Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Two Nights
Kathy Reichs


Sunnie Night has retreated to a solitary life. After a violent altercation, she has voluntarily stepped down from her military cop job. Nursing a damaged eye and a deeply scarred past, Sunnie lives on the isolated Goat Island off the coast of South Carolina. Her only companion is a pet squirrel named Bob.

But her foster father, Beau has been keeping an eye on Sunnie and he pays her a visit with information of an investigative job he’s sure will help her escape the past.

The case involves a bombing of a Jewish school in Chicago. Opaline Drucker’s daughter and grandson were killed in the bombing and her granddaughter, Stella, is missing. Chicago police investigated for a year, with no solid leads. With a fat stipend, Sunnie heads out to see what she can find.

With an attitude that cuts through steel, Sunnie is an ace investigator with an uncanny instinct and she knows how to handle the bad guys. But she’s not as good dealing with colleagues and superiors who don’t appreciate her sarcasm and attitude. While painful memories often get in the way of her decisions, her sharp instinct saves her from many dangerous encounters. Needing extra support, she calls on her twin brother, Gus to help solve the case. Gus knows what he’s doing and he may be the only person who completely understands Sunnie.

The investigation soon uncovers a religious cult, determined to exact revenge on anything related to Islam. Sunnie is sure they have kidnapped Stella. She won’t stop until she finds her and brings closure to her own similar history.

I enjoyed reading this fast story, but in the end I thought it was just okay, with unremarkable characters. I also found it hard to follow the clipped dialogue and felt that many of the scenes and clues were unrealistic. Maybe that’s the case with the first book of a likely series.

Kathy Reichs is best known for her Temperance Brennan series. Her heroine, Brennan, is also portrayed in the popular Fox TV show “Bones.” Reader comments and reviews say this series is excellent and very different from Two Nights.

Have you read any books by Kathy Reichs? Have you watched “Bones?”

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15 thoughts on “Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

  1. Interesting review, and I appreciate it (since I won’t be running out to read the book!). Yes, I read the first few of her “Bones” series (though it wasn’t called Bones in the book title). The forensic research in those books was good, but after a couple of them, I didn’t need any more!

    1. The comment I was reading most in reviews was that Sunnie’s character is very different from Brennan. And the author is a forensic anthropologist, so her expertise is in that area. Sunnie is kind of like a Lisbeth Salander from Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Tough but wounded under it all. But she’s not developed nearly as much as Lisbeth. It was entertaining and our Whodunits Mystery Book Club at work will be discussing it tomorrow. We will see what they say! Thanks for stopping by, Pam. 🙂

  2. Not familiar with this writer but the plot does sound like a lot of the law and order type television shows. I agree that remarkable characters are key, particularly if a plot is predictable.

    1. It may be that this is the first in what could become a series, so the characters are just getting established. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  3. Barbara, I haven’t heard of either the author or her books. Your review here gives a feeling of both this book and her work. The main character of Two Nights reminds me a bit of Saga in The Bridge … the lone solitary female lead with difficulty forming relationships with others and where the past intrudes with the present and a reconciliation is required to solve the ongoing investigation. A good set-up but one that has been done so often it perhaps needs to be outstanding to shine above the rest!

    1. You’re right, Annika. It’s hard to use a character template and not be measured against the great ones. Sunnie’s character reminded me of Lisbeth Salander (loved those Girl with the… books) but not nearly as developed or interesting. Maybe if she turns this into a series the characters will be better. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  4. I am a diehard Kathy Reichs fan (have read all her books) and am sorry to hear this new character and book don’t measure up. I do love Temperance Brennan and Bones. When you write a mystery series, you can get to feeling stale and out of ideas with the same old same old. So perhaps this was Reichs’ way of rejuvenating?

    1. Hi Noelle, this is a great comment. Our mystery group noted that the Temperance Brennan series is excellent, as it’s close to the author’s own experiences in forensics. I haven’t read them, but I will try one out. As for this standalone, it’s not even on her website, though it’s a recent book, which makes me think it was an experiment of sorts. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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