Blood and Bone

Blood and Bone

4.2 22
by William Lashner

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“Lashner keeps the reader spellbound.”

—Harlan Coben


New York Times bestselling author William Lashner takes a brief hiatus from his popular series character, lawyer Victor Carl (Hostile Witness, Fatal Flaw, A Killer’s Kiss et al), and electrifies with Blood and Bone—a

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“Lashner keeps the reader spellbound.”

—Harlan Coben


New York Times bestselling author William Lashner takes a brief hiatus from his popular series character, lawyer Victor Carl (Hostile Witness, Fatal Flaw, A Killer’s Kiss et al), and electrifies with Blood and Bone—a relentlessly exciting standalone thriller. A gripping story of a hard-luck slacker pulled into a deadly conspiracy surrounding the late father he barely knew, it enthralls and surprises on every page. The Washington Post raves: “Lashner is as impressive as anyone writing thrillers today.” Blood and Bone is the proof.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Bestseller Lashner's first stand-alone, a contemporary thriller, falls short of the standard set by his acclaimed Victor Carl series (A Killer's Kiss, etc.). The murder of Philadelphia attorney Laszlo Toth marks a turning point in the life of part-time bartender Kyle Byrne, whose late father was Toth's law partner for many years. The elder Byrne died more than a decade earlier under mysterious circumstances, and Kyle, his out-of-wedlock son, was bounced from his funeral-by Toth. Kyle's attendance at Toth's burial service attracts the attention of homicide detectives Henderson and Ramirez, the latter a good-looking woman who takes more than a professional interest in the suspect. Kyle is further rattled when he believes he sees his father watching him during a softball game. Since the reader learns the identity of Toth's killer early on, only the motive for the crime offers much mystery-and that turns out to be less than compelling. (Feb.)

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Blood and Bone

Chapter One


Kyle, all of twelve years old, hated the suit.

He hated everything else about this day, too...his Uncle Max's voice droning on from the driver's seat of the battered black pickup, the bright sun shining into his eyes, the way the truck was filled with smoke from his mother's cigarette, the expectant dread that twisted his stomach. But most of all he hated the suit.

His mother had bought it for him just yesterday, snatched it off the rack at some discount warehouse and held it up for him, limp and gray, as if it were some dead animal she had shot and dragged home. "For tomorrow," she said with that same detached smile she had been wearing ever since he came home from school, backpack still on his shoulder, and she told him the news.

"I don't want to wear a suit," he said.

"I bought it big," she said, ignoring his declaration, "so you could have it for next year, too."

And now there it was, wrapped around his body like a fist, his first suit. It didn't fit right; the pants were too long, the shoulders too narrow, the tie choked him. He wondered how anyone could wear such an uncomfortable thing every day. Especially the tie. His father always had one slung around his neck whenever he came for a visit. Navy blue suit, dark thin tie, yellow-toothed smile and shock of white hair. "Hello, boyo," he'd say whenever he saw Kyle, giving his hair a quick tousle.

"I never liked the son of a bitch," said Uncle Max. Uncle Max was Kyle's mother's older brother. He had come out from the city for the funeral, which was a treat in itself. Not.

"Stop it, Max," said Kyle's mother.

"I'm justsaying."

"You've been saying for twelve years."

"And I've been right all along, haven't I?" Uncle Max wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. "Where was he anyway when he got it?"

"What, he had someone stashed there, too?"


"Yeah, yeah. Okay. But we're better off without him, all of us. What did Laszlo say it was?"


"Figures. Is he saving us a place or something?"

Kyle's mother didn't answer. She just inhaled from her cigarette and leaned her head against the window.

"Let me guess. You wasn't even invited."

"Laszlo suggested that it might be best if we didn't come."

"Well, then," said Uncle Max, "this might be more fun than I thought."

Kyle, wedged in the front seat between his uncle and his mother, craned his neck and shaded his eyes as he peered through the windshield. In the sky a dark cloud kept pace with the car. Kyle was missing school today, which was good, but he had a game that afternoon, and he'd probably have to miss that, too, which sucked. And then he hadn't cried yet, which only confirmed what he had always believed, that there was something seriously wrong with him. His mother hadn't cried either, as far as he could tell. She had her strange smile, like in that painting of that Mona lady, and she was smoking, nonstop, which was a sign of something, but Kyle had seen no tears from her. And Uncle Max certainly didn't seem so cut up about the whole thing. So maybe it wasn't such a deal after all. Except in the soft, untrammeled depths of his heart, he knew that it was, knew that it was bigger than everything and that he should be bawling his eyes out and that there was something seriously wrong with him because he wasn't.

The neat little houses passing by gave way to a low stone wall. Beyond the wall were gravestones and small marble crypts like out of Scooby-Doo. The quick change in scenery jolted Kyle back to the unpleasant task at hand. He stuck his thumb into his collar at the front of his neck and yanked it down. It didn't help.

Uncle Max turned the truck into the cemetery. There was a chapel off to the right, like one of the crypts, only large enough to inter an army of ghouls.

"Showtime," said Uncle Max as he pulled into one of the remaining spots in the parking lot and killed the engine.

A thin crowd of mourners milled somberly at the entrance as the three approached. They walked side by side by side...Uncle Max, thick-shouldered and in a loud sport coat; Kyle's mother, tall and drawn in a long black dress; and Kyle, in his ill-fitting gray suit. A few faces turned toward them, and the crowd suddenly stilled, as if they were a trio of gunfighters walking down a dusty street in a -black-and-white western on TV. Kyle hesitated for a moment, but his mother raised her chin and kept on walking as though she hadn't noticed the stares. Kyle hitched his pants and caught up.

On the wall of the chapel, behind a sheet of glass and pressed into a black background, was a series of white plastic letters.

Blood and Bone. Copyright © by William Lashner. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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