Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Brianna Reviews // Grave Secrets by Kathy Reichs

Published: 2003
Publisher: Arrow Books
Format: Paperback
Synopsis: In the searing heat of Guatemala, Dr Temperance Brennan excavates the remains of an infant from a site believed to contain the bodies of twenty-three women and children. Shaken by the discovery, Tempe tries to harden herself against these horrors. 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 her path is blocked at every turn. It is clear that some people would prefer that Guatemala's 'disappeared' stay buried. And others will stop at nothing to ensure the missing girls are kept the same way.

So I finally decided it was time to return to Tempe Brennan, partly thanks to a friend’s book clear out which also provided me with the next few as well. I have to admit that since it has been a while my memory of exactly where we left all the characters is a little fuzzy, but maybe that was a good thing.

This time we have left North America for Central America, I have to admit that I found the start of this book very slow, even Brennan’s colleagues getting shot didn’t really speed it up. Detective Galiano’s entrance is where the book first had me properly interested; I think the book would have worked just as well if it had started a page or two before that.

At first I thought that Galiano was a little too much like Ryan, a bit like Reichs had got Ryan and made him Guatemalan, however as Ryan and Galiano conveniently went to college together I think I can perhaps forgive the similarity. This coincidence is stretched a little further with the connection to the Canadian Ambassador, and a perfectly timed desk restriction for Ryan, makes him the ideal Cop to send from Canada to help the investigation in Guatemala, oh and Ryan can speak Spanish! (all a little bit too convenient for my liking).
As for the competing love interests, I wasn’t a fan, but then maybe the fact that I felt strongly about it isn’t a bad thing. And let’s just not talk about the ambiguous ending, who does she go on holiday with??
The case itself I think could have been better, it wasn’t terrible but combined with the slow start and the very stretched coincidences let it down.

I am increasingly getting fed up of Brennan’s ‘I’m just going to run off towards this potentially dangerous situation without telling a single person where I’m going’ attitude, she is for the most part an intelligent woman and I admire her independent character, but somewhere along the line common sense should come into it and telling somewhere where you are going doesn’t make you any less independent. And after four books where this attitude of hers has got her into trouble the scientist in her should probably see the pattern. But no… yet again she rushes off and is inexplicably found.
Overall it wasn’t a bad book and I did enjoy it but Kathy Reichs can do better and I hope the standard picks up again in the next book… And who did she go on holiday with??

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