Grave Secrets by Kathy Reichs


Grave Secrets

Title: Grave Secrets
Author: Kathy Reichs
Series: Temperance Brennan #5
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves:
Anthropology, Science, CrimeStrong women
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Arrow Books
Year: 2002
5th sentence, 74th page: He pushed a blue pin into the map.

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In the searing heat of Guatemala, Dr Temperance Brennan must harden herself against the horrors she excavates.

And then four young girls go missing from Guatemala City.

When a skeleton is found at the back of a rundown hotel, only someone with Tempe’s expertise can deduce the identity and cause of death.

But as she searches for answers, her path is blocked at every turn. It is clear that some people will stop at nothing to keep Guatemala’s secrets buried.


Every time I think that I have a handle on the legal system outlined in the Temperance Brennan books, Reichs seems to throw a spanner in the works. I finally get my head around the system de Montreal, then we move to America, then we investigate a plane crash, and finally we move onto the jurisdictional system of Guatemala. It’s always great when you learn while reading!

Discovering more about a third-world, corrupt government and its jurisdictional system was incredibly fascinating (and also made me grateful to live in Australia). Reichs’ adeptness at describing the criminal workings of different countries is a great way to further the storyline – but it is also an awesome reminder of this woman’s intelligence and work in the field of forensics. Actually, it was Kathy Reichs’ work that first interested me in Anthropology and Forensics…using Guatemala as a backdrop in the fifth book is an amazing contrast with the preceding four books. So, not only did I learn something new, I was also transported into a world that is totally foreign to me.

Most good stories have a romantic subplot, even though I like to scoff at them, sexual and emotional tension between characters really helps to progress the storyline. It also helps to pull you in. The Temperance Brennan series is no different, there is constant tension between Tempe and Detective Andy Ryan throughout the stories and every time you think that something is about to happen, something prevents it (can you say frustrating?). This makes the introduction of Sergeant-detective Bartolome “Bat” Galiano a welcome one. More steaming sexual tension and I lapped it all up. Reintroducing Andy Ryan into the storyline helps to build this tension, and at the end, finally, finally, Tempe makes her decision. But, as a masterful writer, Kathy Reichs doesn’t let you know who it is. You have to read the next book in the series first. And even then, it takes a while to discover just who Brennan chose.

<- Fatal VoyageBare Bones ->

Image source: My Bookshop

2 thoughts on “Grave Secrets by Kathy Reichs

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