A batty old man of the cloth had once described the Hobbs boy as a joke of God's: an archangel of the warrior cast and a beacon for women with carnal intentions. An angel. Would that he had wings.
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Bone by Bone is a poetically written mystery suspense novel by Carol O'Connell who also writes the popular Kathy Mallory mysteries. Bone by Bone is a stand alone novel that focuses on a different set of characters from the Mallory series.
Twenty years ago 15 year old budding photographer Josh Hobbs walked into Coventry's woods with a green knapsack and his camera and never walked out. After an exhaustive search that turns up neither Josh nor any clues as to his fate, town life slowly moves on. He's never seen nor heard from again until his bones start showing up one by one on his father's front doorstep.
Josh's older brother Oren, a newly retired agent from the Army's Criminal Investigation Division, has not set foot in his hometown for twenty years, but he returns home to Coventry when the family's beloved housekeeper writes him a cryptic letter about buying coffins. In the course of looking into his brother's death, the townsfolk's secrets are dredged up from the dark past and a portrait is painted of Josh. It is one of a boy photographer who silently stalks his unwitting subjects capturing them and their secrets on film and revealing the secrets to the town in the name of art. What secrets led to Josh's disappearance and death? And how many secrets will be revealed before the mystery of his death is finally solved?
This page turner was hard to put down. The revealing and piecing together of secrets in this small town is like the piecing back together of the lives forever destroyed by the death of a son and a brother. Though O'Connell writes beautifully, her plot can be a little twisted around and convoluted at times confusing the reader with the myriad secrets and the connections between townsfolk and secrets alike.
This book is available at Matthews Public Library and upon request from Annville Free Library and Myerstown Community Library. I recommend you pick it up the next time you visit the library!
--Reviewed by Ms. Angie