The Bones Of You – Debbie Howells

Published June 26, 2016 by bibliobeth


What’s it all about?:

The Bones of You is a gripping psychological thriller from author Debbie Howells; a story of full of dark secrets, obsession and suspense.

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.

A community in shock

When eighteen-year-old Rosie Anderson disappears, the idyllic village where she lived will never be the same again. Local gardener Kate is struck with guilt. She’d come to know Rosie well, and thought she understood her – perhaps better even than Rosie’s own mother.

A family torn apart

Rosie was beautiful, kind and gentle. She came from a loving family and she had her whole life ahead of her. Who could possibly want to harm her? And why?

A keeper of secrets

Kate is convinced the police are missing something. She’s certain that someone in the village knows more than they’re letting on. As the investigation deepens, so does Kate’s obsession with solving the mystery of what happened to Rosie.

What did I think?:

The Bones Of You was the last book on the Richard and Judy Spring Book Club list here in the UK and after reading the intriguing GoodReads synopsis above, I was looking forward to getting stuck in, although I was a little wary about the comparisons being made to the excellent Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Why is it that most psychological thrillers nowadays always seem to bear this comparison by the way? I find it quite unnecessary but I refused to let that tiny little sticking point cloud my judgement before beginning and I was determined to judge the book on its own merits. By and large, this book did not disappoint although unfortunately I did figure out who the killer was quite early on which was a shame. However, the author does a great job of attempting to mis-direct the reader with a host of suspicious characters who all had the potential to be the murderer of eighteen year old Rosie Anderson.

Rosie comes from a well-to-do family and after she is brutally killed, her family goes into meltdown. Her mother, Jo, a fascinating character with a lot of skeletons in her closet, is devastated and the ramifications of her grief affect her relationship with her husband (a frightening character in his own right) and Rosie’s younger sister Delphine who becomes neglected and pushed aside under the shadow of Rosie’s death. Kate, whose daughter Grace was friendly with Rosie and who knew Rosie well herself as she often used to escape to Kate’s to help her take care of some horses is also deeply moved and saddened by what has occurred and she befriends the family to try and help them with their extensive grief. Things start to get a lot stranger however when Kate begins to receive anonymous notes through her letterbox that suggests something a lot murkier and nastier going on surrounding the reasons behind Rosie’s premature death.

There were some hugely enjoyable parts of this novel that I really loved. The characters for one were extremely readable and endlessly fascinating. I particularly enjoyed trying to figure out the volatile and slightly toxic relationship that appeared to exist between Jo and her husband and my heart broke for Delphine, the little sister who misses Rosie so terribly and appears to be nurturing some dark secrets of her own. What was most incredible for me though is that interspersed between chapters we hear from Rosie herself, who is aware of what has happened to her and we see flashbacks of her life from her point of view before her murder – where crucial events occur that give us little clues into the mind and reasoning of her killer. It reminded me a bit of The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold in this way and was written in such beautiful and lyrical prose that at times, I felt close to tears. For her debut thriller novel, this author has proved herself a force to be reckoned with and I am eagerly anticipating anything she comes to write next, I have a strong suspicion she’s just going to get better and better.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):




3 comments on “The Bones Of You – Debbie Howells

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