Lies in Bone is a mystery set mainly in 1986 in a small forgotten American steel town.
The story opens with a scene from 1963; brothers Chuck and Danny are out on their bicycles on a foggy Halloween night. The fog is so thick that they get separated.
Twenty-three years later, in 1986, single father Chuck is bringing his two daughters Frank and Boots back to his childhood town because his mother has cancer; he feels that they should be there for her. However, this isn’t a happy family reunion; the town is desolate after the steel mill closed and apart from fourteen churches there is little else. Chuck struggles to get work and spends too many nights out at bars.
When a child is found dead, Chuck is arrested; there have always been whispers around town about Chuck and the local police are desperate to solve this case and link it to other cold cases. Frank is the only one who believes Chuck is innocent, but no-one will listen to a teenager.
This is quite a bleak tale, but it does hold glimmers of hope ; Chuck’s invention ideas, Frank’s refusal to give up and the strong love from a neglected child called Bernie. There’s plenty of teenage angst and moments when Frank needs an outlet for all of the hurt and pain while she tries to protect her sister Boots. This story made me think about the ‘American dream’ ideology especially how real life, for some, is far from perfect. I became engrossed in the tale quite quickly, following Frank as she tried to save her family and hoping that someone would throw her a lifeline. It’s a good story and one that I can happily recommend.
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Told by a tart-tongued young woman with a love of Bruce Springsteen, Lies in Bone is at once a mystery and coming-of-age tale fueled by dark secrets involving love, murder, and the truths worth lying for.
On Halloween 1963, eleven-year-old Chuck Coolidge and his brother Danny are lost in a toxic smog covering the steel town of Slippery Elm, Pennsylvania. When the smog lifts, half the town is sick and twenty people are dead. And Danny is missing.
Now, over twenty years later, Chuck’s teenage daughter Frank plots escape from this “busted and disgusted” town. When a murdered child is found in the river, investigators link the crime to the disappearance of Danny in ’63, and Frank’s life is turned upside down. In the face of her worst fears, she must uncover her family’s dark past if she wants to keep her sister Boots from the hands of The State. Led to discover the unimaginable truth about Danny’s disappearance, Lies in Bone culminates in a shocking eleventh-hour reveal and an emotionally charged finale.