Friday, October 16, 2015

The Bone Garden

A mystery or thriller.

The Bone Garden is both a mystery and thriller revolving around the West End Reaper of Boston in 1830 and a skeleton found in a woman's backyard in present day Boston. Most of the story takes place in 1830 Boston, at a time when women were dying in childbirth (or soon after) and a vicious killer was on the prowl in the West End. It follows young Rose Connelly as she struggles to keep her niece safe from numerous people trying to find her for various reasons, and Norris Marshall as he tries to rise above his farming background to become a doctor while most of Boston sees him as a killer. Their story is unraveled through the letters of Oliver Wendell Holmes to the original occupant of a house now owned by a very curious Julia Hamill looking for the truth behind the body she unearthed in her garden. While Julia may not have been my most favorite person, her determination to find out the story of the bones she discovered made her a little more interesting. Although I have to side with old Henry when he finally complements her in saying "Look who grew a spine." Young Rose on the other hand is an instant favorite as she struggles to do what is best for her niece after her sister's passing, even as she fells in love she keeps a level head when it comes to protecting young Meggie.

I must say, I don't think this book can really be considered a "Maura Isles" book since the ME makes only two, very brief appearances in the present day story, and even then it is to hand the scene off to someone else. And while her name is what drew me to the book int he first place, the story did not let me down in keeping me interested. I will simply have to look for another of Gerritsen's books while my favorite ME and Detective combo!

While I am not normally a fan of mystery, this book helped pull me a little deeper into the genre. The ups and down and twists and turns in this story are many. I had just as much trouble trying to figure out who to trust as young Rose with Gerritsen effectively throwing me for loops with each new chapter. But then that kept me turning the page, now didn't it. Such an incredibly well written tale about love and death that had me frustrated with so many people and rooting so hard for the few worthy ones. I will say that her portrayal of the medical scene in the US at the time is what will effectively give me more nightmares than the West End Reaper as Gerritsen did a great job of painting a portrait of the past to tell her story in. I think she did a lovely job of weaving in just enough history to make the story that much more believable. 

I really loo forward to reading more of Gerritsen's work and encourage everyone to pick up this book!

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