“Two Nights” by Kathy Reichs a first person narrative by an ex-cop named Sunday Night (yes, you read that correctly) who is at loose ends. In her words, “My right-hand neighbor thinks I’m crazy, so she brings me cheese.” Her neighbor may be correct. Her two-pronged plan for life is “Need no one. Feel nothing,” and to keep busy, “I run; I shoot; I read.” It just does not get much better than that to make an interesting character. She has a non-standard sense of humor, makes cutting-edge observations, and no one escapes her sarcasm. When boarding an airplane and asked, “Do you have a seating preference?” what else could she reply than “Indoor?”
The author carefully sets the stage with vivid descriptions; “The day was humid and far too warm for April. The air smelled of sun on moss-covered earth and stone.” In another instance, “Beyond the green silence she hears a siren wailing, a dog barking, a garbage truck rumpling and grinding. Sounds of normal life. Not hers.”
The book is written mostly in first person from Sunday’s point of view; thus, it is easy for readers to follow her thought progressions and preparations. Details of her personal background and family dynamic sneak in where necessary, but always to advance the plot rather than to needlessly fill up space. There are occasional other chapters sprinkled in that describe events in a third person narrative without identifying the participants, challenging the reader to discern how these characters and events fit into the main story line.
The plot is current, even “ripped from the headlines.” The design is tight with non-stop action as the characters bounce from destination to destination, South Carolina to Chicago, LA, DC, Kentucky, and back, following lead after lead. There are no unimportant or unnecessary side trips as the body count rises and Sunday becomes more desperate for a resolution. In the end, everything falls into place in a most unexpected way that will catch readers off guard. Even the title of the book, “Two Nights” has more than one meaning.
Penguin Random House, Kathy Reichs, and NetGalley gave me a copy of “Two Nights” in exchange for my honest review, and I loved this book. I have not read any other books by Kathy Reichs but she is now at the top of my “to read” list. I hope this is the first in a series for Sunday Night.