Friday, January 15, 2016
The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen
Unlike the Rizzoli and Isles series (although Isles does make a cameo in this), The Bone Garden features two 'mysteries', one in the present, when a skeleton is dug up, and one in the past. The mystery in the past follows Rose Conelly (check sp) and the West End Ripper, a serial killer who may or may not be after her. Good thing she has the poor medical student Norris and his friend to help her (although Norris does have his own personal reasons for wanting to find out who the murderer is).
As it's come to be the case with me and dual-time stories, I liked the historical section better. Not only was the mystery more interesting, I think it was more well-developed too. The 'modern' story felt like it was more like a vehicle to tell the story of the past, rather than being a story that could have stood on its own. If you take away all the modern stuff, the story of Rose Conelly will stand, but the other way round isn't possible.
My other 'complaint' is one that I think most people have expected of me by now. The romance section. Without giving away spoilers, let me just say that while Rose's love story isn't at the insta-love stage, it happens very quickly, and rather unbelievably for him. As though the author wanted to reinforce a point for the character in the present day...
For the most part, though, the characters in this book are believable. I particularly liked the fact that the book also explored the class and race differences (since Wendell was from a farm and Rose is Irish), and showed that even death is not the great equaliser we like to pretend it is.
Apart from those two points, which are really quite minor, I really enjoyed the book. The main mystery managed to thoroughly pull me in, and I was kept guessing as to the West End Ripper was, and why the murderer seemed to be after Rose.