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Home » Books » Fiction & Literature » Mystery & Detective » Women Sleuths

Grave Secrets

(Temperance Brennan 5) (Temperance Brennan)

By Kathy Reichs

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Format: Paperback, 448 pages
Published In: United Kingdom, 01 March 2003
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Dr. Temperance Brennan, forensic anthropologist for the medical examiners in Montreal and North Carolina, departs from home turf to journey to Guatemala, where her skills will be tested to the limit. It was a summer morning in 1982 when soldiers entered the village of Chupan Ya and rounded up the women and children. Families and neighbors refer to their lost members as "the disappeared". The bodies are said to lie in a mass grave. Tempe brings all her skill to uncover the savagery of the past. But something savage is happening today. Four girls are missing from Guatemala City, including the daughter of a high-ranking government official. When a young archaeologist is brutally murdered, Tempe realizes that she may be the next victim in a web of intrigue that connects the historical and contemporary murders.

Promotional Information

The gripping Temperance Brennan novel from world-class forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs, the international no. 1 bestselling crime thriller writer and the inspiration behind the hit TV series Bones.

About the Author

Kathy Reichs is vice president of the American Academy of Forensic Scientists; a member of the RCMP National Police Services Advisory Council; forensic anthropologist to the province of Quebec; and a professor of forensic anthropology at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. Her first book, Deja Dead, catapulted her to fame when it became a New York Times bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis award for best first novel. She has written 15 bestselling Temperance Brennan novels, the most recent include Bones Are Forever, Flash and Bones and 206 bones.


This fifth novel featuring Temperance Brennan (Dj Death) finds the forensic anthropologist in Guatemala assisting the Fundaci"n de Antropolog!a Forense de Guatemala with the recovery and identification of remains of those who "disappeared" during the 1962-96 civil war there. Nearby in Guatemala City, remains are discovered in a septic tank, and local police ask Tempe to assist with their investigation. Four young women, including the Canadian ambassador's daughter, have disappeared over the past year, and the police suspect a serial killer. Do the remains belong to one of the four women? As Tempe uncovers clues to the identity of the body and delves deeper into Guatemala's violent history, she begins to suspect a connection between the two cases. She also begins to fear for her life. Often compared with Patricia Cornwell, Reichs, a forensic anthropologist herself, effectively balances the story with scientific and medical details. However, this novel contains graphic descriptions and is not for weak stomachs. Recommended for large public libraries and popular reading collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/02.] Leslie Madden, Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

"You'll want to keep turning the pages long after lights out to find out what happens next ... Reichs' real-life expertise gives her novels an authenticity that most other crime novelists would kill for Daily Express" * Daily Express * "With Kathy Reichs the reader knows they're in the hands of an expert" * Sunday Express * "Reading Reichs is always an education one way or another. There is plenty of action... but it is the detail that actually makes it gripping" * Evening Standard * "Reichs has proved that she is now up there with the best" * The Times * "Compared with Patricia Cornwell, Reichs is actually in a different league" * Sunday Times *

Fans of the Temperance Brennan series will be pleased by forensic anthropologist Reichs's latest installment (after Fatal Voyage; Deadly Decisions; etc.). Grave Secrets finds Tempe plying her pathology trade in Guatemala, investigating a massacre site as a favor to a Guatemalan anthropology association. However, when her team is ambushed by gunmen, Tempe finds herself ensnared in a mesh of corruption and murder stretching from Guatemala City to Montreal, involving DAs, military thugs and kinky diplomats. Tempe finds herself drawn and trapped between the two cops investigating: her longtime Canadian suitor, Lt. Andrew Ryan, and her would-be Latin lover, agente Bartolom Galiano. That the two men know each other and are friends doesn't help the situation. When a nosy reporter looking into the massacre is gunned down before Tempe's eyes, she realizes she herself is the next likely target. As has been said before, Reichs has much in common with Patricia Cornwell, though her language is more stripped down and there is less melodrama between autopsies. Devotees of medical procedurals will appreciate the detailed descriptions of bone formation and the mechanics of bodily decomposition within a septic tank; others may not. But the author keeps the twists coming, and by the novel's climax, she has skillfully interwoven her many subplots and red herrings into a satisfying puddle of sex, sleaze, greed and gore. (July) Forecast: Reichs traveled to Guatemala herself in 2000 as part of a special forensic team. Her firsthand knowledge of the terrain shines through and should win her a few more devoted readers. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

EAN: 9780099307303
ISBN: 0099307308
Publisher: Arrow Books Ltd
Dimensions: 17.6 x 11 x 3.1 centimetres (0.30 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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2 review(s)
All Reviews
jane on
once again Kathy Reichs has held me spellbound and page turning, from Guatemala to Montreal the action never wanes. If it is not murder and intrigue its Tempes love interests which proves we are never too old for a little romance, I cant wait to start Bare Bones thats next.
Sam on
Tempe Brennan has to identify 23 bodies found in an old Guatamalan City, and how they died. I enjoyed this book very much because when ever Kathy Reichs writes a book she never excuses any detail. Even though not everyone is an Anthropologist, she never leaves out a detail. Spectacular.

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