9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just as good as the rest
Kathy Reichs writes another amazing book.
Its fast paced and quick moving and she definitely keeps you on your toes with storylines!
Dr Tempe Brennan is in Guatemala trying to uncover the bodies of many women and children dumped years ago in a mass grave. As usual something else always crops up and Tempe begins to get entwined in another case. Four girls, one an...
Published on 30 Jan. 2003 by sarafield
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not Reichs' best
Kathy Reichs is a solid series writers, and Tempe Brennan, a solid series characters. As always, Reichs confidently grounds us in the setting, steering us through Guatemala and Montreal as though we are actually there and she is pointing out the sights, sounds, and smells as we go. There is the usual grisly description of the dead, and the accompanying forensic...
Published on 24 April 2003 by A. M. Hendry
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Page-turner, but not without flaws,
This isn't my usual style of book, but I was given it in a bundle of books someone was passing on, so I figured I'd give it a try.
I have to say I got through it fast. It's pacy and keeps you turning just one more page. I'm hovering around the 3.5 star mark, but I've opted for 4 as my actual criticisms of it are quite minor. Namely, every time Tempe takes a bath or shower, do we really need to know in minute detail *every* shower cream, moisturiser, brand of toothpaste, or whatever she uses? Seriously, the list of bath products was just bizarre. Also, the love interest, Andrew Ryan, is really annoying. He's a bit of a smart-ass, jokey type, but please can Tempe say just one thing without the amusing comeback? If he were my love interest, I'd have slapped him upside his head a long time ago. And the end was just a little bit of a let down. After all the build up there's a bit of a 'get out of jail free' moment at the end where Reichs pulls a rabbit out of a hat to wrap it up.
I won't reread this book (it's already in my pass-it-on pile), but if another Kathy Reichs comes my way I'll have no hesitation in reading it.
4.0 out of 5 stars The most mature Tempe Brennan appearance so far,
I seem to have become a Kathy Reichs addict. I'm not sure how it happened. I read one, wasn't blown away either by the story or the style, but liked the in-depth forensic anthropology stuff and the suggesions of romance that came through; read another, and another, and now I'm on my way to having the full set. Does that make me a fan? Oh dear. I think I keep hoping the writing, the characterisation, the plotting etc. will all amp up to the next level. Really, truthfully, they never actually do - but I nonetheless enjoy reading each book, although I probably won't read most of them again. Much like the novels of Minette Walters.
They're strongest on the sound territory of Reichs' total command of her subject - forensic anthropology - and in that respect they're riveting. A certain amount of socio-geographic interest (in the Carolina/Montreal settings) is good background flavour too, but her relationship with a certain Montreal detective needs to be got rid of (can I get an antihero here, please?). But sometimes I despair at the lack of energy and distinctive style in her writing. When her books are described as an "easy" read, it's true, but not altogether complimentary.
But in "Grave Secrets", Reichs comes as close as I've yet read her coming, to really amping everything up, in the way I'd hoped. It's set in Guatemala; the story and characters are more varied, and very much more interesting, than those that usually populate her other books. Her writing seems much more mature, and there are glimpses of the really truly good writer she could actually be in certain passages - the most memorable being the chapter opening where she describes how the human body creates a baby. It's wonderful, funny, has all the strength of her excellent knowledge of her subject, but loosens up that crucial bit from mere documentary description. She's funnier about 'herself' (Tempe Brennan); there are fewer terrible similes and, thankfully, less Andrew Ryan and a bit of competition for him, which never hurts. I wish, wish, wish that there was more like this in her books - something closer to home, more personal-sounding, or, if not personal exactly, more like the contradictions of real humans. The irony is that it's all very personal: Tempe seems pretty much to be Kathy. She lives her life, apparently looks a lot like her: only the dangers and the stories themselves separate the two. But the author has drawn a curtain - as of course she has a right to do - across the part of her that's most personal, and this wouldn't matter only she doesn't have the creative panache to invent a new, fake 'personal', so we're left with a bit of a blank behind the mask.
I could never plot one book, let alone numerous of them; Reichs deserves full credit for creating a character memorable enough to get her a LOT of fans. Reluctantly, I'm one, but I'm also still sitting here with my arms folded saying to myself "where's the good stuff, Kathy? I mean the raw stuff that truly comes from your heart?" Perhaps, ultimately, she may need to escape from the giant shadows of the characters she's created, and to rip aside even a part of that curtain, to get there.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grave Secrets,
By A Customer
This review is from: Grave Secrets (Hardcover)
Again, Kathy Reichs proves that her research knows no bounds, this time with her lead character Tempe exposed to murder most horrid in South America. With all the intracies of a partial body removal from a septic tank, you can almost taste the bile rising.
Don't make this your first Kathy Reichs book as Deja Dead is still by far her most memorable piece, however it still remains a truly good read!
5.0 out of 5 stars Guaranteed to Give you Nightmares,
Tempe is in Guatemala, helping to unearth the bodies of 28 villagers disappeared (killed by the govt.) during the civil war there. Two of her colleagues are attacked, one dies. Tempe has to be careful, as there could still be people in the government that were involved in the massacre.
Then she gets involved with the disappearance of four girls, one of them the daughter of the Canadian ambassador and all of a sudden the authorities that were so eager for her help with the decomposing bodies of the villagers want her out of Dodge.
To add to the plot there is a Latin love interest who just happened to go to school with old flame Ryan who comes to Guatemala because one of the four missing girls is the daughter of the Canadian Ambassador.
This book seemed somehow different than Reichs' previous four. That's not bad, an author should change and grow. Tempe seems to have a little more punch. Also this book starts off on a dark note that lasts throughout, but with Reich's detailed description of the death pit, how could it not be dark.
A word of caution, don't read this five star thriller before dinner, especially the secptic tank part, because it'll definitely throw you off your feed. Don't read it before bed either, because if you do, nightmares are guaranteed. Read it on a rainy day, then watch an episode of the Honeymooners to get it out of your system.
Review submitted by Katie Osborne
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as impressive as its predessors,
This review is from: Grave Secrets (Hardcover)
I had anticipated this book for quite a while. After borrowing the first books and reading them one after the other I immediately loved them. I then went on to read all of the Scarpetta (Cornwell) books.
I pre-ordered this book and before receiving read several articles about the author. I am not sure if this in some way 'ruined' my reading.
When the book arrived I found that rather than read it as a book of fiction - I was reading it as more of an autobiography. Rather that make is more interesting - it dulled it in a way. It made it all too real and depressing.
I don't feel that Kathy Reichs developed the characters in this book, there was too much of a history lesson, too much medical detail (I appreciate the need to make it authentic but not to make it a medical text book) and the story line got lost between the pages.
I did like the story - but I don't think it lived up to the hype. Kathy Riches may beat Cornwell on the facts of the trade (so to speak) but Cornwell certainly develops her characters better in the Scarpetta novels (ignore her Isle of Dogs offering!)
Do read it, but don't set high expectations.
5.0 out of 5 stars I watched the bones series on TV then decided to ...,
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This review is from: Grave Secrets: (Temperance Brennan 5) (Kindle Edition)
I watched the bones series on TV then decided to read the books. The only thing that resembled the TV programme was Temperance Brennans name.
But I realised straight away that I was going to have to read these books without linking them to the TV series.
If you ignore the Temperance Brennan that you know from TV you accept the book for what it is. Its a story based on the real work of Kathy Reichs who is an Anthropologist. You know that all the detailed descriptions you are reading are correct. This is what keeps you glued to the book, I have found that I am learning things about things that I never would have thought of. That along with her detailed descriptions of Montreal and North Carolina make you feel as if you are on this journey with her. Add in hunky Andy Ryan and things will get interesting as the books goes on, can't wait.
4.0 out of 5 stars a real page-turner,
This review is from: Grave Secrets (Hardcover)
Another great Tempe book from Kathy Reichs. She herself is a forensic anthropologist so the detail is therefore very accurate. Tempe is very likeable and very human - I wonder how much Kathy Reichs has based her on herself - that is something only she will know! This is a good, if grisly yarn and whilst the ends are tied up, there is enough at the end to create a need in you to read more of the series. Unfortunatley I have not read the stories in chronological order. Many scenes, particularly with regard to the retrieval of the body from the septic tank, were quite harrowing, but needed to build up the menace and an overview of the corruption involved.
I have read Patricia Cornwall, Karin Slaughter and Kathy Reichs, but Kathy Reichs produces characters you can really empathise with.
5.0 out of 5 stars The very best standard,
This review is from: Grave Secrets (Paperback)
Kathy Reichs is by far the best writer of this genre and this is no exception. She goes into great forensic detail and if you like Cornwell you will like Reichs, though in my opinion Reichs is the better writer. If you don't know Reichs, she is a real forensic anthropologist whose heroine, Temperance Brennan is the central character of the Bones TV series. However, the literary Tempe is a different character and shares much more with her author than with the TV character. This book is centred on Guatemala, where Kathy Reichs was actually involved in the identification of the 'disappeared' from the bad old days. It is both detailed and fast paced and takes Tempe and us through the whole range of emotions. It's a must read for KR fans, and you won't be disappointed.
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring!,
I have enjoyed the previous books but this one is a severe disappointment. Reading it is like wading through treacle. The plot is frequently interrupted by pages of technical information which, although having a relevance, could have been summarised in one paragraph rather than several pages. It feels as if the book has been padded out to reach a desired length. As I have been reading, the frequent inserts have broken the flow of the plot. Although I have not finished the book yet I suspect that the ending will be disappointing, the characters are one dimensional and the writing is dry.
3.0 out of 5 stars Kathy Reichs - Grave Secrets,
We're back again with Tempe Brennan in this, the 5th book in the series. This time Tempe is called to Guatamala to help with the remains of a mass grave but soon enough she's being called in to advise on a more recent case with political ties involving a bunch of missing young girls. Travelling back and forth to Canada and fearing that she is being followed, through in a possible romance and some medical jargon here and there and it turns out to be an okay book. Unfortunately this isn't the best in the series but it's good enough and worth the read if you've been reading the rest of them.
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Grave Secrets by Kathy Reichs (Hardcover - 4 July 2002)
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