Bone by Bone by Carol O’Connell


SuspenseBone by Bone by Carol O'Connell

Bone by BoneCarol O’Connell; G.P. Putnam’s Sons 2008WorldCat

It’s been 20 years since Oren Hobbs’ father sent him away. He never returned until now, when his father’s housekeeper, Hannah, lures him home with hints of his father’s imminent death. Instead, he comes home to discover that human bones are being left on their doorstep. The are the bones of Oren’s younger brother, Josh, who disappeared a short while before Oren was sent away.

Oren had become a CID warrant officer while he was in the Army. Now, even though he is the prime suspect, he is asked to investigate his brother’s death. Two teen-aged boys had gone into the woods that day. Only one returned that night. The other returned by pieces over 20 years later. Coventry in Northern California had always collected odd characters within its city limits. Oren has to dig into some of the towns people’s pasts to discover what really happened that day.

Whew! What a ride Carol O’Connell gives us in Bone by Bone! There are hermits, celebrity lawyers, abused spouses, seances, secrets, retired judges, and psychological suspense all over the place in this book. Phrases that seem to be throw away descriptors of characters’ backgrounds come back into play before the novel is finished. More than once Josh’s murder is figured out and “solved” – but don’t look yet – there’s more to come.

Some of the reviews at Amazon complain about lack of character development. As I think back on the book I see what they mean. But while I was reading it I didn’t care. They came together for me as believable people, if somewhat strange. I was surprised by some of the twists in stories that are solved before the end of the book. Every time I knew why Josh was killed, something else happened. But Josh’s disappearance isn’t the only mystery Coventry hides. Oren discovers more than he ever expects before he is done.

Once again, Carol O’Connell has written a winner. I’m looking forward to whatever her next book is, whether it’s a stand alone or whether she decides to continue the Mallory series.

Notice: Non-graphic violence; Suggestive dialogue or situations

More books by Carol O’Connell

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