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Déjà Dead

(Temperance Brennan #1)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  132,541 ratings  ·  3,799 reviews
An Alternate Cover Edition for this ISBN can be found here.

The meticulously dismembered body of a woman is discovered in the grounds of an abandoned monastery.

'Too decomposed for standard autopsy. Request anthropologic expertise.'

Enter Dr Temperance Brennan, Director of Forensic Anthropology for the province of Quebec, who has been researching recent disappearances in
Paperback, 509 pages
Published 2011 by Arrow (first published 1997)
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Mkittysamom It is similar in Tempe's character but she is not superwoman as in the tv series. The cases are similar, but I think book 2 is better than the first. …moreIt is similar in Tempe's character but she is not superwoman as in the tv series. The cases are similar, but I think book 2 is better than the first. I have a feeling the more you read Kathy Reich's novels..the more addicting they are.(less)
Tommie Conlen It is sadistically graphic in describing mutilations and sexually deviant behavior. NOT appropriate for youth!

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Average rating 3.87  · 
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 ·  132,541 ratings  ·  3,799 reviews

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Jul 10, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of dry murder mysteries and forensic research
Shelves: mysteries
eh, it was okay. I am a huge fan of the TV series Bones, which is loosely based off Kathy Reichs' series, of which this is the first book. However, I realized exactly how LOOSELY BASED the series is after reading this book. what I love about the show is the romantic tension and sparkling humor and wit. these books are so much dryer and less fun. Even the lead character is less appealing--instead of being a gorgeous unattached doctor, she's an older alcoholic doctor, with a messy divorce and a te ...more
Sep 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Separate the tv show and this book. You will be very disappointed if you come in thinking it'll be like the tv show. The characters, setting, and story are drastically different. However, I think this book is a lot better than the show and I liked the first seasons of Bones. The lead character is more believable. She has faults like any normal human being and doesn't always make the smart choices. She isn't a superhero on crack (she actually gets pretty banged up). The character seems more human ...more
Jan 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Honestly, I didn't like this book much during the first several chapters. It's obvious she was a novice writer and her over-use of metaphors drove me crazy! Also, not being a French speaker, all the French (slightly excessive in my opinion) annoyed me a bit.
I am a fan of the tv show 'Bones', which is based on this series of books, so I was excited to start. There are some major differences between the tv and the book versions of the main character, which was a transition for me, but I ended up l
Andre Gonzalez
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first exposure to Kathy Reichs, and I must say, I'm impressed! As a fan of the TV show Bones, I found this debut novel of Dr. Brennan much more enjoyable than the TV character. The book had plenty of twists and turns while keeping a quick pace. The only turn off for me was the French names and locations...I found it difficult to distinguish between the characters and locations, but that is understandable due to the book taking place in Montreal. I look forward to continuing the story ...more
SOOOOO disappointed that this doesn't have the same exact characters like the show. Or like the show in general.

Deja Dead is the first book of the Temperance Brennan series. Now, I'm slightly obsessed with the show, Bones. Which is where you meet the character Temperance Brennan.. so of course, I had some expectations for the first book. Sadly, it's not set in D.C. and her people are not in it either. Well.. yet.

Temperance is an okay kind of character - just like she is in the first episode of t
Jul 29, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hated, mystery, murder
Christ, was it a struggle to get through this book. When I read up on her books on Amazon it said "Better than Patricia Cornwell!!" so I thought DAMN this MUST be good, seeing as I loved many of PC's earlier novels.
It sucked. Not only did it suck... but it sucked hardcore. I was halfway through the book and still couldn't keep track of who half of the characters were. I dreaded anytime a conversation ended because that meant she was about to start one of her endlessly descriptive blurbs.
Don't g
Aisling Zena
3 stars

So after watching the show and loving it and kinda missing it since it finished, I decided to pick up the book. Sadly the only thing the series and the book have in common is the name and profession of the female protagonist. Nothing else. Not even the plot. And the plot of this one could have been adapted for the screen in my opinion.. For me the tv series was better. But if I had read this when it came out (in the 90s) I would have enjoyed it more.





Sep 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first introduction to Temperance Brennan was through Emily Deschanel’s great performance in the hit show Bones.
I’m currently working my way through the boxset and eventually planned on reading these books, but as it’s been established numerous times in the series that these books are separate entities I decided I might as well start now.

This Temperance is so completely different. She’s in her late forties, a divorced recovering alcoholic with a teenage daughter. Normally this would be an inte
Sep 03, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"i was killed by curiosity like a finely tuned cat."

that was not, actually, one of the many similes this book is drowning in, but it may as well have been. some real examples:

"In my mind’s eye I could see her standing at a pay phone, scanning her surroundings, her eyes never resting, broadcasting fear like Radio Free Europe."


"She was thin as soup in a homeless shelter"


"For the third time in as many days I saw daybreak, an event I embrace as eagerly as Joe Montana welcomes an all-out blitz."

Kelli Wilson
This was very difficult for me to get through. Not because of the scary content. While yes, the content is quite dark and grossly disturbing, that is not what set me back. This is an extreme procedural novel. Generally I do not mind, however I have never come across the likes of a book where at least half of the novel is spent in explaining procedures. In this case, specific to bone analysis, knife/blades and finger prints.

At some point, I think the author must ask themselves, does it feel like
Jul 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I'm happy to report I've found a new series that I really enjoyed-- although not for the faint of heart or sensitive of stomachs. It took me longer than usual to get over the opening chapters because this author is as precise in the physiological details as I've ever read-- I could practically smell the decay. Once I mastered "skimming the grossest of details," I was hooked!

This novel features some interesting characters and I love that it's set in Montreal, Quebec... a city I didn't know much a
Apr 03, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is exactly as good as you'd expect it to be when you buy it for 7 Euros at the airport out of desperation when you have nothing else to read and you need something to occupy your time on a 9 hour flight from Europe to the US. Which is to say, it was awful.

Where to even start? How about with some of the terrible similes that appear every two pages or so (sometimes even more frequently)?

"I'm as familiar with the ebb and flow of Gabby's moods as I was with my own menstrual cycles."
May 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of the Temeperance Brennan books. If you are looking for the Bones version of Temperance Brenna, this is not it. Think of this as the original and the Bones version as being the modified version designed to be appealing to a wide television audience.

In many ways Kathy Reich's books remind me of Patricia Cornwell's. Or perhaps I should say Patricia Cornwell's remind me of Kathy Reich's, seeing as KR first began writing in the forensic's genre before PC did, add to that a the fac
bella farren
2.5 / 5 stars

warning to anybody & everybody who wants to read this because it's the series Bones is based on. don't do it. there is literally zero parallels between the book and tv series, apart from the main character sharing a name. no quirky side characters, attractive & hilarious FBI agents or banter.

Seriously, stay away. This book has no Booth, Zack, Angela, Hodgins, Sweets or any of your other well loved characters. Even Temperance Brennan holds none of the familiar and well loved traits;
Oct 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: series
I am only sorry for waiting so long to read it. Great story! I think KR does have a sense of humor and I loved all of the technical stuff. Another series added to my list.
Apr 11, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Someone who does not own a TV, & has therefore NEVER seen the series
I made it to chapter 4 of this book (pg45) but really had to stop. The book itself was good, don’t get me wrong… HOWEVER, I picked it up specifically because I totally LOVE the TV show “Bones” which is based off of this series of books. And as everyone knows, the book(s) that a TV show, mini-series, or movie is based upon are always better… boy was I wrong.

I love forensics stories with a good plot & this one has that, BUT I just can’t get involved with the book’s “Tempe” because she’s sooooo muc
Amanda McGill
May 12, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
From the start of the book I just couldn't get into it. I found the writing to not flow very well and there was just way too much information.

Things I didn't like about Deja Dead:
- The French and English writing. I know the book is set in Montreal, but the author doesn't have to point out what language people are speaking. Also the author would translate some french words, but leave others. I ended up just skimming over the french words.
- The main character. Couldn't connect with her at all.
BJ Rose
I wanted to like this a lot more than I did - and that has nothing to do with differences in the Temperance Brennan of this series and the one in TV's Bones. This one, after all, is the original. My problems were twofold; I hit overload (often) on the lengthy and detailed explanations of the mutilated bodies of the victims, and the overly detailed scientific and forensic descriptions. Yes, we know that she's a forensic anthropologist and expect some of that, but it was often too much to wade thr ...more
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s strange reading this after watching the show and loving the show because I have temperance in my head in a certain way and having her be loving, divorce, have a child is just strange and like a whole new person.
Aside from having to take this new temperance out of my head and replace it with this new person. I liked the murder in the bones and the science behind everything and also that it was set in Quebec which was just fun to see somewhere that wasn’t you know California or New York.
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting book! I learned a lot!
I have been wanting to read this series for aaages and so I’m glad that I’ve finally started.

I was quite surprised how different this was to the TV series. Temperance Brennan was a completely different character. I think I like the book version better - she is more believable and relatable.

The murder-mystery in this book was well written and well plotted. While some parts did get quite technical and scientific, it wasn’t overly frequent. Also being from the mid-90’s, reading this really made m
Gary Butler
Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
64th book read in 2016.

Number 129 out of 557 on my all time book list.

Review Pending:
Jun 22, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melissa Rose
Let me preface this review by stating that the Tempe Brennan series from Kathy Reichs is absolutely not what you see on the tv series, Bones. If that is what you are hoping for/ expecting, you may want to walk away from these books. However, considering Deja Dead is a reread for me, I was anticipating this major difference.

First off, while the version of Dr. Brennan in this novel differs significantly than the TV counterpart, I actually found that I preferred the book character on account of the
The Clever Reader
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this one! I've been rewatching the series Bones but haven't read any of the books. The series is definitely different than the book but I still enjoyed it. I would definitely love to read more in the series!
Feb 23, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, american-lit
The TV show Bones is probably the best and worst thing to ever happen to this series. The best because it’s no doubt brought a whole slew of new, eager readers to these books—including ones like me, who are really only sporadic watchers of the show. And the worst because all those new readers will inevitably be hauling all their show-based expectations with them. At which point they will discover that this book is—to me, sadly—nothing like the show.

The main character both on TV and in print is c
Briar's Reviews
Kathy Reichs can do no wrong! I adore her writing, and the legitimacy of her words. As someone who took some anthro, anatomy and physiology classes, I can say that this book is very smart (and this forensic anthropologist knows her stuff!). I love how Kathy Reichs makes her novels seem real, and like the reader is actually part of the story while following Temperance Brennan!

The first novel of Kathy Reichs's series follows Temperance deciding to go on a little vacation, but finding out that a c
Feb 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
I had a good time reading this book, it's my second read by Reichs and I'm looking forward to more. I like the thriller feel, the fast paced action and even the gory details and suspense parts that keep you on the edge of your seat regarding what's going to happen next.

The plot revolves around the discovery of human remains that Brennan quickly relates to another murder whose victim she has come in contact with in the past. As the police doesn't seem to give credence to her serial murder theory
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
now i am hooked. This was such a great, easy and creative book. i was hooked after the first page.

The characters were easy to fall in love with and follow, along with the story. the author made the mental visions so easy and vivid of the surroundings and the characters actions felt so real.

i would highly recommend this author and this book.
Laura LlamaDragon
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been wanting to read the Temperance Brennan series for some time as I very much enjoy the tv show Bones which is based on this series. Before starting the book I knew there would be a lot of differences between the book and tv series but I underestimated just how different they would be, they have very little in common at this point in the book series at any rate.

But about the book. It took me a little while to adjust to the book, not just because of the influence of the tv series, as this
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Kathy Reichs is a forensic anthropologist for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, State of North Carolina, and for the Laboratoire des Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Quebec. She is one of only fifty forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology and is on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. A ...more

Other books in the series

Temperance Brennan (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Death du Jour (Temperance Brennan, #2)
  • Deadly Decisions (Temperance Brennan, #3)
  • Fatal Voyage (Temperance Brennan, #4)
  • Grave Secrets (Temperance Brennan, #5)
  • Bare Bones (Temperance Brennan, #6)
  • Monday Mourning (Temperance Brennan, #7)
  • Cross Bones (Temperance Brennan, #8)
  • Break No Bones (Temperance Brennan, #9)
  • Bones to Ashes (Temperance Brennan, #10)
  • Devil Bones (Temperance Brennan, #11)

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