Book Review: Rachel Caine’s Two Weeks’ Notice

Posted September 23, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Rachel Caine’s Two Weeks’ Notice

Two Weeks' Notice


Rachel Caine

It is part of the Revivalist #2 series and is a urban fantasy that was published by ROC on August 7, 2012 and has 304 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Undone, Unknown, Ghost Town, Rachel Caine, Bite Club, Dark and Stormy Knights, Devil's Bargain, Devil's Due, Last Breath, Unseen, Hex Appeal, Unbroken, Black Dawn, Working Stiff, Bitter Blood, Kiss of Death, Fall of Night, Daylighters, Kicking It, Prince of Shadows, Ink and Bone, Paper and Fire, Ash and Quill, Killman Creek

Second in the Revivalist urban fantasy series about an ex-soldier who dies, and she takes over running a funeral home outside San Diego.

My Take

Well, it’s better than Working Stiff at least in that Bryn is not behaving as stupidly and out of character — yes, I expect a soldier to have a few certain characteristics. This time, Bryn is actually listening to Patrick and willing to be careful. She doesn’t even get angry that Joe and Patrick were thinking ahead about Annalise. What does surprise me is her anger about Jane. That I don’t understand at all.

There is quite a bit of action in this one, resolving some issues and creating even more horrendous new ones. Yet there is still something lacking from this. A warmth that would really pull me into the story. And I do want to be pulled in — just don’t make me touch Riley or Bryn at the end!!

I can’t believe that Bryn and Patrick haven’t done the nasty yet! She’s simply living in his house because it’s the safest place for her and anyone around her. I did enjoy Patrick’s romantic assessment and decision. Just the opposite of what one would expect from a man.

It’s a little bit funeral home — it’s certainly interesting seeing it from the administrative side with all the concerns they have to consider from the noisy mistress to how to cope with sudden losses — and it’s a lot bit secret agent with a great deal of rescuing going on in this one. Not all of them successful. New enemies, new allies. All unexpected.

Ya know, I couldn’t imagine Caine managing to top the ick factor she presented in Working Stiff. After reading this, I realize I just don’t have an imagination.

At last! We finally see Bryn acting like the soldier she was when she senses an ambush. And it just gets worse. Too bad Riley was so very FBI.

The Story

Yup, it’s Davis Funeral Home now. Formerly known as Fairview. With her former boss dead and the FBI arranging for her to take the funeral home over, it only made sense to change the name.

Unfortunately, it’s about the only thing that does make sense. Bryn has formed a self-help group for Returné victims and the group suffers its ups and downs as people show or stay away. She’s forced to take on a job for the FBI and it seems even they can’t trust each other. Mom is wondering why Annalie never calls.

Then the FBI wants Bryn to check out Graydon Industrial Waste Services for anomalies. What she finds is a lot more than a simple irregularity. It’s enough to blow up Bryn’s world. It could be the end of Jeff’s world too when he’s kidnapped by a sadist.

The Characters

Bryn Davis is a 26-year-old woman who has inherited a business and moved house. Yup, she and Mr. French, her very protective pet bulldog, are living at Patrick’s these days. Annalie is her flaky sister who has been kidnapped by Mercer and Revived.

Patrick McCallister quit Pharmadene just before it all went down and he’s trying to protect Bryn with whom he’s in love He’s got one helluva past. Liam is his butler, er, I mean, his trust administrator. It does lead to some fun, snarky comments.

Joe Fideli is a mercenary who worked for Patrick; now he’s undercover as a bodyguard for Bryn at the Davis Funeral Home and functioning as Bryn’s second-in-command. He’s happily married to Kylie and they have three kids: Jeff, Harry, and baby Juliet. And, yeah, Kylie knows all about his type of security. Lucy is the very knowledgeable receptionist. Gertie Kleiman is the newest hire (and a right bitch) and William Nguyen is their latest embalmer.

Manny Glickman is a brilliant and excessively paranoid scientist who is something of a sociopath. He does, however, have a couple of saving graces, one of which is Pansy Taylor who loves him right back and panders to his paranoia. Manny keeps experimenting with Returné, trying to find a way to get around the Protocols included with the drug and make it easier for Bryn to take.

Seems Riley Block isn’t the embalmer we thought she was. Now she’s the FBI agent handling Bryn. Well, that’s if Bryn wants to continue life as she knows it. That’s the deal with the FBI. They’ll supply her with the drug if she does the occasional odd job for them.

Raymond Zaragosa is the FBI agent, an accountant, in charge of this government takeover of Pharmadene, the pharmaceutical company which discovered Returné, a drug that brings people back from the dead. They’re dismantling the company, shutting it down. It’s just that the Revived person needs to keep taking the drug. Every single day. It used to be Pharamdene kept tabs on every aspect of every employee’s life right up to and beyond death. Now, it’s the government. Jeremy is Zaragosa’s assistant.

The other Revived include:
Lynnette Refner, Carl, Jason Drake, and Chandra Patel. Each has a different experience with their new unlife.

Jonathan Mercer is one of the drug’s creators and Mercer is on the run with Fast Freddy Watson, the creepy restoration man who is also Revived. Jane Franklin is a sadistic psychopath with some horrible secrets.

The Cover and Title

The cover is early dawn at a cemetery with Bryn looking quite cocky in her three-quarter profile pose as she stands before the cemetery’s wrought iron fence. She’s wearing a short, tight black skirt (oh, yeah, that oughta be easy to run in) and a burgundy leather jacket, her long blonde hair caught in the breeze as she holds a gun pointed toward the sky.

The title is actually rather funny in this gruesome, little story as it plays off the whole “you’re fired” routine. In many ways, that’s exactly what’s happened in this installment, only they haven’t actually been given Two Weeks’ Notice.