Mystery / Suspense

Two Nights

Written by: Kathy Reichs

Published By: Random House Publishing Group Ė Ballantine

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

                When I heard that Kathy Reichs was taking a step away from her Temperance Brennan series to create a standalone thriller, I was intrigued.  I had watched Bones, the television series based on her Temperance Brennan book series, for years and enjoyed it.  I know people who have read those books and said they were incredibly enjoyable and fast-moving.  I decided to check out Two Nights and see if Reichs could successfully separate herself from the character she achieved such great success with to create a new character people would be clamoring to read more of.

                Sunday Night is a solitary woman wanting nothing but to be left alone.  Spending years running from her past, joining the military and, later, the police force to atone for imagined sins, Sunday is trying to bury her pain and hide from the trauma she suffered as a young girl.  Unfortunately, Sunnie is about to be dragged down some familiar paths when an old friend tips her to a case with a large payout that she canít resist.

                A wealthy elderly woman named Opaline Drucker wants to find the people who turned her family upside down the day they set off a bomb at a Jewish school for girls.  Her daughter, grandson and granddaughter had been visiting the school.  Daughter and grandson were decimated, but the granddaughter, Stella, has never been found.  Now Opaline wants to hire Sunday to find the people responsible (with a hint at making them pay) and learn the fate of Stella if she can. 

                Averse to taking the job at first, Sunday sees the picture of Stella and something awakens inside Ė a memory of a young girl, possibly in a similar situation with no one to turn to doing her best to survive, every day wondering when her captors will tire of her and make that day her last.  Sunday canít help but sign on, but is she getting in over her head?  After all, we still donít quite know the reason behind the bombing or if Stella was abducted at all.

An attempt on her life lets Sunday know she is on the right track, but run-ins with Chicago PD over her inability to play nice with others threaten to stymie her efforts to find Stella.  But Sunday has a trick up her sleeve that sheís been saving for just the right moment. 

                Can Stella track down all those responsible for the bombing and find Stella?  And if she finds Stella, will it be dead or alive?

                Kathy Reichs has created a character that you canít help but love.  Sunday Night is a tough girl with a great deal of skill, but there is a vulnerability beneath that tough exterior.  Youíll find yourself wondering just what happened in Sundayís past to make her so paranoid and make her so passionate about finding Stella Drucker.  Sunday may have quite a few flaws, but most of these have something to do with that past.  Happily, Reichs lets us in on what happened to Sunday little by little, through her own thoughts and through a series of flashbacks.

                The book is fast-paced and well-written and the storyline believable.  The tale was very poignant in our time of political unrest and I could see something like this happening.  I was completely engrossed and loathed putting the book down, but life must be lived and jobs must be worked.  That being said, every other free minute was spent reading and I finished Two Nights in just a couple of days.  I figured out the ending fairly quickly, but that took nothing away from what I experienced reading the novel.  Sunday Night was a tremendously engaging character and I would love to read more books with Sunday as the lead!


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