I have a gardener’s inherent belief in the natural order of things. Soft‑petalled flowers that go to seed. The resolute passage of the seasons. Swallows that fly thousands of miles to follow the eternal summer.
Children who don’t die before their parents.
When Kate receives a phone call with news that Rosie Anderson is missing, she’s stunned and disturbed. Rosie is eighteen, the same age as Kate’s daughter, and a beautiful, quiet, and kind young woman. Though the locals are optimistic—girls like Rosie don’t get into real trouble—Kate’s sense of foreboding is confirmed when Rosie is found fatally beaten and stabbed.
Who would kill the perfect daughter, from the perfect family? Yet the more Kate entwines herself with the Andersons—graceful mother Jo, renowned journalist father Neal, watchful younger sister Delphine—the more she is convinced that not everything is as it seems. Anonymous notes arrive, urging Kate to unravel the tangled threads of Rosie’s life and death, though she has no idea where they will lead.
Weaving flashbacks from Rosie’s perspective into a tautly plotted narrative, The Bones of You is a gripping, haunting novel of sacrifices and lies, desperation and love.
The Bones of You
by Debbie Howells
June 30, 2015
This was a fascinating and complex story of a teenager’s murder in a small English village. It was also the story of a couples disintegrating marriage due to both partners being extremely damaged individuals. It’s what happens to an abused child who although now an adult, has gone from one abuse to another one even worse-if that’s possible. It is also the story of the amount of evil that can be done to another person for no other reason than that they can.
One of my favorite mysteries is The Lovely Bones, so when I read that this was partially narrated by the murdered teenager(as in The Lovely Bones), I knew I wanted to read it. It ended up being a non-stop read for me. What could have been a cozy British mystery was amped up to thriller level in such a way that I was surprised several times. When a mystery can surprise me, that is saying something-even if I did figure it out, although it did take me quite awhile into the read.
Interestingly, the main character is Kate, a resident of the village and mother to teenager, Grace. Interesting because it’s not her daughter that dies. The teenager that dies is Rosie, daughter of Jo and Neill, also all residents of the same village. When Rosie first goes missing, Kate goes out of her way to be there for Jo, although they were barely aquaintances previously. Rosie had befriended Kate in the past so her death affects Kate greatly. When Rosie relives her life on and off throughout the book, we see all that she has gone through, and eventually all the events that lead up to her murder. While I liked Kate’s part of the book, it was Rosie’s part that fascinated me from beginning to end.
I found the characters to be complex and well realized by the author. Although Rosie is dead, she was my favorite character, and I did like Kate. However, a few times Kate drove me up the wall when she ignored information she is given because she doesn’t believe it. I kind of wanted to shake her at times! The premise was interesting, and well written by the author as well. The pace kind of reminded me of a slow moving train that speeds up slowly and surely, until by the end it’s speeding. Perfect for this story in my opinion. Rosie’s narration of her life story was just the icing on the cake for this well thought out story.
All in all this is a book I would highly recommend to any adult mystery or suspense reader.
The review copy of this book was supplied by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
She now writes full time from her home, in a small West Sussex village where she lives with her family.