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A Whisper of Bones
February 22, 2018
A Whisper of Bones
A Jane Lawless Mystery
by Ellen Hart
St. Martin's Press
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 27 Feb 2018
A Whisper of Bones is a captivating thriller. It is not a cosy, even though there is little violence. The novel is well dramatized, with Ellen Hart making it possible to empathize with all the characters, to see their humanity despite all the flaws and your many reasons to dislike certain ones.
Britt Ickles comes to Jane with a curious problem. She remembers playing with a young cousin many years before, but when she approaches her aunts, they claim he never existed. Britt is convinced something happened and wants to know the truth. It’s a difficult case, but Jane begins by renting a room from Britt’s aunts.
The two elderly women get on like oil and water, fighting constantly. But they both are remarkably silent when a fire burns their garage - and human bones are discovered.
A Whisper of Bones is a powerful book that demonstrates how weak people can be and how much damage they are willing to do to avoid responsibility. Ellen Hart makes it easy to believe in the culpability of her characters. But she also gives you hope in the form of Jane and her friends.
Some people may be offended by the Lgbtq aspect of the novel. The romance is tastefully done and not graphic. It fits extremely well and is important to the plot. Which is more than I can say for some novels who throw in the typical police/amateur romance just to add seasoning to the plot.
A Whisper of Bones is a good mystery, but it is definitely dark. It lingers in the grey area between cozies and thrillers. It won’t appeal as much to the cozy crowd, but if you are up to a deeper read you will be impressed.
4 / 5
I received a copy of A Whisper of Bones from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
Fans of Jane Lawless new and old will be fascinated by newly minted Mystery Writers of America Grandmaster Ellen Hart’s latest intricate puzzle in A Whisper of Bones.
Britt Ickles doesn’t remember much from her only visit to her mother’s childhood home when she was a kid, except for playing with her cousin Timmy and the eruption of a sudden family feud. That’s why, when she drops by unannounced after years of silence, she’s shocked when her aunts tell her Timmy never existed, that she must be confusing him with someone else. But Britt can’t shake the feeling that Timmy did exist…and that something horrible has happened to him. Something her aunts want to cover up.
Britt hires Jane Lawless, hoping the private investigator can figure out what really happened to her cousin. When a fire in the family’s garage leads to the discovery of buried bones and one of the aunts dies suddenly and suspiciously, Jane can’t help but be pulled into the case. Do the bones belong to Timmy? Was the aunt’s death an accident, suicide, or homicide? What dark secret has this family been hiding for decades? It all depends on Jane Lawless to unravel.