Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bone to Bone A Great Whodunit!

Bone to Bone
By Carol O’Connell
Penguin Group
340 Pages

When I selected Bone to Bone by Carol O’Connell, I was expecting a forensics-based mystery. But I’d just read The Family Bones by Kimberly Raiser and was surprised by its storyline; so I was not ”too” surprised when O’Connell’s book turned out to be a “whodunit.” A fantastic one, to say the least!

O’Connell has so many relevant clues thrown into the story that you just begin to think you know who did the deed...and then she proceeds to build up the case for another character and you change your mind again! Although I was not totally surprised to discover in the last chapter who had actually committed the murder, I must say that I enjoyed the suspense much more than actually learning who it was!

What murder? Ahhhh, let me tell you how this story begins! A human lower jawbone is thrown onto the porch of retired Judge Henry Hobbs. The bone was found by Oren Hobbs, the judge’s son, who he had not seen for close to 20 years, since his father had sent him away.

Hannah, who was the housekeeper and the only mother he had known since his own had died, had summoned Oren home, implying that the Judge was very ill. Oren soon found that the jawbone was just the latest bone that had been left...there had been many others and the Judge had begun to sleepwalk due to his worry. But Hannah had not told Oren the truth. Instead, once Oren was home, she purposely did not give the Judge his medication and she arranged it so that they sat watching as Henry went through the house and then tried to get out and tried to drive his car, all prevented by locks and hidden keys.

Now Oren faced the reason he had been sent away. Many years ago, he and his brother Josh had gone into the woods together. Josh had never come back!

While away from his family, Oren had joined the army and had become a crime investigation specialist. There was no way that he was not going to investigate the bones, verify whose they were and finally find what had happened to Josh. When the bones had started to be left on the porch, the Judge had purchased a coffin and placed it in Josh’s old bedroom. There he had arranged each bone, assuming they were the bones of his youngest son. But Oren quickly saw the truth—there were bones from more than one body!

There in the small town of Coventry, where a witchboard was used weekly to have Josh speak to town members on behalf of the dead, and where the town library was never used because the librarian had murdered her husband and never been convicted of it¾there Oren worked with the law and outside of the law to try to put the pieces together as to what happened to Josh!

This is the best whodunit I’ve ever read! The novel reads like a literary documentary, sharing each bit of news happening in Coventry and then considering which of its many strange and troubled inhabitants may be the murderer...this time...

Readers, if this sounds like your kind of book, believe me, you’ll love it!

G. A. Bixler
For Amazon Vine

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