Richard and Judy Review: The Bones of You – Debbie Howells

Richard and Judy Review: The Bones of You – Debbie Howells

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"As reader you think you can see whats coming, but trust me – youre wrong."

Richard’s review

The Bones of You is a compelling story about a family and an idyllic country village, where all is not as it seems. Author Debbie Howellss description if the dark secrets behind oh-so-lovely suburban lives is captivating.

I really enjoyed the fleshing out of the murdered girls parents characters. Neal, Rosies father, is an appallingly arrogant television journalist who delivers heart-rending appeals about under-privileged orphans. Hes good-looking, admired and adored by his millions of fans, but in truth he is a hypocritical, self-serving, sadistic bastard.

While naming no names, I am sad to say his type is distressingly common in the media world I know so well.

And, in the background, Neal fosters the illusion of a perfect family life. His wife, Jo, is elegantly lovely and wants for nothing. She will sing his praises to anyone wholl listen. In reality she is a wreck, consumed with self-doubt, slowly drinking herself into oblivion.

Their two daughter, Rosie and the younger Delphine are quiet and watchful, always aware of their fathers vicious temper, fading into silent shadows in efforts to escape his contempt.

This is a very clever study of a sad, doomed family, and yet as good neighbour Kate does her best to unravel the mystery of a death that is baffling police, she becomes a pariah. Rosies mother, who used to be a good friend, withdraws the more that Kate finds out. Meanwhile Neal comes on to her, confident that his glamour and fame will seduce Kate to his side.

As reader you think you can see whats coming, but trust me – youre wrong.

This is an addictive, consuming read, cleverly describing the darkness inside the most seeming perfect families.

"This book is a very promising debut thriller from a writer who is adept at delving into the secret lives of dysfunctional families."

Judy’s review

Rosie Anderson is 18 years old, living in a small Sussex village. Her background is wealthy (her father is a famous TV journalist) and she lives in a beautiful, immaculate house.

However, at the beginning of this novel Rosie is dead. The story opens immediately after her murder with her own words: ‘I feel myself leave my body, breaking free of the invisible threads that join me to it, until Im floating, looking down at the blood, a thick dark pool seeping under the leaves into the earth.

In death, Rosies ghost begins to re-live her life, in ‘freeze-frames, moments of time caught like small plastic snowglobes without the snow. And, rather like the young girl killed in Alice Sebolds The Lovely Bones, we begin to see trough Rosies eyes the events which led to her death.

But Rosie is an occasional narrator. The main voice belongs to Kate, a neighbour in the village, who employed Rosie to help look after her horses at weekends. Rosie goes to the same school as Kates daughter, Grace, and Kate is a distant friend of Jo, Rosies beautiful and perfectly presented mother.

The Bones of You is a murder mystery, a thriller revolving around family secrets and lies. Kate and her husband Angus are happy until he has to work in a distant city. As Kate continues her investigations into Rosies murder, and becomes increasingly caught up in the strange contradictions at the heart of Rosies seemingly perfect family, she feels her own marriage begin to flounder and disintegrate.

This book is a very promising debut thriller from a writer who is adept at delving into the secret lives of dysfunctional families.

Press reviews

Here are a selection of the reviews for The Bones of You

"A dazzling debut from a writer who looks to me to have an exceptional future. Howellss novel has a rare freshness and depth that set her apart."

The Daily Mail

"Utterly compelling and addictive. A memorable debut."

Samantha Hayes

"An intriguing dark psychological thriller—truly brilliant!"

Lisa Jackson