20 April, 2010

Book 52 - "Blood oozed across the top and down the front of the seat, adding to that pooled around the gas and brake pedals..."

The last book! But not the end of this blog. Watch this space.

In the mean time, thanks to everyone who has been reading - I hope you've been enjoying following me as much as I've enjoyed the readin' and writin' (no 'rithmatic, luckily.)

Title: Grave Secrets (2002)

Kathy Reichs

Why this book:

Because I watch the tv series Bones, which is very-only-vaguely based on Kathy Reichs' Temperance Brennan novels. Of which this is one! Also: they're best sellers, and I usually enjoy even the most turgid of best sellers.

What's it about?

Dr Temperance Brennan is a forensic anthropologist - that is, she looks at very dead bodies to try and understand how they lived (and how they died). She is currently working in Guatamala, trying to identify the bodies of peasants killed in a bloody massacre so that they can be given a proper burial. While there, a local policeman who knows she has worked with police before asks for Temperance's help on a case involving the dead body of a runaway teen found in a sewerage tank.

Neither job is going to be easy. There are plenty of people who want the past to stay buried - people with power, people who are now living respectable lives who don't want their former crimes revealed. People who see Temperance as a threat. People who may have just killed one of her friends and colleagues.

Temperance is stubborn, and she's determined to find the truth. But will it be at the expense of her own life?

The Good and the Bad

This is one of those books that just didn't click for me. I read furiously through the first half, and then I lost interest in it and had to really push myself through the second half. Actually, I think that had less to do with the book and more to do with how hectic my life got while I was reading it, but when I really want to read something I'll read it, come hell or high water. Grave Secrets just didn't quite make it.

Not that there isn't plenty to like about the book! I don't really think Tempe Brennan is the most interesting of characters, not to me personally, but she is a highly intelligent older woman who still enjoys (several!) romantic relationships, which is something nice to see (and probably part of the reason the series appeals to so many readers). The science-y bits in it are, as far as I understand, almost always right, as Kathy Reichs was (is?) herself in fact a forensic anthropologist. And the dig is based on one which Reichs herself attended, which just helps to make it more believable and horrifying.

I suspect I actually would have enjoyed this book more if I'd already "met" the characters, as a fair it of the non-mystery aspects of the book involve Tempe considering her relationship with her male detective friend, and I just wasn't that interested in reading about it - but if I'd read more of the background to the series, I expect I would have been super into it. I mean, the guy does sound pretty hot.

So should I read it or what?
I am decided "meh" about this book. I can't recommend it, but I don't... not recommend it. You know what I do recommend though? Bones, starting at season 3. It is ridiculous and hilarious, and I love it.

Video of the day:

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