The Bone Garden Book Review

The Bone Garden Book Review

Title: The Bone Garden
Author: Tess Gerritsen
Published: 2007, Ballantine
No. of Pages: 487
Cover Price: $7.99 US

Although Tess Gerritsen’s famous character, Maura Isles, is the medical examiner who takes charge of the bones found on the property of Julia Hamill’s new home in Massachusetts, The Bone Garden is actually a standalone thriller covering two time periods – the 1800s and today. When Julia finds bones on her property while digging in the garden, she calls the police; the medical examiner decides the bones are those of a woman who was murdered sometime in the early 1800s. Julia is contacted by Henry Page, an 89 year old curmudgeon who has boxes of letters and papers from his sister, the previous owner of her new home; he wonders if she would be interested in the history. Julia visits Henry, and the story of Rose Connelly, a poor Irish immigrant, and medical student, Norris Marshall, comes to life.

Rose, whose sister has just given birth, but is not doing well, spends her time at the hospital overseeing the care of her sister and new niece. Members of the hospital staff are being brutally murdered, and Rose may be the next victim. The suspect is Norris Marshall, who is a medical student. Norris comes from a poor family, and has made a deal with the hospital director to assist a resurrectionist (one who steals bodies from graveyards and sells them on the black market) at night in order to pay for his studies. He and Rose team up to find the murderer, and find themselves in grave danger. There are unexpected twists and turns in the story, keeping the reader enthralled throughout.

Tess Gerritsen is a bestselling author for good reason: her writing is excellent, her stories are excellent, and her style is one that appeals to readers everywhere. Gerritsen has a way of incorporating historical facts with her fictional characters that is believable and fascinating. This book is no exception. Gerritsen has done enough research on the medical history in the 1830s, that the story rings true, and her ability to tie the past with the present is exceptional. The story also reminds us how far modern medicine has come, and also of the risks that were taken in the past.

All told, this is one of Gerritsen’s best. It is one that is difficult to put down and readers will find themselves making excuses to stay up late reading. Gerritsen’s ability to make her characters come alive is a rare talent, and it makes for good reading. The Bone Garden is a “not to miss” novel.

This book was purchased with personal funds and no promotion of the book was solicited by the author or publisher.

This book may be purchased at Amazon: The Bone Garden: A Novel

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