Aug 7, 2009

Book Review: Bone by Bone, Carol O'Connell

Bone by Bone was my first Carol O'Connell book. Two words sum up this book: Character Driven. It's the characters that draw me into a book, the characters who cause me to set the book down or continue reading, and when I opened this book, the characters grabbed me instantly. (the small town setting was no less draw either) Oren, a recently retired criminal investigator for the Army, returns home after a 20-year banishment. Page by page, like peeling an onion, we learn the story behind his banishment. Page by page we peel back the crusty shell around his father's heart and experience the lifetime love of Hannah, the housekeeper who raised Oren and sustained Oren's father through tremendous loss. Page by page we unravel the mysterious disappearance of Oren's brother, Josh and the mysterious reappearance of Josh's bones, appearing one by one on Hannah's front patio. Character by character we wonder "who dunnit?" Character by character we glimpse into the human struggles of life, experiencing the weight of mental illness, the obsession of selfish love, the hardship of physical handicap, the shame of low self-esteem and the loneliness of self-protective fear. And it's all tied together with a mystery in which the reader plays detective.
Click here for an older interview with O'Connell where she describes her entrance to writing novels. Click here for some good reviews of her books. I'm going to try some of her Mallory novels, but I'm a huge Amelia Sach's fan (Jeffery Deaver) and an even bigger Kay Scarpetta fan (Patricia Cornwell) and I keep Temperance Brennan (Kathy Reichs) for backup if Sachs or Scrapetta are otherwise occupied, so Kathy Mallory will have to work hard to earn a spot on my bookshelf with these ladies, but good luck to her, the game is on.


Ruth said...

Oh oh, did Emma get a Pretty Pretty Princess game? That's the only way I can explain that very bizarre picture of the day of your dad.

Mom said...

Oh oh HOW did you get THAT pic Val! Only a Grandpa would play Pretty Pretty Princess, he DOES look cute doesn't he?! He's blaming ME for sending it, I don't have the foggiest how to send pics over the internet, nosiree!

JMaslar said...

In the future, I think that I will sensor any pics to be sent to Valerie. Kidding of course, however, I did take you out of my will.

Anonymous said...

Thats our dad! He has never looked so....good.