Horrible horror

2008-11-05 00:00

How this author became a best seller is probably a sad indictment on the reading population of this world, and especially the United States where I assume the bulk of her braindead readership must come from. They must be very easily pleased.

Devil Bones is a contrived piece of drivel which I can imagine appealing to 13-year-olds. It aims to shock with explicit descriptions of horror scenes ranging from a human skull found in a cauldron (eeeek!!) to the description of a coffin in a crypt being prised opened (imagine a creepy door-creaking sound effect) 40 years after the incumbent died (aaaaarghh!!!).Kathy Reichs ends each chapter with a dramatic (drumroll please!!) cliff hanger. She favours spectacle over substance. Thinks her fragmented sentences are a good literary device. Doesn’t get it right. Ever. Not even once.

The suspense factor is thin for anyone with half a brain cell, the characterisation slim and the plot emaciated, as the author opts for predictability and the rehashing of other old horror stories.

The plot focuses on Tempe Brennan, a forensic pathologist with a drinking problem. She has man trouble and keeps getting involved in sanctimonious fights with the media (no sympathy from this quarter). There is even a horrible politician in the mix. How original. Anyway, she embarks on a mission to solve a series of murders but it’s all dreadfully dull. Reichs has twisted the classic whodunit with the worst features of post-modernism into a waste of paper.

I hated the book and will not bother to try to find out if any of her others were any better.

Don’t buy it. If you are desperate to read it, I will leave my copy in the third rubbish bin in Church Street from the corner of Peter Kerchhoff heading east. You are welcome to retrieve it.

Stephanie Saville

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