Grave Secrets by Kathy Reichs

‘Grave Secrets’ is the 5th Tempe Brennan novel by Kathy Reichs and in this novel, Tempe has taken a break from her usual forensic anthropology work in Montreal and Charlotte to help identify remains in a mass grave in Guatemala.

The work is heartbreaking as the team unearth 23 women and children who were raped and murdered by soldiers before being dumped in a well. But things go from bad to worse when two of Tempe’s colleagues are gunned down while on their way to the grave site.

Then the Guatemalan police approach Tempe for another job. A body has been found in a septic tank and Tempe has previous experience with recovering bodies from septic tanks. When the body is found to be a young woman, the Guatemalan police want to find out if she is one of four young women who have gone missing (one of whom is the Canadian ambassador’s daughter).

But, some of the Guatemalan authorities seem to have something to hide and further investigation by Tempe and the Guatemalan police quickly gets shut down. Could this be linked to the mass grave and the shooting of Tempe’s colleagues?

With the Canadian connections for one of the missing women, Tempe’s romantic interest from Montreal, Andrew Ryan, soon gets involved with the case. Ryan just happens to be old friends with the lead Guatemalan detective Bartolome Galiano and Galiano seems intent on becoming Tempe’s Latin lover.

As the investigations heat up and merge into one, Tempe’s life is (as usual) placed in danger. And just when it is most important for Tempe to stay out of the way, she suffers from a classic brain freeze and dives in head first, narrowly escaping with her life.


With the baddies either dead or captured and Tempe recovering, she contemplates some time out. But with which gorgeous man – blue eyed Ryan, or Latin lover Galiano.


I enjoyed most of this book and I’m learning to put up with Tempe’s crazy feats. I enjoyed the change of location in this book but was left revolted by the story of the mass grave. I’m looking forward to the next Tempe adventure in – ‘Bare Bones’. Maybe there’ll be some hot sex rather than just wishful thinking!


Date Published 2002


See a full list of books by Kathy Reichs

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Filed under Book Reviews, Crime, Forensic, Reichs, Kathy, Series Fiction, Thriller

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