Thursday, 27 August 2015

5* Review: The Bones of You by Debbie Howells

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.

In a small Sussex town eighteen year old Rosie Anderson goes missing. Her mother contacts her friend Kate inquiring of her whereabouts but initially is not all that concerned. Kate is; she knows this is so out of character for quiet Rosie, even if her mother doesn't think so.

It does not take long for a body to be found, shattering the town apart. Parents fearing for their children, townsfolk looking on one another with suspicion. Until arrests are made, and secrets come to light.

The Bones of You is an exceptional debut novel from Debbie Howells. The plot is engaging, characters easy to delve in to - I especially liked Kate and the different dynamics of her relationships. The psychological element is strong but I did not find it unsettling, it was compelling in a subtle way, rather like real life as opposed to far-fetched-fiction.

The conclusion played out well, and rather like Broadchurch, I did suspect the killer, but the book reads in a way that really I suspected everyone at one point. The Bones of You has been likened to Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones, however the only connection I made was the alternate narration by the deceased girls, and the fact that young girls were murdered, I found both books utterly compelling in different ways - and The Lovely Bones - to me - had a far more graphic and shocking element, and a very peculiar ending, in my opinion!

I really did enjoy this book and eagerly await more from Howells.

NB. Review copy kindly provided by the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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