Book: The Bones of You
Author: Debbie Howells
Publisher: Kensington Books (June 30, 2015)
Hardcover: 320 pages
The Bones of You is a gripping psychological thriller. It makes you wonder about the things we take for granted. How much do we really know about people around us? We see everyone according to our own perceptions. But maybe, just maybe underneath the superficial charm, someone might be a sociopath.
The Bones of You revolves around a young girl’s murder and one woman’s obsession with uncovering the secrets in an idyllic English village.
When Kate hears that Rosie Anderson is missing, she is worried. Rosie is the same age as her daughter Grace, and a quiet, shy girl. Rosie is found in the woods, stabbed, and beaten to death.
Who would kill a perfect daughter from a perfect family? As Kate gets involved with the Andersons- graceful mother Jo, journalist father Neal, and her sister Delphine – she has a feeling that everything isn’t as it seems. Kate receives anonymous notes which urges her to unravel the mystery of Rosie’s death.
Weaving flashbacks from Rosie’s perspective, The Bones of You is a gripping, haunting novel of sacrifices and lies, desperation and love.
The bones of you is written in multiple perspective: One is through Kate, who is very close to Rosie, and tries to help the Andersons cope with the loss of their daughter, and the other is Rosie’s spirit. Rosie’s perspective gives the flashbacks of her life from childhood till her untimely death.
The author, Debbie Howells has beautifully woven both the perspectives to maintain the mystery, and keep the reader guessing. The fast-paced narrative engages the reader’s attention throughout the novel, while the present tense helps in creating a closer relationship with the reader. There is also a third perspective (Rosie’s sister Delphine) though only for a few paragraphs. Frankly, the third perspective could have been easily integrated with Rosie’s.
It is very difficult to write about all the characters without giving spoilers, so I won’t go into character details. However, the author has done a commendable job presenting both types of people– affectionate and caring, and self-indulgent control freaks.
After about three-fourths of the book, the plot becomes predictable, though still riveting.
The detailed writing creates wonderful imagery, which lingers even after you’ve finished the book.
Excerpts of her rich writing:
“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.”
“He shows me there’s beauty in imperfection. In petals that drop, then wither and brown, leaving the seed pods, which birds feed on. In lichen-covered bark; rich, crumbling soil; and the rose with different colored blooms. Their own kinds of beauty beyond the obvious.”
The Bones of You is a psychological thriller, which is sure to stun you. If you love a well-written thriller, you should read it.
* I received an advanced review copy from Kensington Books via NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.