Monday, July 10, 2017

I can't control my dreams: TWO NIGHTS.

Two NightsTwo Nights by Kathy Reichs

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars


Sunday (Sunnie) Night has a pretty big chip on her shoulder and a dark past. Ex-military and a former cop, Sunnie is hired by Opaline Drucker, a wealthy older woman, to look into the bombing that killed her daughter and grandson and left her granddaughter, Stella, missing. The case has some strong parallels to Sunnie's past and despite her better judgement, she agrees help Opaline. Sunnie quickly finds herself in a web of danger and deceit--with little chance of escaping unharmed.

I must admit that I'm probably one of the few people who haven't read any of Reichs' Temperance Brennan novels. I actually love the show Bones, but have never picked up the books--one of the few times where I've tended to prefer a show to date. So, you won't get a comparison of the Brennan series to this novel in this review (there are plenty of reviews out there with those observations, if you're interested). I am, however, a huge mystery and thriller fan. Reichs presents us with a pretty stereotypical cynical, truculent cop-turned-PI in the character of Sunnie (though Sunnie doesn't have a formal PI license). She's quirky, of course (see such exhibits as her pet squirrel, Bob) and has a distaste of rules of all forms. The story is told primarily from Sunnie's point of view, and we learn about her past only through her own recollections and memories as her present-day case causes her to occasionally think back on or mention old times. I imagine the author aiming for a Harry Bosch or Kinsey Millhone-type: I don't think Sunnie is to that level, but she's definitely a complicated and engaging heroine.

The story was certainly a compelling one, if not a bit bizarre at times. Sunnie shoots a man at the Ritz in Chicago, but is allowed to continue staying at the hotel: okay then. The Chicago P.D. allows her to continue investigating (the Drucker family bombing is technically still an open case for them) with surprising magnanimity, even with Opaline's family fortune in play. There are also portions of the novel where Sunnie has various characters under surveillance that drag on a bit (there's only so much tracking of someone back and forth that I can take).

Still, for the most part, the plot is pretty tight and exciting. Sunnie may be a bit cliche, but she's a strong character and an interesting one. She has a great wit and sarcasm to her that I loved. She's smart and savvy, even if damaged by her past. The novel also presents a couple of great twists that were excellent surprises--definitely made it worth reading for the mystery alone. Overall, this was a captivating read, and I'd be curious to read more about Sunnie in the future. 3.5 stars.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher and Netgalley (thank you!) in return for an unbiased review. It is available everywhere as of 07/11/2017.

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