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An introduction to Kathy Reichs

Kathy Reichs is one hell of a writer but if that wasn’t enough she’s also one of the world’s leading forensic anthropologists. She is one of the eighty-two forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology and is on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Those are some pretty incredible qualifications.

At Dead Good we’re passionate about recommending brilliant books, so you never have to pick up a bad book again. What better way to provide some insight into these authors than to ask those who choose to work with them, on making their books the best they can be, what it is that makes them so special. Together we can discover new voices.

We asked Tim Vanderpump, who works for Kathy’s UK Publisher to tell us what makes her books so special.

Over to Tim:

‘Kathy Reichs is one very impressive woman. She is at the top of her first chosen profession, as a Professor of Forensic Anthropology who has advised on countless criminal cases and travelled the world to help identify both war dead and victims of genocide. She is also at the top of her second chosen profession, as an award-winning and bestselling author of crime fiction. Her debut novel DEJA DEAD reached the top of the charts in 1997 and all fifteen Temperance Brennan thrillers, which often spin genuine cases into page-turning fiction, have been huge bestsellers across the globe.

What makes her books so good? Their roots in real events, and the authenticity of the situations and science, help you engage as a reader, and allow you to learn something about forensics even while racing through a gripping story. The plots themselves are always multi-layered and subtly brought together, keeping you guessing right up to their super-charged finales. The settings, from Guatemala in GRAVE SECRETS to the Arctic Circle in BONES ARE FOREVER, are vividly recreated and add something special and different to each book. Ultimately, though, it is her main character, Temperance Brennan – a brilliant forensic anthropologist, tenacious, witty, and as flawed as any ‘real’ person – who makes the novels what they are. Fans love Tempe, and her popularity has taken her off the page and onto the small screen as the main character in the long-running Bones TV series (which Kathy is also a producer of – though how she finds the time is a mystery in itself!).

The nature of Tempe’s work means that the subject matter, as with much crime fiction, is distressing: discarded bodies, dead infants, child prostitution. Yet with Kathy’s novels, unlike some other crime fiction, the violence and horror of the situation is never over-the-top or unnecessary. Instead, it inspires Tempe’s search for truth, and for justice for the innocent victims. It is this compassion for humanity, the human touch, which shines brightest in these fantastic thrillers. As Kathy herself says, she works with the dead, but for the living. That means you, so read her books now – and enjoy!’

A big thank you to Tim for sharing his thoughts and giving us a glimpse into what makes Kathy Reichs so special.

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