighbor.

Watching carefully, I’ve noticed a silhouette. Mass. Male?

On a property of Sharon Hall, the heart of the night?

Heart pounding, I blinked several times, eyes in the hope to see things more clearly.

The silhouette was melted in the shadows.”

In bookstores on June 5.

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