This book literally started off with a bang since Tempy hears her coworkers being shot over the phone One thing that was annoying in this book was the slight love triangle While in Guatemala, Tempy works with Bartolome Bat Galiano, and sparks fly between them Oh, to make matters worse Ryan knows this dude The little conversations those two had, most likely about Tempy, really irked me I was fascinated by the embryonic stem cell angle that came up in this However, it felt kind of rushed into and I wish it had been introduced sooner and explainedin depth in relation to the crime committed Also the ending of this was plain ridiculous view spoiler The shooter had Brennan in front of him, drugged and confused, while he has a gun YET HE DOESNT SHOOT HER, ONLY HIMSELF hide spoiler I loved this book of truly horrific crimes on so many levels It was paced well and the characters I love I do prefer the Temperance Brennan of the book to the rather sophomoric version we get in the TV show The tension was good and I would ve given it 4 stars, except for one thing Extraneous and unnecessary exposition And a lot of it In The Searing Heat Of Guatemala, Dr Temperance Brennan Must Harden Herself Against The Horrors She ExcavatesAnd Then Four Young Girls Go Missing From Guatemala CityWhen A Skeleton Is Found At The Back Of A Rundown Hotel, Only Someone With Tempe S Expertise Can Deduce The Identity And Cause Of DeathBut 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 Kathy Reichs s novel Grave Secrets opens with this dedication For the innocents Guatemala1962 1996New York, New YorkArlington, VirginiaShanksville, PennsylvaniaSeptember 11, 2001I have touched their bones I mourn for them.For those not yet familiar with this ambitious author, Reichs, like the character in her books, Tempe Brennan, is a forensic anthropologist for the North Carolina medical examiner She also works for the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de M decine L gals in Quebec, and is a professor of anthropology at eh University of North Carolina Charlotte And she is one of 50 forensic anthropologists certified in the US by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology.This woman is busy And yet she turns out novels on the side and good ones at that In Grave Secrets, Tempe works with a group to identify the victims of a mass murder by soldiers in the Guatemalan village of Chupan Ya twenty years before.Things are never simple, though, and she is soon sought out and consulted by Guatemalan police on a local case Can she help them identify remains found in a septic tank And would she help recover them as well Oook, is right Reichs does such a good job describing the retrieval of the body that the reader feels a bit repulsed Be prepared for plenty of details.Then another mystery spins into view Four girls are missing in Guatemala City and this recovered body might be one of them There are tenuous connections at first, and Tempe soon discovers that working in another country brings its own challenges to an investigation.When two members of Tempe s team of forensic anthropologists at the Chupan Ya site are attacked, things become even hairier Throw in a love interest or two to further complicate the mix, and you have a pretty good read.Reichs s pacing is, as always, just right He characters are strong and well built, and the plot is intriguing enough to keep most readers engaged She includes a map in the front of the book for people like me the geographically challenged The science is the best part, in my opinion, and a reader can tell she knows her stuff I always put one of Reichs s novels down when I m finished and wonder how much is autobiographical and how much is pure fiction.I admit this book was a little slower than previous ones and the subject of mass identifications would have beeninteresting if it were closer to home American egocentrism at its worst, I m afraid. This book is only the 2nd novel I ve read by this author She seems to hover around the 2 3 star range for me.I liked the beginning of this book It sounded interesting But then it went up in flames That was so disappointing because I thought this had some great potential The story line became so unreal without anything to back it up I did like the MC though and I liked that this book didn t delve too much into the ugly details about her job I loved the way the author linked all the clues That was much appreciated Overall, this was 3 stars for me One last thing I didn t care for the narrator at all The characters came across as kind of lifeless. Interesting, but not as solid as first four Tempe storiesWe eagerly dived into this fifth book about forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan, having thoroughly enjoyed the earlier four stories about her crime solving from a rather different perspective From the study of bones, sometimes long buried skeletons, Tempe, as in real life does author Dr Kathy Reichs, is usually able to determine age, race, and gender of the victim often the means and manner of death and sometimes even enough clues to pursue the perpetrator While reminiscent of Patricia Cornwell s Kay Scarpetta, the Montreal, North Carolina, and sometimes other settings, coupled with supporting characters in each location, plus the somewhat unique challenges of the analysis involved, lead to entertaining stories and characters we have come to enjoy.In Grave Secrets, Tempe is stationed on assignment in Guatemala, where much of the book is devoted to first her unearthing, then her aiding in the identifying, of two dozen remains of executions of women and children from during the long, 34 year Guatemalan civil war The atrocities described to us during that period darkened the whole book presuming this is mostly if not completely fact based, surely a depressing recounting of human cruelty and suffering Meanwhile, two other stories compete for Tempe s and our attention the case of a skeleton found in a septic tank, and all the interesting technical feats involved in ID ing the victim and the disappearance of four missing young women Pursuing and resolving these cases involved the participation of two leading men in the story detective Galiano, whom Tempe comes to like, of the Guatemalen PD and long time Canadian associate and romantic interest Andrew Ryan, who just happens to be old buddies with Galiano and is apparently free to run back and forth to Canada with little restraint That one of the missing women is the Canadian ambassador s daughter opens the rationale for much of the goings on as well as much of the suspense The book concludes with a bedtime cliffhanger in the style of Janet Evanovich, which we weren t sure we really appreciated, but will certainly help sell Book 6 To get to the point, we re not as enthused about this fifth book as Reich s earlier work We felt much of the chasing around had little or nothing to do with Tempe s skills let alone her job per se and too many sub plots required too many relatively shallowly developed characters to populate them adequately Each successive story element only seemed to subtract from the strength of the novel and when we were all done, we wound up with a living room dusted and vacuumed, but still cluttered beyond good taste While Reichs credits her publishers with helping making her book compelling, to us the editors should have carved much of the detail at several points, simplified the story lines, axed some situations that did nothing for the cause, and in general tightened up the whole convoluted tale We think her other books are better, and urge a littlecaution for her next outing, which still we will no doubt anxiously await. Its been awhile since I ve visited with Tempe Brennan I like her and I like her stories I had to take a break, though, they were getting repetitive and formulaic I missed her, though, after all these years, so I read book 5 I liked it This one takes place in Guatemala and there s a handsome detective down there that I like Detective Galiano He s giving Ryan a run for his money I like all the details in Kathy Reich s books It s always fascinating learning about bones and cadavers There was a lot of detail about excavating a corpse from a septic tank, but I made it through that.We had the typical old murders and new murders Temperance, of course, knows too much because she s just so smart and that s always a dangerous place to be If she were real, she d either be dead or the winner of a Nobel prize I found this one to be a little confusing at times There s many characters involved for one thing and there are several plots running at the same time Continent skipping really didn t help.I have noticed that theme in some of the previous Tempe Brennan novels No matter where mystery or work takes here, somehow it always ties back to Canada Fatal Voyage bucked that trend, but this one goes right back to it It s not that I mind her being based primarily in Canada even though she s a Carolina implant Not in the least It s just that sometimes I find the unrelated mysteries she encounters whenever she goes BACK to Canada or away as in some previous books to confuse matters at times Sometimes I also think it s just an excuse to get Ryan into the book I think Ryan s a great character, but I think the constant and coincidental ties to Canada as a means of getting Ryan into the book is a bit of a stretch In fact, one of the major players in this book who lives and works in Guatemala even went to college with Ryan I liked the Galiano character, but once again..the ties back to Canada are a little too coincidental to be beleived.What s good about this book is that even though at times a little confusing with all the minor players and subplots is that the main mystery is never what it seems at the beginning of the book By the time you re two thirds of the way through a Tempe Brennan novel the greater mystery reveals itself and it s usually one you never saw coming.Tempe s doing some work in Guatemala Trying to identify victims of a mass military massacre from the 80s which actually happened so they may be put to rest It s what she does That on its own is a mystery in itself but it s when she s approached by the local authorities to identify bodies of a potential serial killer that she gets into real trouble and things start to get messy and interesting at the same time.If you can keep up with the twists and turns and all the major and minor players, it s still worth a read because there s a pretty twisted and chilling mystery at the heart of this book. Umwhat the hell happened This is most definitely not one of Reichs better books I found this one lacking, almost to the extreme By the end of the book it was like And I read this because It lacked the suspense, action and mystery that I got used to in the four previous novels Even though the little sub plots were tied in at the end, there were too many of them and the book became confusing, turning to almost obnoxious The only thing that had me jumping for the next novel in the series is what happens in the last chapter, and I won t divulge that info so as not to spoil it I do hope Bare Bones is better than this one Don t get me wrong, it wasn t a bad book hell, I ve read worse, trust me but because I found it severely lacking, it s not the greatest read. This book, and book 6, were not my favorite It could ve been work. or it could ve been Tempy rubbing me the wrong way I don t really know what it was. but I do know that this girl really needs to learn how to take care of and protect herself It s either her or some random family member in trouble but mostly her.In Grave Secrets, Temperance is in Guatemala and while there she is constantly worrying about Ryan and her daughter She s also getting into danger, constantly, and I probably rolled my eyes a bunch of times I just feel like her book character is completely different than her tv character is really disappointing I also feel like this book was meh in every department It was mostly her in danger or trying to get out of danger nothing else I just feel like not a lot happened in this book and it definitely made me hesitant to dive into the next book.