My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Bones and Whispers is a murder mystery set in Edinburgh, Scotland. It opens with a prologue of a skeleton being discovered by kids. Kate McKinnery is a social worker. She juggles past and current work cases with a recent relationship break-up and her feelings of responsibility towards her Aunt who has just moved into sheltered housing.
Kate’s relationship with her Aunt Jean is tense because Jean recently revealed that Kate’s Mum committed suicide rather than the tale Kate had grown up with. The rift in their relationship caused by Kate’s anger at Jean’s news has stopped Jean confiding in Kate about dizzy spells she’s having. Jean moved to the sheltered housing to feel safer but when she discovers one of the other residents is Maggie Keenan, Jean is very worried.
Maggie is a bully, blackmailer and tormentor with a reputation that goes before her. She has fellow residents on her side and others who oppose her. Jean has known Maggie from her past and really doesn’t want to re-live that part of her life.
When Jean helps one of the carers into a locked room, they discover the body of fellow resident Harriet Post, but before the case is solved a second body is discovered and the police find themselves working with Kate and uncovering several stories. A third body has the news headlines claiming a “Serial Killer Stalking Elderly”.
Meanwhile Kate is also working through her own questions about her past and trying to piece together the jigsaw of her life.
There are quite a few characters in the book and many are introduced near the start, I struggled to get them all clear in my head. I needed stronger images created from deeper character profiles of the main characters. I therefore missed connecting with either Kate or Jean, the two main characters. Much of the storyline is dialogue led with too many he/she said/asked phrases, I would have enjoyed less inconsequential dialogue and more time spent showing the reader the situation through clever language. In other areas, the storyline lost me when meetings ended abruptly, chapters finished and lines of Kate’s thoughts stopped, leaving me expecting more explanations. I think there is room for expansion of the main drama within the book through emotions and a thinning of points which slow the storyline.
This review is based on a free copy of the book give to me by the Author.
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