Feature Book By Kathy Reichs

Two Nights

Two Nights

Two Nights has writer Kathy Reichs venturing into new territory. This novel’s plot line and characters do not delve into forensic anthropology as with the Temperance Brennan series, the basis for the hit TV show Bones. What both have in common are main characters that bring justice to the families and the victims, whether dead or alive.

The featured character, Sunday Night, is the direct opposite of Temperance Brennan in many ways. She is not a scientist, but ex-military and an ex-cop who never wants to follow the rules. Physically and emotionally scarred from her troubled childhood she has developed a toughness and stubbornness, while withdrawing from the world, now living on Goat Island, off the South Carolina coast. What she has in common with Temperance is a dry sarcastic wit, resourcefulness, diligence, a never-ending persistence, and intelligence, although hers is more a street smarts.

The book begins with Sunday (Sunnie) as a reclusive hermit being asked to investigate a missing girls’ case by her foster father, retired detective Beau Beaumonde. He feels that if she handles the investigation of a teenage girl possibly kidnapped by a cult he can draw her out of seclusion and have her face her own demons.

Stella Bright vanished a year after a bombing at a Jewish day school where her mother and brother were killed. Her grandmother hires Sunnie to find out if Stella is alive or dead. Needing assistance she enlists the help of her twin brother August (Gus) Night. The backstory of these twins influences the plot in a riveting way. Both are impulsive, have a temper, with an attitude to shoot first and ask questions later in their attempts to find out the truth behind Stella’s disappearance.

Although billed as a stand-alone it has all the features to be a series with intriguing characters and an action filled plot. The twists and turns keep the readers guessing as to what will happen next.

About the Author Kathy Reichs

Kathy Reichs’s first novel Déjà Dead catapulted her to fame when it became a New York Times bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. Her other Temperance Brennan novels include Death du Jour, Deadly Décisions, Fatal Voyage, Grave Secrets, Bare Bones, Monday Mourning, Cross Bones, Break No Bones, Bones to Ashes, Devil Bones, 206 Bones, Spider Bones, Flash and Bones, Bones Are Forever, and Bones of the Lost, and the Temperance Brennan e-short, Bones In Her Pocket. In addition, Kathy co-authors the Virals young adult series with her son, Brendan Reichs. The best-selling titles are: Virals, Seizure, Code, and Exposure, along with two Virals e-novellas, Shift and Swipe. These books follow the adventures of Temperance Brennan’s great niece, Tory Brennan. Dr. Reichs is also a producer of the hit Fox TV series, Bones, which is based on her work and her novels.

From teaching FBI agents how to detect and recover human remains, to separating and identifying commingled body parts in her Montreal lab, as a forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs has brought her own dramatic work experience to her mesmerizing forensic thrillers. For years she consulted to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in North Carolina, and continues to do so for the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Québec. Dr. Reichs has travelled to Rwanda to testify at the UN Tribunal on Genocide, and helped exhume a mass grave in Guatemala. As part of her work at JPAC (Formerly CILHI) she aided in the identification of war dead from World War II, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Dr. Reichs also assisted with identifying remains found at ground zero of the World Trade Center following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Dr. Reichs is one of only eighty-two forensic anthropologists ever certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. She served on the Board of Directors and as Vice President of both the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, and is currently a member of the National Police Services Advisory Council in Canada. She is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

Dr. Reichs is a native of Chicago, where she received her Ph.D. at Northwestern. She now divides her time between Charlotte, NC and Montreal, Québec.


An Interview with Kathy Reichs (Interviewer Elise Cooper)

Elise Cooper: Where did you get the idea for this story?

Kathy Reichs: Sunnie grew out of a story from an earlier book, Death du Jour. It is based on a true cult where seventy-five people were killed.  Three of the victims were in Quebec, parents and a baby, who were assassinated.  This actually happened and I was present when they came to our lab for autopsy. After thinking about the mentality of cults and why they kill themselves and others I did a lot of research on the psychology. This gave me rise to think, ‘what if someone grew up in the context of a cult where everyone they knew was either killed or killed themselves?’

EC: Why did you decide to write a non-Tempe book?

KR: My publisher suggested it. At first I was not overly enthusiastic, but the more I thought about it the more I realized it could be quite fun.  After nineteen Temperance Brennan books I am locked in with the facts, and I have to remember to keep everything straight.  With a new character like Sunday I was able to once again make things up, starting from nothing.  I found the process stimulating and fascinating.  BTW: I like Tempe and am not done with her yet, but I was energized in writing this new character.

EC: How did Sunday and her twin brother August get their unusual names?

KR: The cult she was a part of did not believe in names.  She and her brother were born on a Sunday in August; thus the names after the day and month born. Her last name came about after she was arrested.  When pressed for a last name she heard the Neil Diamond song “Hot August Night” in the background and used a last name of Night.

EC: As twins they look nothing alike?

KR: They are not identical but fraternal.  I saw on the Internet a pair of twins where one was quite fair and the other African American looking.  Since they were fraternal they would have a completely different genetic material.

EC: Can you compare your two main characters Temperance Brennan and Sunday Night?

KR: Tempe is very cerebral, logical, organized, controlled, and disciplined.  She is a scientist with lab skills.  Sunday is the polar opposite.  She has quite a temper, not sociable, skilled with guns and tactics including surveillance, tracking, and intelligence gathering, a much earthier person.  These are very non-Temperance kinds of skills. She is not your average Southern lady socialite, very different from your Charleston belles. Yet, they are similar in their dry, biting, sense of humor.

EC: Why a squirrel as a pet?

KR: Bob is his name and he allows her to be responsible for feeding him.  She is not a puppy dog king of girl.  I ran through in my mind what other authors had given their characters as pets and realized no one had a squirrel. 

EC: Is Goat Island a real place?

KR: Yes.  It is very secluded because the only way to get out there is by a boat since there are no ferries.  It is just across from where I live, Island of Palm in South Carolina.  Cross over to Goat Island and you will find a completely different world, which I describe in this book.

EC: What do you want readers to get out of the book?

KR: By the end of the book Sunday will have undergone a character change and is drawn back into humanity.  A common thread throughout all my characters, whether Sunnie or Tempe, is compassion for other people.  What drives Sunday is helping someone who might be alive while in Temperance’s case she wants to help the dead and their loved ones.  All have a need to find closure through getting justice for the victims.  Even Gus and their guardian Beau had compassion.  He took in two children to raise even though he was not a spring chicken or a wealthy man. 

EC: Can you give a heads up about your next book?

KR: It will be a Tempe book, more of a psychological one.  In a short story for the Bones collection her long time boss was killed, and the person who replaces him has a history with Tempe, disliking her and refusing to consult her.  After a man is found dead, eaten by hogs with no face and hands she decides to pursue the case herself since dental records and fingerprints cannot identify him. 




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