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.
When Kate receives a phone call with news that Rosie Anderson is missing, she’s stunned and disturbed. Rosie is eighteen, the same age as Kate’s daughter, and a beautiful, quiet, and kind young woman. Though the locals are optimistic—girls like Rosie don’t get into real trouble—Kate’s sense of foreboding is confirmed when Rosie is found fatally beaten and stabbed.
Who would kill the perfect daughter, from the perfect family? Yet the more Kate entwines herself with the Andersons—graceful mother Jo, renowned journalist father Neal, watchful younger sister Delphine—the more she is convinced that not everything is as it seems. Anonymous notes arrive, urging Kate to unravel the tangled threads of Rosie’s life and death, though she has no idea where they will lead.
Weaving flashbacks from Rosie’s perspective into a tautly plotted narrative, The Bones of You by Debbie Howells is a gripping, haunting novel of sacrifices and lies, desperation and love.
From the outside, the Andersons are the perfect family — the charismatic, successful journalist, the wife with impeccable taste and a pristine home, two slender, well-behaved daughters. However, when Rosie, the oldest daughter is murdered, the careful mask begins to crack and secrets come to light.
Like Susie Salmon in The Lovely Bones, Rosie’s ghost lingers around those she left behind. Unlike Susie, Rosie’s ghost has a purpose, both in moving the narrative forward and in helping to bring the story to its conclusion.
The characters are interesting and well-developed. The book is well-written and moves along nicely. Howells (no relation, by the way) does a good job of creating suspicion with each new revelation. She keeps us guessing right up to the final reveal. The ending is suspenseful, even though we already know the outcome.
I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery with psychological undertones.
I received a free e-copy of this book as a Net Galley Professional Reader.
Available June 30, 2015. Pre-order now at Amazon.com (affiliate link).
About the Author:
Debbie Howells is the author of THE BONES OF YOU, her debut thriller which sold internationally for six-figures in several countries. While in the past she has been a flying instructor, the owner of a flower shop, and a student of psychology, she currently writes full-time. Debbie lives in West Sussex with her family.