Title: Bone by Bone
Author: Carol O’Connell
Genre/Pages: Suspense/Mystery; 352 pages
Publication: Putnam; 12/30/2008
Rating: 2 BOOKMARKS
I’ve never read any of Carol O’Connell’s other novels, but do enjoy suspense stories. Bone by Bone is a quirky mystery in which no character is safe from suspicion!
Set in California, Bone by Bone recounts a 17 year old missing person case. One by one, human bones are being left on the Hobbs family’s front porch. The patriarch, a retired judge, suspects the bones are those of his son, Josh, who has been missing for almost 20 years. The prodigal son, Oren, returns home after an almost 20-year exile to help solve his brother’s case. Despite an eccentric cast of characters and terrific premise, the execution of this novel wasn’t what I thought it would be.
Bone by Bone contains so many red herrings that I began to crave Swedish fish candy. The plot moved along and there was a good deal of characterization, but it was all lost on me–I was drowning in a sea of suspicion.
Another reviewer compared Bone by Bone to a Seurat painting–what appears, from close up to be only a jumble of colors, transforms into a stunning painting as you pull back. I thought this was a brilliant analogy. As I was reading, I couldn’t see the big picture; after I finished this novel, I was able to appreciate it.
O’Connell has a huge following and her Kathleen Mallory novels are really popular. I may try one of those because I do love the genre and don’t want to miss out just because one book left me a bit underwhelmed.