Kathy Reichs’ ‘Fatal Voyage’

In working my way through Kathy Reichs’ forensic thrillers, I’ve reached Fatal Voyage with only a few more pages to read. Her books are well-written, educational, and almost always place the main character, Tempe Brennan, in dangerous situations.

I especially liked this novel because it was set in and around Bryson City, NC, an area I’ve been visiting since the 1950s. It’s fun to see how an author views an area I know well, from Mt. Mitchell to  Clingman’s Dome, to New Found Gap. I’ve hiked through a lot of the area and driven through all of it. Reichs uses the towns and mountains well, adding a lot of local color (real and fictional). One of my brothers used to own several tracts of land near Dillsboro. I once tried to buy an old restaurant in Dillsboro but the plan got vetoed by somebody I won’t name here.

From the publisher

“Buckle up and take this voyage,” says People. The journey begins with Temperance Brennan hearing shocking news on her car radio. An Air TransSouth flight has gone down in the mountains of western North Carolina, taking with it eighty-eight passengers and crew. As a forensic anthropologist and a member of the regional DMORT team, Tempe rushes to the scene to assist in body recovery and identification.

“As bomb theories abound, Tempe soon discovers a jarring piece of evidence that raises dangerous questions—and gets her thrown from the DMORT team. Relentless in her pursuit of its significance, Tempe uncovers a shocking, multilayered tale of deceit and depravity as she probes her way into frightening territory—where someone wants her stopped in her tracks.”

She doesn’t mention all the moonshine stills in the area, one of which was on or near my brother’s property. A free jar of shine would have ensured our silence if we’d ever found one of the stills. Of course, we might have ended up dead, something that happens a lot in Fatal Voyage.


Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of magical realism, paranormal, and contemporary fantasy novels and short stories. This Kindle “boxed set” includes all four novels of the Florida Folk Magic Series a savings over buying them separately. You can, of course, can also buy them in hardcover, paperback, and audiobook editions.