Dry Bones in the Valley

Dry Bones in the Valley

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by Tom Bouman
     
 

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Winner of the 2015 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller and Winner of the 2015 Edgar Award for Best First Novel.When an elderly recluse discovers a corpse on his land, Officer Henry Farrell is drawn into a murder investigation that might tear his sleepy community apart. Tom Bouman's chilling and evocative debut introduces one of the most memorable new

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Overview

Winner of the 2015 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller and Winner of the 2015 Edgar Award for Best First Novel.When an elderly recluse discovers a corpse on his land, Officer Henry Farrell is drawn into a murder investigation that might tear his sleepy community apart. Tom Bouman's chilling and evocative debut introduces one of the most memorable new characters in detective fiction and uncovers a haunting section of rural Pennsylvania, where gas drilling is bringing new wealth and eroding neighborly trust.

Editorial Reviews

Michael Sims - Washington Post
“An exciting and disturbing debut…mesmerizing and often terrifying.”
Marilyn Stasio - New York Times
“Beautifully written.”
Donald Ray Pollock
“Henry Farrell [is] truly one of the most likable and dedicated law officers in the history of crime fiction. I loved every word of it.”
Ivan Doig
“A standout debut with an authenticity of place and character rare in any form of literature.”
Wiley Cash
“A tough, edgy thriller that asks hard questions about the destruction of our environment, our local communities, and our families. Readers of smart literary thrillers are going to love this novel. I wish like hell that my name were on the cover.”
James Sallis
“Raymond Chandler said that Hammett took murder away from the manor houses and gave it back to the people who actually commit it. Tom Bouman continues that tradition. Bouman's story is deceptively simple, layered with history, bearing the promise of lightness, of redemption.”
Steve Weddle
“Tom Bouman is a remarkable new voice in contemporary fiction. Dry Bones in the Valley is a tightly crafted piece of rural noir that seems pulled from the earth itself, a profound look at the dark corners of rural America. Readers of Daniel Woodrell and Donald Ray Pollock will find much to love.”
Hannah Pittard
“It's a mystery, yes, but it's also a love story between a man and the land and people he knows like the back of his hand. Dry Bones in the Valley is a gorgeous, lived-in novel, and Bouman's turns of phrase are chest-clutching in their beauty.”
Joe R. Lansdale
“So smooth it's as if it was written on spring water. Shadowy, swift, impossible to put down. I was enraptured. Any justice and this writer will soon be a major star.”
Ed Falco
“Officer Henry Farrell is a shy man, but in his own ways just as ornery and tough as the cast of rugged characters who inhabit his Pennsylvania woods, where the mysteries are as old as love and grief. A rural cop with a keen intelligence and a wounded heart, Henry’s the right man to unearth the secrets of Dry Bones in the Valley. Tom Bouman’s debut novel is one you won’t want to miss.”
New York Magazine (Six Books to Read this Summer)
“Grit-lit meets wry suspense, along with a keen rendering of place and politics.”
Marilyn Stasio - New York Times Book Review
“Some stories are so sad, you want them to have the comfort of a gentle storytelling voice. Tom Bouman extends this kindness in… his beautifully written first novel.”
Boris Kachka - New York Magazine
“[Incorporates] literary elements—thick atmosphere, regional rootedness, social scope—into an actual fast-paced mystery series.”
Joe Hartlaub - Book Reporter
“Debut author Tom Bouman is a gem… Recommended for your end of summer pleasure.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393350784
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
04/06/2015
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
103,292
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Tom Bouman is a former book editor and musician who lives with his wife and daughter in northeastern
Pennsylvania.

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Dry Bones in the Valley 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Angie_Lisle More than 1 year ago
I received a free advanced copy of this book in exchange for a review. This Appalachian murder-mystery is more mountain ballad than cozy, but unlike the mountain ballads, this story is about modern Appalachia, drawing on current issues like meth-labs and gas-drilling that's destroying/poisoning the natural environment. Some people may not like the tone of the book - it's a melancholic-romance, typical of the mountain ballads and what cozy can be found is in the heritage of the mountain ballads that it resembles. In places, the prose is beautiful and quotable, if I had a copy of the finished product to quote, but there are a couple patchy spots where one paragraph doesn't blend seamlessly into the next. I love that I didn't solve the murder until the end. The mystery is wrapped up in many threads - some focused more on introducing Officer Henry Farrell's world -Wild Thyme, Pennsylvania- than the murder, but this was used in a way that made the investigation feel more realistic than what's usually found in cozy-mysteries. I will be watching for the second installment of this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago