#1 New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs steps beyond her classic Temperance Brennan series in a new standalone thriller—featuring a smart, tough, talented heroine whose thirst for justice stems from her own dark past.
Meet Sunday Night, a woman with physical and psychological scars, and a killer instinct...
Sunnie has spent years running from her past, burying secrets and building a life in which she needs no one and feels nothing.
But a girl has gone missing, lost in the chaos of a bomb explosion, and the family needs Sunnie’s help. Is the girl dead? Did someone take her? If she is out there, why doesn’t she want to be found?
It’s time for Sunnie to face her own demons—because they just might lead her to the truth about what really happened all those years ago.
|Publisher:||Random House Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Kathy Reichs’s first novel Déjà Dead was a #1 New York Timesbestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. A Conspiracy of Bones is Kathy’s nineteenth entry in her series featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. Kathy was also a producer of the hit Fox TV series, Bones, which is based on her work and her novels. Dr. Reichs is one of very few forensic anthropologists 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 as a member of the National Police Services Advisory Council in Canada. She divides her time between Charlotte, North Carolina, and Montreal, Québec. Visit Kathy at KathyReichs.com.
Hometown:Charlotte, North Carolina and Montreal, Québec
Place of Birth:Chicago, Illinois
Education:B.A., American University, 1971; M.A., Ph.D., Northwestern University
Read an Excerpt
My right-hand neighbor thinks I’m crazy, so she brings me cheese.
I heard the one-two crunch of her boots on the path. A pause, then the oyster shells crunched again.
I lifted a corner of the towel covering my kitchen window. She was already five yards off, a shadow-laced smudge among the live oaks.
Six years, and I still didn’t know her name. Didn’t want to. Had no desire to exchange recipes or comments on the tides.
I cracked the door, snagged the plastic-wrapped package, and shoved it into the fridge.
Truth is, I don’t mind the cheese. What I hate are the sharp little eyes plumbing my soul. That and the pity.
And the goats. When the wind is right, the bleating bullies into my dreams and I’m back in Helmand with the blood and the dust.
Or maybe I’m reading the old gal wrong. Maybe the cheese is a bribe so I don’t murder Billie or Nanny.
My left-hand neighbor hanged himself from the end of his pier. His dog curled up and died by his head. Double suicide. Maggot jamboree by the time the bodies were found.
Arthur was a wood-carver, Prince a collie. I prefer their silent company. Fits my two-pronged plan for life. Need no one. Feel nothing.
I ran six miles and put in time with my free weights. A beer and a sandwich for lunch, then I spent the afternoon shooting Cheerwine cans off a dune at Gray Bay. The beach was deserted and not far away. Nothing is.
Goat Island is a skinny strip of sand just a monkey’s spit wide, uninhabited until Henry and Blanche Holloway rowed over to escape the stresses of 1930s Charleston. Legend has it they spent decades in a hole covered with driftwood and palm fronds.
Now that sounds warp-speed psycho to me.
But Henry and Blanche had one thing right. For solitude, Goat Island is the cat’s meow. Even today there’s no ferry, no paved road, ergo no cars or trucks. No access except by private boat. Outsiders rarely find reason to come.
The few scrappy residents live in cottages cobbled together from wreckage ignored or tossed ashore by Hurricane Hugo. My porch roof is the ass end of a disemboweled rowboat. Goat Lady’s shed started life as Arthur’s latrine.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t live hole-in-the-ground au naturel batty. I’ve got electricity, a septic tank. All the advantages.
The downside to Goat is the spring mosquitoes, some large enough to carry off St. Bernards. By six the bloodsuckers were organizing into squadrons, preparing to strike. Over and out for moi.
I was home rubbing aloe on bites when the bell above the stove jangled its jerry-rigged warning.
The moths did their frenzied dance in my chest.
I dug the shotgun from my duffel, thumbed shells into the chamber, and crept to a window. The sun was low, flaming the waterway orange and making me squint.
Far below, a figure crouched on my dock, securing lines. Both human and boat were featureless black cutouts against the tangerine glow.
My grip tightened on the stock, ready to pump.
The figure straightened and headed my way. Male. Barrel-chested. Not big, but muscular in a scrawny-arms-and-legs way.
I recognized the confident drill-sergeant stride. The contour of the ragged Tilley hat. Not vintage, just old.
I snapped into action. Ammo out and into the duffel, guns into the closet. Liquor bottles, glasses, and dirty dishes under the sink. Yesterday’s clothes and flip-flops heave-ho into the bedroom.
His knock was hard enough to rattle the screen in its jamb. One last look around, then I hurried to undo the inner door locks. Two, then the deadbolt.
He stood with hands on hips, looking left toward the marsh. His eyes were blue, his face weathered as the month of March.
“What’s wrong?” Mouth dry. No one ever came uninvited. No one ever came.
“Something’s gotta be wrong for me to drop by?” Gravelly. Gruff.
“Of course not.” Plastic smile molding my face. “You usually give a heads-up.”
“How? Send a pigeon?”
I said nothing.
“You gonna leave me out here till I need a transfusion?”
I lifted the hook and stepped back. Beau entered, gaze skimming. A cop gaze. One spin around the cottage, then it settled on me, running the same critique I resent in my neighbor.
The scar burned an itchy path below my right eye.
“I didn’t recognize the boat.” Concentrating on normal.
“Getting the gel coat repaired. But what? You were maybe expecting Bowie?”
“Gonna offer a man a beer?”
I got two Palmetto Ambers from the fridge and we moved to the living room, a small hexagon accessed through a wood-trimmed arch. Ceiling fan, sofa, two threadbare chairs, three beat-to-hell tables. No need for décor. Only Beau and one other were allowed in my home.
Beau dropped onto the sofa, sloughed off the hat, and took a long pull of his beer. His hair was gray and buzzed to the scalp. Had been since I’d known him. Probably since his mama first shaved it with clippers at a kitchen chair.
I sat opposite, knees jutting, feet under my bum. The five-window view wrapped us like an IMAX featuring the Atlantic seaboard.
A picture formed in my head. Beau with a younger man’s face. Hiding his frustration, his pride. Not pleading, but close. Asking a fellow cop to give his foster kid yet another break. Red-blue pulsing his badge and the honky-tonk shack at his back.
Beau raised his right ankle to his left knee. Cleared his throat. Levered the foot up and down several times.
“Had an interesting call today.” Eyes on a Top-Sider as old as the hat. “Lady name of Opaline Drucker.”
That triggered a ping in some remote brain chip.
“Who is she?”
“I’ll leave the telling of that for after.”
“Hearing me out.” Tone a million miles from drop-by casual. “Mrs. Drucker has a problem. I think you can help her.”
“Why would I want to do that?”
Beau took another swig, then set the bottle on the floor. Uncrossing his legs, he leaned forward and looked me full in the eye. “You’re in a bad place, Sunnie.”
“I’m happy as a clam out here.” Arms uplifted to emphasize the level of my joy.
“We both know that’s not what I mean.”
“What do you mean?”
“Look, I get it. You overreacted, you killed the bastard.”
“PSO ruled it a justified shoot.” Curt. The incident was the final straw for the Professional Standards Office, Charleston PD’s version of internal affairs. The end of my career in law enforcement. And ancient history.
“Damn straight it was.” Beau flicked dirt from jeans too faded to qualify as blue. Maybe a bug. “The scumbag nearly took out your eye.”
“No way I’d ride a desk.” Cheeks burning.
“Hell no. I’d have quit, too.”
“You here to remind me what a loser I am? First the Corps, then the job? News flash. I already know.” Meaner than I intended. Or not.
“Knock it off.”
“Get to the point.”
“It’s been six years.”
“Ah. You’ve come to enforce some kind of self-pity statute.” Arm-wrapping my chest and tucking my hands into my pits. “Oh, wait. You’re off the force, too.”
Beau breathed deeply. Exhaled through his nose. Chose his words.
“You can’t hide on this island, talking to no one, doing God knows what to yourself.”
“Yes. I can.”
“You’ve withdrawn from the whole goddamned human race.”
“I have a bestie that lives in my bedside table. Want to meet him?”
“See. There you go. The least little pressure and out come the jokes.”
“I have you.”
“I’m about all you have.”
“And you think I’m nuts.” God knows I did.
“Of course you’re not nuts.” Frustrated, trying for patient. “But you can’t just sit out here doing nothing.”
“I run, I shoot, I fish, I read.” Gut rolled tight as an armadillo under threat.
“It’s not normal.”
“I’ve tried normal. Too many rules. Too much constraint.” Too much rage? I’m a big girl. I can own it now.
“Why are you so goddamned stubborn?”
“It’s a gift.”
I detest explaining myself. To Beau. To the therapists with their gentle eyes and nonprobing questions that probe. To anyone. I changed the subject.
“What’s this got to do with Orphaline Drucker?”
“Opaline. I think helping her could benefit you.”
“Wow. I’m your new project.”
Beau ignored that. “Drucker’s granddaughter’s been missing for over a year.”
“Kids run off. They’re famous for it.” I knocked back some beer.
“She was only fifteen.” A beat, then, “Opaline thinks she’s been grabbed by a cult.”
Unbidden, another cerebral barrage. I sent the images to the place where I keep them all buried.
A full minute. Then I said, “Let me get this straight. I’m to be this kid’s savior because I need saving?”
“Something like that.”
Beau’s eyes were now blue-laser-focused on mine. I stared back, every neuron in my brain ordering retreat.
Still, I bit. “Where’s she being held?”
“No one knows.”
Silence on our side of the window screens. On the other, animated gull conversation about crabs or fish. Maybe trash.
“I don’t know shit about finding MPs,” I said.
“You were SERE.” Beau used the military acronym for Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape.
“That’s different.” It was. But I got his point.
“And how was it you were chosen to teach those courses?”
“Right. And the other intel ‘duties’ we don’t talk about?” Air-hooking quotes around the purposely vague noun.
I took another swallow.
The curtains lifted on a breeze smelling of salt and pluff mud.
The room crept a few nanometers from orange toward amber.
Other memories bubbled up. Uneaten bologna sandwiches, blown-off guitar lessons, a lipstick-ravaged wall, once painted pink to please a teenage girl.
Beau tried hard the three short years that he had me. Never got a thank-you from his surly, copper-haired ward.
“Talk about the kid.” I broke the silence.
“Better you get the facts direct from Opaline.”
“A face-to-face meet?” Blood pulsing in the little shallow beside my collarbone.
“You can use my car.”
Taking my silence as consent, Beau pushed to his feet and handed me a blue-lined page ripped from a spiral notebook. Eyes pointed elsewhere, I flipped it onto the table beside me.
When Beau was gone, I tossed the paper into the wastebasket by my bathroom sink. An icy shower, then I armed the security system, checked for creatures outside my windows, and hit the rack.
Sleep was evasive, which is normal for me. But this was different. I’ve spent so long trying not to think about the past, about those two nights, that my insomniac mind tends to focus on the present. Buy butter. Clean the guns. Change the porch bulb.
That night I was visited by a million ghosts.
Experts say it’s healing to contemplate loss. To talk about it. Bullshit. Revisiting the past makes me nauseous and costs me rest.
After hours of futile twisting in sweat-damp sheets, I got up, padded to the bathroom, and dug Beau’s paper from among the jumble of tissues, Q-tips, and wadded-up hair. A glance at the scrawled address, then I crumpled and returned the page to the discards of my daily toilette.
The living room was dancing with shadows and still as a tomb. I settled on the couch and lowered my lids. Like five black eyes, the hexagon windows watched me force my mind blank.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I found "Two Nights" to be impossible to put down! The protagonist ~~ the oddly~named Sunday Night ~~ is tough and nothing but sharp edges. (She's nothing like the lovely Tempe Brennan!) This is a gritty and intriguing story, full of murder, close calls, and themes of real anguish. There's also a twist that I didn't see coming. No matter what is thrown at her, Sunday is relentless in her pursuit of the truth. Reichs has created a fascinating anti-heroine. I'm really looking forward to reading some sequels!
So different and so good. Couldn't read fast enough. Hope Sunday Night will continue.
Two Nights is a stand-alone novel by American forensic anthropologist and author, Kathy Reichs. Reclusive ex-cop (and ex-USMC) Sunday Night’s peace on her island is disturbed by a visitor with an intriguing proposition. Beau Beaumonde has been her saviour more than once, and has always had her best interests at heart, so Sunday is willing to consider what he’s suggesting. Opaline Drucker, a very wealthy matron from Charleston, wants someone to track down the people who planted a bomb that killed her daughter and grandson, one year earlier, in Chicago. And to find out what happened to her granddaughter, Stella Bright, who disappeared from the bombsite. Was Stella kidnapped? Is she still alive? Beau feels this case will help Sunnie deal with the horrific events of her own youth. Sunday’s first person narrative is interspersed with an occasional third person narrative from the perspective of a young girl being held captive, a two-week countdown which is ambiguous enough to have the reader wondering if it’s Sunnie’s story or Stella’s. Reichs gives the reader a fast-paced tale with lots of covert surveillance, cross-country pursuit, high-tech devices and a rather different Kentucky Derby experience. There’s no forensic anthropology, but there are quite a few dead bodies, and the plot has a good helping of twists, turns and surprises. While it looks like a stand-alone novel, more of Sunday and co would certainly not be unwelcome. Excellent crime fiction.
A terriffic read with exciting new and fresh characters. I hope this is not a 'one off' adventure, but the beginings of a new series with new ideas and avenues of exploration for a very talented and creative writer. Don't get me wrong...I love Brennen and all the 'bones' but the good Doctor needs a bit of a rest and Sunday Night is just what the doctor ordered for this reader. Can't wait till 'next Sunday'.
Surprising and fast paced. Draws you in and holds your attention. Clever ending twist.
A page turner! Characters you care about, edge of your seat action. I would read more of Sunday Nights saga.
First time i have read any books from this author , wikl try another one I already checked for any with these characters, whuch therenisnt, so hoping she writes with these characters in mind U wont be sorry if u purchase
Two Nights by Kathy Reichs Publisher: Simon & Schuster Thanks to NetGaley and publisher Simon & Schuster for the ebook ARC of Two Nights by Kathy Reichs in exchange for an honest review. Meet Sunday Night, a woman with physical and psychological scars, and a killer instinct… Sunnie has spent years running from her past, burying secrets and building a life in which she needs no one and feels nothing. But a girl has gone missing, lost in the chaos of a bomb explosion, and the family needs Sunnie’s help. Is the girl dead? Did someone take her? If she is out there, why doesn’t she want to be found? It is time for Sunnie to face her own demons because they might just lead her to the truth about what really happened all those years ago. I give this book a rating of 2 stars. I didn’t end up finish reading it. I read about 30% of the way through. I tried because I have heard so many good things about Kathy Reichs. The book itself just wasn’t for me. I found it boring and hard to stay focused and I just couldn’t get into the book. I am not a fan of the writing style. I would definately give Kathy Reichs another try though as many people really love her writing.
Unusual but absorbing tale. Don't miss it. Love this heroine
Very different than your usual writing but I liked it.
I had never read anything by Kathy Reichs, found her book in the library and decided to try something new. Glad I did. Sunday Night was a cop who was hurt on the job, and retreated to a small island with the company of a squirrel. She is running from her childhood and hiding and is dragged to work in search of a young girl who disappeared after an explosion. Throughout the book, you meet a variety of character, most notable, Gus, her twin brother, which is apparently pretty funny, since they have different skin tones. The book has humor, some dark, and a good story line. I was hoping to see a second book in the series, but so far nothing. I didn’t realize she was the author of the Bones series, which became a television show on Fox, but I am going to start that series next.
I love the Temprence Brennan series by Kathy Reichs and when given the opportunity to read this book with a brand new character I just couldn't say no. And ,sure, I liked it. But I didn't love it. I can't say why, though. Might be that I hade problems with the mc name (Sunday Night) or the different writing style. But, I encourage you all to give it a try and judge for yourself. I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thanks to NetGalley and Random House!
Good as always
Bring back Temperance!!!
Awesome story! I really liked the new characters and same insghtful humor i exepct from Kathy Reichs; Ready for next adventure with Sunday Night!
Loved Sunday Knight. Would like more novels with her. Perhaps allowing some of her emotional scars heal in future works. She and her brother make a great team.
If a book is written by Kathy Reichs, it will be good and it will be a thriller. This is no exception. Sunday Night, Sunnie, has demons she needs to conquer. Physical and Psychological ones. She has a very independent, perhaps reclusive live, however, when there is a bomb explosion, followed by a little girl who is missing, she cannot turn down the family's request for aid. While helping, Sunnie realizes facing her own secrets may help her to figure out many puzzles. This was such a thrilling book, but it is not for the faint-of-heart. There is violence. As I was reading it the writing was so vivid and the plot was so clever. It is not a book that I could put down easily. I received this book from NetGalley and Random House Publishing - Ballantine in exchange for my honest review. This book may be found at Amazon HERE or at Barnes and Noble HERE
Two Nights is the newest novel by author Kathy Reichs. For the past six years, Sunday “Sunnie” Night has been living on remote Goat’s Island (off Charleston, South Carolina). Sunday receives an unexpected visit from her former foster father, Beau Beaumonde. Beau has a case that needs someone with Sunday’s skill set. One year and a week ago, Opaline Drucker lost her daughter and grandson to a bombing at a Hebrew girls’ school in Chicago. Her granddaughter, Stella was not found. Opaline wants Sunday to get answers and she is willing to pay handsomely for Sunday’s services. It will be a challenging task and it brings long buried memories to the surface. What happened to Stella? Can Sunday get answers for Opaline? What will happen to Sunday along the way? Two Nights was a hard book for me to read. I was hoping for a fast-paced suspense novel. Two Nights is a slow starter. I was never able to get into the story. I ended up skimming through some of it (i.e. speed reading). I was not a fan of Sunday Night. She is intelligent, tough, stubborn, inventive, sarcastic, distant, does not trust easily, and does not let people get close to her. I think it was hard to connect with Sunday because readers are given few details on her past. We get little bits during the story with the main details revealed at the end of the book (too late). The one thing I liked about Sunday was her pet squirrel, Bob. My rating for Two Nights is 3 out of 5 stars. Two Nights is supposed to be a suspense novel, but I did not feel it. I particularly disliked the alternating chapters (which do not make sense until the end). Add to that every single detail of Sunday’s day (what she did, where she went, what she ate, flopping on the bed, etc.). The story needed something more. I think it would have helped if the book had been written in the third person (instead of first person). The mystery seemed complicated, but I accurately guessed the outcome early in the story. There are some parts that are a little implausible. The case has gone cold (despite the Chicago PD’s best efforts), but Sunday can get a lead right away and solve it within a short period of time. Two Nights does not have the same appeal as Ms. Reichs other creations. Two Nights does contain violence (quite a bit) and foul language.
Temperance Brennan, usual protagonist of Kathy Reich's books, has stepped back behind the curtain making way for a new character, Sunny Night, and I like her. She is quite the smarta$$ and her comebacks, whether spoken or thought, are quite humorous. Of course, like all detectives, Sunny has her demons. She also has her weaknesses, coming from a struggle with a suspect, wherein she lost an eye as well as her job for shooting and killing that person while he was weaponless. She is a very strange sort, living on an island that can only be reached by boat and with very few neighbors. She's not alone living there, however, she has her pet squirrel named Bob who looks after the place for her when she's gone. This story deals with a cold case of a woman and her son being killed in a bombing right outside a school. The daughter of the woman is missing and has not been heard from for over a year. Sunny is hired by the girl's grandmother to find her and the assailants who were caught on CCTV, although very fuzzily. The things that Sunny does while on this chase are somewhat severe in her avoidance of detection, however, that avoidance does not last long. The killers are on to her and after her. A great read with lots of action and suspense. Kathy Reichs is one of my favorite authors and I love this new character that she has created. I hope to see lots more of her in the future. Thanks to Simon & Schuster and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
A new mystery by Kathy Reichs, Two Nights, introduces a flawed protagonist in Sunday Night. She is a young woman definitely stronger physically and intuitively because of a traumatic childhood that forced her to deal with abusive adults in a cult-like environment, but her memories still torment her, resulting in difficulty trusting or even socializing with others. As a young teen Sunnie became a ward of a compassionate police officer who guided her into the military and eventually into police work, but when we meet her she is no longer working and lives alone on a small island off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. Her "father," the police officer, drops in to offer her an "opportunity," an investigative job that will pay well if she is successful, but has a high probability of failure. A young teen is missing and presumed dead after a terrorist bombing at a Jewish school in Chicago. The difficult part is that the event occurred a year ago...and was investigated by the Chicago police who came away with no solid leads. The new aspect is that the missing girl's grandmother, a wealthy dowager in Charleston, is willing to pay for the identities and/or capture of the bombers and the release of her granddaughter who she suspects is still being held. The queston is, can Sunnie stay focused enough to see the case through to completion? But the mystery surrounding the bombing and sudden disappearance of fifteen year old Stella Bright is exactly what it takes to get Sunday's attention focused with razor-like sharpness on Stella's uncertain destiny. Years ago, other lives were lost because Sunnie didn't do enough soon enough. She will not be stopped this time if there is any way to save Stella. I received an e copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for a review.
I have read and enjoyed all of the Temperance books and I was excited at the idea of a stand alone with a new character. Sunnie was a tough character to like. She's had quite a rough life and it's made her hardened and bitter. Of course that's understandable, but it also made her hard to root for. Gus was delightful and the banter between them added a bit of much needed levity. Plot wise, it was an interesting set up and wanting to know how it played out is the only thing that kept me going. The story was monotonous and boring: a lot of tailing people and moving hotels. Seriously, that's pretty much all that happens until the last 50 pages. Overall, it was a clever idea with some things I didn't see coming, but the piecemeal reveals and long passages without dialogue had me skimming. If Sunnie becomes a series, I will not be reading. **Huge thanks to Bantam Books for providing the arc free of charge**
Well, this was disappointing. When I saw that Kathy Reichs had written a stand alone novel, I knew that I wanted to read it. I have really enjoyed her books in the past and was looking forward to this book. This book never clicked for me and I found myself constantly setting the book aside. There were some parts of the book that I did enjoy and I never really considered not finishing it but it wasn't a story that did much for me. I think one of my main problems with this book is that I didn't care for the characters. The focus of this book is Sunday Night, or Sunnie. Sunnie is an ex-cop that carries a lot of scars both physical and emotional. She was paranoid but had a lot of skills that were put to the test as she tried to find out what happened to the girl she has been hired to find. There are sections of the book spread throughout the story that talk of Sunnie's past. I thought that learning her backstory was way too drawn out and by the time any real information was given I had lost interest. The mystery never grabbed me. I just had a really hard time getting into the overall story. Of course, I wanted to know what had happened to the girl but the story seemed to move really slow. Everything was a waiting game wrapped up in Sunnie's paranoia. It just felt like it took really long time for things to get moving. So much so that this turned into a book that I kept checking how much more was left just because I wanted to be done with it. The writing felt really choppy with lots of short sentences that never really flowed. There was a lot of really traumatic things happening in the story but I never felt like any of the characters had a single emotion. I did think that the book had a good start. I like the idea of Sunnie. I like that she was quirky and a little different but that feeling faded quickly. I am not going to be recommending this one. I think that anyone interested in reading Kathy Reichs should start with the Temperance Brennan series which I loved. I haven't read the whole series but have read the first 13 books or so in that series and really enjoyed them and actually plan to re-read the series at some point. This book was a miss for me but I do look forward to reading more of her work in the future. I received an advance reader edition of this book from Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine via NetGalley.