Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Ink and Bone: A Novel

Ink and Bone: A Novel

4.8 41
by Lisa Unger

See All Formats & Editions

“An instant page-turner” (Lisa Gardner) that straddles the line between thriller and horror...“sure to appeal to a wide range of readers, including Stephen King fans” (Booklist, starred review). A young woman’s mysterious gift forces her into the middle of a dangerous investigation of a little girl's


“An instant page-turner” (Lisa Gardner) that straddles the line between thriller and horror...“sure to appeal to a wide range of readers, including Stephen King fans” (Booklist, starred review). A young woman’s mysterious gift forces her into the middle of a dangerous investigation of a little girl's disappearance.

Twenty-year-old Finley Montgomery is rarely alone. Visited by people whom others can’t see and haunted by prophetic dreams she has never been able to control or understand, Finley is terrified by the things that happen to her. When Finley’s abilities start to become too strong for her to handle—and even the roar of her motorcycle or another dazzling tattoo can’t drown out the voices—she turns to the only person she knows who can help her: her grandmother Eloise Montgomery, a renowned psychic living in The Hollows, New York.

Merri Gleason is a woman at the end of her tether after a ten-month-long search for her missing daughter, Abbey. With almost every hope exhausted, she resorts to hiring Jones Cooper, a detective who sometimes works with psychic Eloise Montgomery. Merri’s not a believer, but she’s just desperate enough to go down that road, praying that she’s not too late. Time, she knows, is running out.

As a harsh white winter moves into The Hollows, Finley and Eloise are drawn into the investigation, which proves to have much more at stake than even the fate of a missing girl. As Finley digs deeper into the town and its endless layers, she is forced to examine the past, even as she tries to look into the future. Only one thing is clear: The Hollows gets what it wants, no matter what.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Psychic college student Finley Montgomery, the engaging heroine of bestseller Unger’s uneven fourth Hollows thriller (after 2015’s Crazy Love You), has fled her domineering mother and troubled life in Seattle to live with her famed psychic grandmother, Eloise Montgomery, in the Hollows, a small town in upstate New York. PI Jones Cooper, who sometimes does jobs for Eloise, has agreed to look into the disappearance of missing child Abbey Gleason, and when Finley begins receiving communications from a kidnapped girl, her grandmother tells her to take the case. Haunted by her visions and pursued by her ex-boyfriend and tattoo artist Rainer, Finley struggles to find Abbey before the Hollows—a powerful place in its own right—claims another victim. Philosophical musings slow the pace, and tattooed, tortured Finley ultimately fails to transcend cliché. Still, Unger fans should enjoy this tale of troubled families finding redemption in the midst of tragedy. Agent: Elaine Markson, Markson Thoma Literary Agency. (June)
Jennifer McMahon
"Lisa Unger takes you to dark places then shows you the light. The universe she has created in The Hollows — the dead and the living, the haunted and the haunting, the lost and missing — resonates so deeply, it’s a world I want to go back to again and again and am always a little heartbroken to leave. In INK AND BONE, we return to The Hollows once more, and Unger weaves a story that casts a captivating spell, and will leave you feeling haunted long after you turn the last page."
Library Journal
Finley Montgomery, 20 years old, has inherited her grandmother Eloise's psychic abilities. As spirits inhabit her dreams and leak into her waking hours, she often feels more uneasy than blessed by her "gift." Their shared abilities draw them together, though, as Finley agrees to work with Eloise and PI Jones Cooper to help a desperate mother find her kidnapped child. Even as she puts her talents to a good use, Finley struggles to keep from feeling that her psychic abilities control her life. This is difficult when the dead appear according to their own will rather than Finley's. Even her grandmother's gentle reminders that no one chooses what happens to them, only how to respond, offer cold comfort, as Finley tries to maintain a normal life and vision of her future. Award-winning Unger (Crazy Love You; In the Blood) allows Finley's character to shine through, though, as she agrees to help find the missing child despite her trepidation. VERDICT Fans of the supernatural and psychological suspense will find this story entertaining, despite the disappointing ending.—Linda Oliver, MLIS, Colorado Springs
Kirkus Reviews
A girl with the gift of seeing the spirit world tries to harness her ability while working with a private detective who isn't a believer. The Hollows is a world unto itself, as different from the rest of New York as the name implies. Everyone in The Hollows appears to be there for a definite reason. For Finley Montgomery, that reason is her grandmother Eloise. Finley relies on Eloise to help her cope with the world around her—more specifically, the spirits each of them sees. Eloise has taught Finley how to stay in the present and cope with her double-edged gift. Manhattanite mother Merri Gleason drives to The Hollows wishing she had some kind of connection to the spirit world. Ever since her young daughter was kidnapped on a family vacation to The Hollows, Merri's been obsessed with figuring out whether she's still alive. Merri's made an appointment with private detective Jones Cooper, but he's not optimistic. His only hope is that Eloise, his sometime collaborator, will have some inkling about what's going on. But it turns out that Finley's the one tuned in to the case. The story of the haphazard collaboration is interspersed with chapters of a young girl's struggle with people who seem like kidnappers. Is this the child everyone's looking for? Unger's beloved characters (Crazy Love You, 2015, etc.) continue a deftly balanced story that's supernatural without a creepy aftertaste.
From the Publisher
Ink and Bone is like The Sixth Sense on steroidsa dark, dazzling tale in which the light manages to shine through on things that really do go bump in the night." The Providence Journal

"Lisa Unger is building a sense of place for The Hollows that rivals Stephen King's Castle Rock for continuity and creepiness." —The News & Observer

"I experienced something pleasantly heartbreaking while reading Ink and Bone, Lisa Unger's latest mystery-thriller. This horrific, fast-paced novel succeeded in drawing me in by taking possession of my senses and controlling the emotions I thought were mine. Literally... a true nail-biter." —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"Unger makes the spectral realistic because anything can happen in The Hollows, and does. In her storytelling, the supernatural jump starts a story about fragile families seeking peace and fulfillment.... Without over violence, Unger delivers a frighteningly real villain who is able to hide in plain sight. Ink and Bone is a welcomed return to the haunting The Hollows." —Sun Sentinel

"A gut-wrenching tale of horror and mystery.... Strong characters and stellar writing make this a wonderful mix of small-town life with the supernatural." —Associated Press

"Unger builds the tension to high intensity.... Little by little, the truth is revealed to Finley and to the reader—a dark side that winds through the Hollows like the long-abandoned mines that snake beneath its surface.... Ink and Bone takes the reader into dire places, but into the light as well. And Finley? My psychic vibes predict she'll be back." —Tampa Bay Times

“Those voices appear on the page, and without much prompting become the interesting, dimensional characters that make her books so thrilling.” —Sarasota Herald-Tribune

“For those who like intense psychological mystery at its best. Unger provides." —The Florida Times-Union

"Lisa Unger has written the sort of novel that fans of Stephen King and Peter Straub used to eagerly anticipate. Many of her previous books have been dark, but this one is a full-fledged dive into the deep end of the horror pool. The result is an effective and unsettling supernatural tale that will leave you reeling." —Bookreporter.com

"Lisa Unger takes you to dark places then shows you the light. The universe she has created in The Hollowsthe dead and the living, the haunted and the haunting, the lost and missingresonates so deeply, it’s a world I want to go back to again and again and am always a little heartbroken to leave. In Ink and Bone, we return to The Hollows once more, and Unger weaves a story that casts a captivating spell, and will leave you feeling haunted long after you turn the last page." —Jennifer McMahon, author of The Night Sister

"Engrossing, atmospheric, and fast-paced, for fans of dark and twisty psychological suspense, Lisa Unger's Ink and Bone is not to be missed." —Lisa Scottoline, New York Times bestselling author of Most Wanted

"Instant page-turner! A race-against-the-clock thriller that brings together grieving families, small town secrets, and a troubled teen whose ghosts aren't just in her past." —Lisa Gardner, New York Times bestselling author of Find Her

"This is as chilling a tale as any the ingenious Lisa Unger has ever come up with. I've still got shivers!" —Robert Masello, #1 Amazon bestselling author of The Einstein Prophecy.

“Engrossing. . . the tension is palpable. Unger straddles the fine line between thriller and horror, making this a very exciting and riveting read, sure to appeal to a wide range of readers, including Kay Hooper or Stephen King fans." —Booklist (starred review)

“Unger's beloved characters continue a deftly balanced story that's supernatural without a creepy aftertaste.” —Kirkus Reviews

"Bestselling author Lisa Unger knows a thing or two about building suspense, and she piles on the twists in her latest thriller, Ink and Bone." —BookPage

"From Harlan Coben to Lisa Scottoline to Lisa Gardner to the team here at Suspense Magazine, we all say that Lisa Unger should be on your bookshelf." —Suspense Magazine

"Fans of the supernatural and psychological suspense will find this story entertaining." —Library Journal

Product Details

Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Ink and Bone


Squeak-clink. Squeak-clink. Squeak-clink.

Oh my God. Finley Montgomery rolled over in bed and pulled the pillow over her head. What the hell is that?

Squeeeaaak. Clink.

It wasn’t loud exactly. In fact, it was faint but unceasing and arrhythmic, like the dripping of a faucet in another room. It was its stuttering relentlessness that made it so annoying.

The unidentifiable noise had leaked into her dream, where Finley had been repeatedly turning a knob on a door that wouldn’t budge. In her dream, her frustration grew as she tried in vain to enter the room, tugging and pulling, twisting the rusty knob. Finally, the sound had woken her, tickling at the edges of her awareness as she came to wakefulness, her irritation lingering.

Sitting up, she looked around the mess of her bedroom—open laptop on her desk, stacks of books, laundry in a basket to be put away, more clothes on the floor, boots in a tumble by the door. She was alone, the door closed. She knew that the sound was inside her, not outside.


“Okay,” she said, drawing in and releasing a breath.

Finley focused on the details of her room, listing off what she saw. The gauzy curtains are billowing in the cool breeze. The wind chimes are tinkling outside. The golden sunlight of an autumn morning is dappling the hardwood floor. She took another deep breath and released it. By staying in the present moment, she could—allegedly—­control “the event.” This is what her grandmother—who had a way of making it sound so easy, as if it were just a choice Finley could make—had told her. But it required an unimaginable amount of discipline, of psychic (for lack of a better word) effort.

Not that she was trying to get rid of the sound precisely, not for good. At this point, she understood that if she was hearing something—or seeing something, or whatever—there was a reason. It was just that she was trying to train herself to take in information in a time and place that was appropriate for it. She was trying to learn how to set boundaries so that “this thing” didn’t destroy her life. I let it take too much, her grandmother confided. You can do better than I did.

“Not now,” Finley said firmly. “Later.”

The sound persisted, oblivious to Finley’s desires.

Downstairs, Finley’s grandmother Eloise was moving about the kitchen, making the music of morning—the opening of cabinets, setting of dishes, the gong of a pan on the stove. Then wafted in the scent of coffee, of bacon on the stove.


It was fading as Finley climbed out of bed and stretched high, then bent over to touch her toes. Usually Finley took care of breakfast, thinking it was the least she could do, considering she was living with her grandmother rent free while she finished school. But on important days, Eloise made a point to get up early and cook—which was really just so nice. Finley marveled at how different were her mother and her grandmother.

Squeeak-clink. It was fainter still. But what was it? It wasn’t a sound that was familiar to her. As soon as she put her attention on it, it grew louder again. She made her bed, still breathing deep. I am in control of my awareness, she told herself. My awareness does not control me.

As Finley turned toward the window, she saw the shadow, faint and flickering like a hologram, of a little boy in the corner of the room. He sat playing with a wooden train. She’d been seeing him for a couple of days. He wasn’t any trouble, but she had no idea what he wanted from her yet. Choo-choo, he said quietly, moving the train across the floor. She watched him a moment, but when she took a step closer, he was gone, a trick of light.

The woman in the black dress, as usual, stood by the door to the hallway. Finley knew from her grandmother that the woman was Faith Good, a distant relative on the maternal side. Finley did know what Faith wanted. She wants you to be careful, Eloise had told her. Of course, that’s what everyone wanted from Finley.

The sound wasn’t coming from either of them, was it?

Finley stood another moment, thinking, listening, watching. She yanked her thumb away from her mouth as soon as she was aware that she was biting her nails again. Finally, she walked over the creaking wood floorboards, down the hall to the bathroom. She stripped off her pink tank top and gray sweatpants and stepped into the shower.

Letting the hot water wash over her, she scrubbed herself vigorously, sang loudly—Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah.” She was a bad singer, completely tone deaf. But she didn’t care. All these actions kept her present in her body, in her life. And when she was done, the sound was gone. It worked, she thought gratefully as she grabbed the handle and turned off the water. Steam plumed around her, rising, dissipating. She was getting better at saying when—something her grandmother taught but had never herself learned to do. Later, after her exam, Finley thought, she’d deal with them.

Faith and the little boy were both gone when Finley returned to her room to dress quickly—pulling on soft jeans, a black tee-shirt, Doc Marten lace-up boots. She grabbed her motorcycle helmet off the dresser and her backpack off the floor and pounded down the creaky staircase, jumping the last few steps and listening to the walls rattle in response.

Finley, please! her mother would surely chide. But Eloise let Finley be. Finley and her mother were all hard angles, their edges always knocking up against each other, hurting. But Finley and her grandmother fit together like mated puzzle pieces.

She trailed past the familiar wall of family photographs: Finley and her brother Alfie on horseback—Alfie roaring with laughter as Finley tickled from behind; her mother Amanda’s high school graduation day, a grainy, orange-hued shot in which eighteen-year-old mother looked pale and decidedly not joyful; Finley’s grandfather Alfie and her aunt Emily bent over a book while a golden light shined on them through the window.

Finley always looked the longest at that one as she passed. Grandpa Alfie and Aunt Emily were both so present in Finley’s life, though they had both died long ago—killed in a car accident that Eloise and Finley’s mother, then a teenager, had survived but never really got over. Her grandmother never remarried. Her mother Amanda moved away from The Hollows as soon as she could and never came back to live.

Amanda talked about Grandpa Alfie as if he’d been the one who put the stars in the sky. She talked about Emily less, except to say that Finley was just like her—wild, fearless, creative, headstrong. Finley got the sense that it wasn’t a bad thing necessarily, but it wasn’t exactly a good thing either, since Amanda usually said it in anger or exasperation or just wonder.

Amanda hated that Finley was living in The Hollows, with Eloise—both things Amanda had fled. It is driving her absolutely batshit crazy, thought Finley with only a little bit of malicious glee. She dropped her stuff by the door, but not before kissing her fingers and putting them to a picture of her mother and father Philip on their wedding day. Good morning, guys.

In the kitchen, Eloise stood at the stove, a relic that had been there since Finley was small, and according to Amanda, longer than that. The knobs were worn smooth; the cooktop was so brown around the burners that had no hope of ever being white again. The back left burner no longer lit. Like everything else in the house, it was in need of replacement. But Eloise never replaced anything that wasn’t beyond repair.

“Grandma, you need a new stove,” said Finley for the hundredth time. She caught herself sniffing for gas like her mother always did.

“Why?” said her grandmother, turning off the burner. “It still works. You don’t just get rid of an old thing because you want something new.”

“Yeah,” said Finley, “ya do.”

“Hmm,” said Eloise. “Maybe you do.”

Finley wrapped Eloise up in a hug from behind and squeezed gently. Her grandmother was small but powerful, giving off some kind of electricity even though she was skin and bones. Then Finley gave Eloise a big kiss on the cheek and released her.

“There’s nothing wrong with new things,” Finley said.

Eloise offered a patient smile as she brought the pan to the counter and slid scrambled eggs onto two plates. Finley’s stomach rumbled.

“Did you hear it this morning?” Eloise asked.

Finley nodded quickly as she grabbed the orange juice from the fridge. “Squeak-clink?”

“I thought it was something in the basement,” said Eloise. “But no.”

“Can we talk about it later?” Finley asked.

She could already hear it starting up again. She poured orange juice into cloudy glasses. I am in control of my awareness.

“Sure,” said Eloise. She knew the drill, changed the subject. “Are you ready for your exam?”

“As ready as I’ll ever be.”

Finley sat and Eloise put the plate of eggs, bacon, and fruit in front of her. She caught her grandmother’s eyes lingering on her bare arms. Even though Eloise didn’t say anything—and never had since the first day she discovered that Finley’s arms were sleeves of tattoos—Finley wished she’d worn her hoodie.

When she first got to The Hollows a little more than a year ago, she’d sought to hide the richly colored dragons and fairies, butterflies, graveyards, mysterious-looking women in long gowns, dark shadowy figures of men and ghouls, a witch burning at the stake, a vicious dog on a chain. Each piece of art on her body meant something—was someone or something she’d seen in her visions or dreams. She’d started getting the tattoos when she was sixteen and hadn’t been able to stop.

“Oh, Finley,” Eloise had said that day. “Your beautiful skin.”

“I’m sorry,” she’d said. She wasn’t sure what she was apologizing for—for the tattoos, for hiding them, for shocking her grandmother. “But this is me. This is who I am.”

Eloise had rested a gentle hand up Finley’s arm. Some of the art on Finley’s body, which started at her wrists and snaked up her arms, over her shoulders and down her back, was still just a black outline at that point.

“It’s a work in progress,” said Finley.

“Meaning you’re getting more?” asked Eloise. “When are you going to stop?”

Finley had lifted a defiant chin. “When the outside looks like how I feel on the inside.”

Eloise had seemed to consider this. If anyone could understand how different was Finley’s inner life from her outer life, surely it would be Eloise. Who knew better than a renowned psychic medium that the world of the spirit was altogether other from the world of the body?

“Okay, dear,” Eloise had said. “I understand.”

They hadn’t discussed it much since then, and Finley didn’t seek to hide her tattoos any longer. At home with her mother, she would never even dare wear a tee-shirt—because Amanda had no boundaries whatsoever. Or rather, Amanda didn’t think that Finley deserved to have any. Amanda would stare and harp and moan about what Finley had done to her perfect skin, and how could she mutilate herself like that and what kind of life was she going to have and oh my God, what about your wedding day? Because everything was about Amanda and her anxieties, her need to have control, and her dashed expectations—even and maybe especially Finley’s life.

Eloise sat with her own plate. “It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?”

Even though the temperatures were still warmish, Finley could feel the icy lick of winter in the air. When the roads got bad, she’d have to put the bike in the garage and borrow her grandmother’s Prius to get around.

“Yes,” said Finley. “Gorgeous.”

Finley’s mood was growing sourer by the second. That was the thing she still needed to figure out. The boundary setting? The pushing off until such time as she could devote her attention to their needs? It was completely exhausting and tended to make her cranky. As if she had to build a wall of stone every day, only to have it knocked down again.

“You’re going to do wonderfully,” said Eloise. Her grandmother grabbed her arm and Finley felt the warmth of her. She was a giver, a recharger. “At everything.”

Finley forced a smile, taking comfort in the fact that her grandmother was almost always right.

*  *  *

At the door, Finley pulled on her leather jacket and walked outside to her Harley-Davidson Sportster. The purple gas tank gleamed, filling Finley with a familiar tingle of excitement.

No one wanted her to ride a motorcycle—not Amanda, not ­Eloise, not the woman in the black dress. Not even Jones Cooper, her grandmother’s occasional business partner, approved. At your age, you think the world forgives mistakes, he’d warned grimly. It doesn’t.

Only her father Phil understood her need for speed and the silence she found there. He knew that the single place she was ever alone was on that bike. Eloise and Amanda hated him for helping her buy it; if anything ever happened to her while she was riding it, neither of them would ever forgive him. But he’d helped her anyway—not just because he was a jerk and liked annoying her mother (which he was and he did). But because he got it; he got Finley. Her father never claimed to understand the things she saw. But he knew all about the desire to run away.

She climbed on and with a kick of her foot and a squeeze of the clutch, she brought the motorcycle to life. Just the sound of it—that deep unmistakable rumble—gave her a measure of relief, like the first drag of a cigarette.

She waved to her grandmother and tried to measure her speed up the road. But once she turned the corner out of sight and the empty span stretched out before her, she opened it up. She couldn’t help it. The bike wanted to go fast; it begged her to push faster, faster.

With the wind racing around her and the engine roaring beneath her, the sound of it living inside her body, she was only herself. All the shackles that held her, all the things that frightened and pained her, fell away. She could think; her own voice was clear and true. All the other sounds went quiet and she was free.

*  *  *

She found a safe spot for her bike in the parking lot of Sacred Heart College, bringing it to a stop as far from the psychology building as possible, in front of a tall, shading tree that was raining leaves in a shower of gold and red. Students and faculty usually parked their ­vehicles close to the low glass-and-concrete building, one of the newer structures at the college. But Finley tried to leave the roadster far from other cars when she could, afraid that it would get dinged or knocked over. The glittering purple of the gas tank and the fenders seemed to invite damage; she’d already been keyed. There was something about a motorcycle that drew attention, not all of it good. Except on the road, where other drivers often seemed not to see her at all.

Shouldering her backpack, she slipped her phone from her pocket and checked the time. Forty minutes until the exam, more than enough time to get an espresso from the commissary and go over her notes in the classroom.

“I’m ready,” she whispered to herself. “I’ve got this.”

As she drew nearer to the building, she saw two girls she recognized from her abnormal psychology class. They were walking arm-in-arm, laughing at something they were viewing on a smart phone. She lifted a hand in a timid wave, but they didn’t see her, never glancing up from the screen. Lowering her arm awkwardly, she thought with a sting that she hadn’t made any friends in The Hollows, and she probably never would, freak that she was. Meanwhile, her few friends in Seattle were drifting further and further away, and maybe they’d never been real friends in the first place. Maybe they’d just been people with whom it was easy to get into trouble. And once you weren’t looking for trouble, suddenly you weren’t fun anymore. Her sour mood deepened.

When the noise came back it was so loud that it actually startled her, stopping her in her tracks.


Her heart fluttering, she glanced around at the idyllic college campus in autumn, a near-perfect catalog picture of trees and buildings and kids with bright futures carrying backpacks. Nothing dark or odd or out of place. I control my awareness, she said to herself pointlessly. It does not control me.

A swath of gray clouds washed the sun away, and the air grew cooler. Finley kept moving, passing a beat-up landscaping truck parked near the sidewalk. Beside it, an old man in a wide straw hat languidly trimmed stray branches with an enormous pair of clippers. She felt his eyes on her, but his face was in the shadow of his hat brim.

He wasn’t the only one staring. A few feet away stood another man, this one young, tousled, leaned against the wall of the building, smoking a cigarette, pinching it between his thumb and forefinger. Baggy jeans, sweatshirt too big. Looked like he could use a shower. Had she seen him before?

“Nice ride,” he said as she drew nearer.

He had sunken hazel eyes and the determined slouch of the very tall. He must have been over six feet. She did know him, actually. He always sat in the back row of the lecture hall. He had a look about him that she knew too well, heavy lidded and glassy—a stoner like the people she was trying to get away from in Seattle. She could even smell it on him a little, that sweet tang under the tobacco.

“Thanks,” she said, glancing behind her. The roadster was out of sight, but he must have seen her ride in.

“Ready for the exam?” he asked.

The noise had quieted a bit, but she could still hear it. What did it mean? Was she supposed to know why the noise had come back?

She glanced around, but as per usual in The Hollows, there was nothing to see but trees and sky. Not that it was a bad thing, really, the nothingness. She needed a little less excitement in her life, didn’t she? That’s why she’d come here—to get quiet, to study, to learn more about her abilities from Eloise, to figure out what the hell she was going to do with her life. In the absolutely-zero-going-on department, The Hollows seemed happy to oblige.

“Maybe,” she said. “You?”

“I might do okay,” he said.

He offered a smile that managed to be sweet and a little mischievous all at once.

He stuck out a hand. “Jason,” he said.


The sound was gone. She looked around and there was just the landscaper trimming, snip, snip, snip. Finley sensed that the gardener was still staring beneath the wide brim of that hat. She couldn’t see his face really, but she could feel the heat of his gaze.

Dirty old man.

In another life, she’d have flipped him off. But she was trying to invite less trouble into her life. Our choices, even the small ones, all have consequences, her mother always said. Giving some old gardener the finger was probably a fine example of a bad choice.

She was about to go inside instead when she saw them in the distance by the tall oak tree. The Three Sisters—Abigail, Sarah, and Patience, daughters of Faith Good and Finley’s distant relatives on the maternal side (obviously). They had been dancing in the periphery of Finley’s life since she was a little girl, her constant companions, friends, troublemakers, confidantes, and whisperers of secret things. They’d been strangely quiet, in fact mostly absent, since Finley had arrived in The Hollows. Now, here they were. Patience sitting quietly, bent over a book, her dark hair pulled back into a tight bun, collar buttoned up to her chin; Abigail spinning around pointlessly, long skirts and wild auburn hair flouncing, like a child playing a game only she understood; Sarah, pale and blonde, watching her, laughing. As ever, Finley was as pleased to see them as she was wary. What are you up to, girls? And then they were gone.

“I was going to grab some coffee,” she said after a moment of watching. “And go over my notes.”

If he wondered what she was staring at, he didn’t ask.

“Sounds like a plan,” he said. He followed her inside to the small commissary adjacent to the psych building.

The coffee at the commissary wasn’t too bad. She ordered a double shot and sat down at a table by the window, opened her notebook. Jason sat across from her, took out his laptop.

“You’re old school, huh?”

“I guess so,” she said.

She took notes in class, then copied them over when she got home. That’s how her mom had taught her to study. Even though most people had their laptops or tablets in class, tapping all through the lecture, Finley still preferred the black-and-white mottled composition notebook. Things didn’t seem real unless they were written in ink on paper. Words on a screen floated, seemed virtual and insubstantial. Ink sank in and stayed, rooted in the real world.

Finley hadn’t exactly invited Jason to sit, and she was afraid that he was going to keep talking, but he didn’t. In fact, there was something so easy about his energy that she forgot he was there as they read in silence and then walked together to class. He gave her a nod as if to say good luck, and they each went to the seats they had occupied all semester. Then she pushed him out of her head. No boys. She had enough trouble with Rainer, her ex-boyfriend from Seattle who had followed her—unbidden—to The Hollows and was now, annoyingly, tending bar at Jake’s Pub, a cop hangout just off the town square.

*  *  *

Finley took her exam, losing time and herself as she focused on the pages in front of her. The squeak-clink had receded to just the faintest whisper on the edge of her consciousness, and for a time she forgot about it altogether.

Meet the Author

Lisa Unger is an award-winning New York Times and internationally bestselling author. Her novels have sold more than two million copies and have been translated into twenty-six languages. She lives in Florida. Visit LisaUnger.com.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Ink and Bone: A Novel 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Abslutely rivetingl i could not put the book down... this a keeper and one i know i shall read again. I also plan to read more of her books. She is a great find...thank you
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could barely put the book down towards the end. Very good storyline however Im not convinced the end was really the end. Whaaaaaattttt!? Im really disappointed! It just didnt add up with the entire storyline. Sequel please!
feather_lashes 3 months ago
Have you ever had a talent or gift you didn't want? You just want to give it back and say, “No thank you”? The main character in Ink and Bone is dealing with this big time. She's psychic and how can you not acknowledge a gift of that magnitude when it is sure to help others? Ethically, morally, it's the right thing to do like it or not. And if this supernatural stuff is going to happen to you anyway, you might as well put it to good use. Ink and Bone was the first book I've read from Lisa Unger. Overall, I liked it. It starts off with a horrific crime that leaves you waiting for (and desperately needing) closure. But Ink and Bone is more about psychic Finley Montgomery's character than it is the mystery. That doesn't mean there isn't a mystery/thriller/somewhat horror component – there certainly is, it's just very character centered which isn't a bad thing, especially when you like said character, which I did :) My favorite quote: "We almost never feel ready for any of life's passages, and often we must move through them all the same."
lauralovesreviewingLT 4 months ago
After reading the synopsis for this book, no way was I not reading it. A father and son shot, left wounded in the Hollows while the daughter, Abbey, is dragged away by her abductor. A young woman, haunted by dreams and ghosts, paints her body with tattoos, slowly losing control of her gifts. The Hollows, buried in winter snow, not giving up it’s secrets. A mother struggling to stay sane, makes a last desperate attempt to find her daughter. I enjoy it when a story pulls me in right from the beginning and the author did just that. I lost track of things going on around me and kept reading …. kept reading, until I was done. The character’s are strongly developed and drive the story, and the plot is busy and exhilarating, reminding me of a dangerous winding road. You race around each bend, never knowing what waits in the road to send the story out of control. A real page turner for anyone looking for a thriller with some suspense and horror, plus a bit of the paranormal thrown in.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She padded into the clusters of trees and sat.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good plot but i found myseelf skipping lines but maybe im just in the wrong age group too young to apreciate divorce details and other little things withe the skimming it was good and really disturbing thats how you know a book is good though
Gorcon More than 1 year ago
While I normally avoid books that reflect our society's violence, especially towards children and young women, Lisa Unger's books set in The Hollows, NY all have drawn me in. This was no exception. The story is heartwrenching, and if you don't like endings that aren't happily ever after, it's best to stay away. The characters feel very real, as well they could be, as this storyline plays out too frequently in real life. I like that all of these books can be read as stand alones, but several characters are in all the books. About the only thing I disliked about this book was how accepting one of the characters is about marital infidelity, and how much attention seemed to be paid to the acceptance of it. I hope we will see more of Finley and Jones Cooper in the future, as I am definitely hooked.
MsArdychan More than 1 year ago
I've got a confession to make: I picked this up by (a happy) mistake! I thought I was getting the audiobook version of Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine, an epic fantasy. Instead I got this gritty, scary, gem of a book and I couldn't have been more lucky! It was thoroughly entertaining. The story revolves mainly around two people: Finley, a teenage psychic, and the mother of a missing child named Merri. Finley's struggle for self identity is one that is universal. While they may not have psychic powers, most young people are trying hard to figure out who they are apart from how their family sees them. Finley is fighting to be her own person, doing anything that will set her apart such as riding a motorcycle and covering herself in tattoos. She enjoys being reckless, but she also is starting to realize she doesn't want to be stoned, hungover, or hanging with people who can only think of partying. Trying to get her life together, she flees to The Hollows to start college. She wants to concentrate on school, exams, and on her on again, off again boyfriend, but the things she dreams about, sees and hears cannot be ignored. Merri is living a nightmare. Her beautiful child, Abby, is abducted during a family vacation at The Hollows. Almost a year of searches and media attention has taken a toll on her already shaky marriage. Her husband is ready to move on but she can't let go. Merri contacts a private detective who works with Finley's grandmother (another psychic) to make one more attempt at finding Abby. I loved not only these women's personal dramas, but also the central mystery of where Abby might be. And are there other girls sharing her fate? Where is she being held? Could her abductors be hiding in plain sight? The book does a wonderful job of inhabiting the lives of each character. I found the scenes of Abby creepy and frightening. You root for her to be found. I found it impossible to stop listening to this audiobook. It was suspenseful and had an urgency that was mesmerizing.
BuckeyeAngel More than 1 year ago
Finley had moved with her grandmother and was now attending Sacred Heart College. Her grandmother -Eloise- lived in The Hollows. Finley saw the dead and they always wanted something from her. Finley was learning to control what she seen or heard. Finley was trying to train to control herself to take in information when the time was right so her life would not get controlled. Finley’s mother Amanda was not happy about Finley being in The Hollows. Amanda did tell Finley she was like her great Aunt Emily: wild, fearless, creative, and headstrong. Finley had sleeves of tattoos on her arms. Each tattoo represented something Finley had seen in a vision or her dreams. Finley had started getting tattoos when she was sixteen. Eloise was a renown psychic medium. She knew the world of spirits was completely different from the world of the body. Finley rode her motorcycle to school and when on her bike she found quiet as far as the dead went it was just Finley. Finley also seen distant relatives Patience, Sarah and Abigail. Patience was sweet and the youngest, Sarah quiet and the middle sister and Abigail was the oldest and would be the one to lead Finley to get in trouble.The sisters were burnt at the stake at the ages of twelve, fourteen and sixteen. Finley had seen the sisters since she was five or maybe forever. She had not seen the sisters as much since coming to The Hallows. When at school Finley decided to get a cup of coffee and seen a classmate he came to talk to her and said his name was Jason. Finley wouldn’t say she was happy but didn’t feel the need to act out like she did in Seattle as she understood herself better and was calmer in The Hallows. Rainer/Rain had followed Finley to The Hallows, they had been together in Seattle but she wanted a break from everything and he was trying to give her space. Rain had opened up his own tattoo shop and he was the only one to ever tattoo Finley. He seemed to have a way to understand everything she wanted and how important it was to her. I absolutely love this story. It just had so much in it but did not overlap as some stories do. I didn’t want to put it down unless I had to. It just grabbed me right from the beginning. The plot was great as was the writing. There was action, love, mystery, suspense, secrets, kidnapping, PI, psychic, abilities, terror, and so much more. I loved the twists and turns in the story as well as the twists and turns Finley went through. I highly recommend. I received an ARC of this story for an honest review.
CArcidiacono More than 1 year ago
I could not put down this book. I have read all the books in the series and have liked them but I really liked this one a lot. Not sure if it is the strength of Finley and Eloise or the pull back to The Hollows. I was sad at what happened but I understand that it needed to, as life does go on. A well written, thrilling book. Good job Ms. Unger!
Florida_Bookworm More than 1 year ago
Confidence that only youth allows , still blissfully ignorant to the hard fact that consequences can be as unforgiving can be as asphalt on bare flesh.... Finley Montgomery never knew where she belonged in life until she went to live with her grandmother Eloise in the Hollows . Both Finley and Eloise had a gift that that type no one ever wanted. They were both what the Hollows calls " Dreamers" or "Visionaries". Over the last few years Eloise with the help of her business partner Jones Cooper ex cop have helped solved missing person cases. Eloise had the ability to see things other could not see. Finely has come to discover that she like her beloved grandmother has the same ability. But unlike Eloise Finely was born with her gift. Eloise's gift came to her after her husband and daughter Emily perishished in a car accident. Little girls in the Hollows over the last few years have gone missing to never be heard from again. Abbey Gleason was the last to go missing while on a vacation in the Hollows with her mother Merri and father Wolf and brother Jackson. Months have passed and after many searches Abbey has never been found just like the others. Abbeys mom hires Jones Cooper and Eloise to help find her missing daughter so her family can be whole again. Eloise lets Finely take the lead on this and what happens thru there journey to find a little girl leads to Finely not only finding her true self but helping many others get closure and redemption. There were good people and bad ones, people with secrets and dark appetites, happy people and people bucklin under the weight of grief and sorrow. There were people who were looking for things and loved ones that had lost and people hiding. There were lost people ,trying to find their way home . Each of them was connected to the others in a way that were obvious or as hidden as the abandoned mine tunnels beneath the ground. Each has his purpose and his place in the Hollows, whether he knew it or not . Every thing there had its time and its season. My Thoughts: This book was very well written. Lisa Unger has a way to always keep you wanting to turn the page even if its 2 am and your dead tired you just want to see what is going to happen. Easy to follow and easy to keep every one straight even though there were numerous characters. The Characters were fun and realistic to a point. The relationships felt real and not forced. the development of each character was good. Easy to follow where they came from and who they belonged to. The Ending was sad but unexpected. I always love a good surprise on a good mystery book. You think you know and then BAM!! you don't. Thank you Netgalley for the early edition. - This was a great book and I would highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Real page turner.
SeaKyle More than 1 year ago
Very, very good story. Well written, great characters, really great ending. A perfect combination of all things that makes you want to read the next chapter in the main characters story.
BookBridget More than 1 year ago
I adored this book! I read Ink and Bone in 2.5 days! I read this out on my deck in early summer. I enjoyed everything – the fresh air, the sunny day and the book. This is my second Lisa Unger book. I also read Fragile. I really liked Fragile but this book was so different than the other read; which is good because sometimes an author’s work can be too similar to other books. Finley (college aged girl) relocates from the Northwest to the Northeast (NY state) to get away from many things (partying friends, family stress, boyfriend and disturbing dreams). The dreams continue after the move, and the loser/abusive boyfriend follows her but Finley’s grandmother helps her understand her dreams and visions and how to harness her talents. With coaxing/coaching from her grandmother and a PI, Finley ends up in the middle is of dangerous missing person investigation of a missing young girl. We also get to know the family of the missing girl, their story and how they are dealing with her disappearance. The book has many twists and turns and even a “Sixth Sense” moment so it does not disappoint. I loved the book! Thank you NetGalley and Touchstone Publishing for providing me with an ARC of this book!
Laura_at_125Pages More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars rounded up Ink and Bone by Lisa Unger so surpassed my expectations. I was thinking it would be a sort of twisty read with a little psychic juju thrown in. But man, I was not expecting to read a dark thriller steeped in hauntings and the pull of a small town to a young woman with true psychic powers. Finley is the granddaughter of Eloise Montgomery a renowned psychic. Finley has had apparitions surrounding her as long as she can remember. Raised by a mother who does not want to believe, when she is twenty, Finley moves to The Hollows, a small town in New York to live with her grandmother. There she meets a mother searching for her abducted daughter and she begins the hunt. What follows is a heart pounding search that may leave more than just the child missing. I really loved the plot of Ink and Bone. It was different and really kept me guessing. At times I got the sense that I was missing bits of the story and wondered if it was a series. I found that the grandmother has been featured in books before, but never Finley. Lisa Unger’s writing is vibrant and conveys a sense of dread and hope equally in a fantastic blend. The pacing was spot-on and kept speeding towards the end at a rapid pace. The world had a few tiny issues for me, but that is down to it having been created in previous books that I have not read (yet). Damn, the emotions were off the chart at times. Love, hate, fear, longing and pure terror all mixed to an almost perfect blend. I loved Finley and Eloise as the main characters. There was a kindof love interest mixed in that I didn’t think fit with the rest of the tone of the book, but that’s just me. Ink and Bone is just my kind of thriller. A touch of the supernatural, with a pulse pounding ending and a huge surprise at the very end. I can usually guess the “twist” end of a book, but not here and I loved that. While I could have done without the sort-of romance element thrown in, it did not make me dislike the read at all. I have not read anything by Lisa Unger before, but will be sure to snap up her others. I hope she continues to write Finley tales, as I am not done living in her world. Original review @ 125Pages.com I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
SheTreadsSoftly More than 1 year ago
Ink and Bone by Lisa Unger is a very highly recommended psychic psychological thriller. The prologue immediately seized my attention. A father and son are shot while a young girl, Abbey, is kidnapped by two strange men. They were simply taking a hike in the woods while on a family vacation in upstate New York, near the small town called The Hollows. Finley Montgomery has escaped to her Grandmother Eloise's home in The Hallows, a small town in upstate New York. Finley is attending college there, but she really escaped to The Hallows to be with her grandmother. Both Finley and Eloise have psychic abilities and see spirits around them who are trying to communicate with them. Finley needs her grandmother's help to learn how to deal with her ability and, perhaps, manage to assert some control over it. The young girl's mother, Merri, needs to return to the site of the abduction of Abby to try and find some clue or help. She has turned to private investigator Jonas Cooper who has worked with Eloise in the past to solve cases using her ability. Eloise is unable to help him, but she tells him that it is her granddaughter, Finley, who may be able to read the psychic clues around that will solve the case of the missing girl. Finley is unsure she's the one to help because she's just trying to learn to control what she sees and hears. Soon it becomes clear that Finley is the one Jonas will have to work with. At the start of chapters is the story of a young girl being held hostage and called by a different name by a strange, cruel family. Filey is a great character and it will be exciting to see her development in future stories. She's got an edge to her along with all the extra stuff she has to deal with. The Hallows is its own character too. It calls the people it wants to be there and I imagine that will continue is some capacity. Lisa Unger has a winner with Ink and Bone. Naturally it is very well written, with a tight, intense plot, great character development, carefully placed clues, and heart stopping scenes. Although it could be considered part of a series set in The Hallows, it is most certainly also a stand-alone novel. I don't want to even approach anything near a spoiler, but I can say that there are several stunning developments in the plot at the end. Disclosure: My advanced reading copy was courtesy of the publisher for review purposes.
DianeD54 More than 1 year ago
This is another fantastic book by Lisa Unger! It will grab you right from the start and you won't be able to put it down. Those familiar with her other books set in The Hollows will definitely enjoy the return. There is a quote from this book that I love and it just keeps replaying in my head. "We don't always choose who we are, or what we experience. We just choose what we do with it all." - Lisa Unger from Ink and Bone Thank you to Lisa Unger for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Bookaholic_Cindy More than 1 year ago
When starting a novel by Lisa Unger, plan on not wanting to put it down until the last page is turned! Then you'll still be wanting more. She grabs you into the story from the beginning with an innocent hike in the woods. From there we move back and forth through a suspense filled, supernatural psychological thriller with a touch of horror. It will appeal to a variety of readers. I know I loved every bit of it! Having read previous books by the author with the setting in The Hollows, it was like meeting up with old friends. I love how the characters come to life with her words. I'm glad I had read them in order but it can be read as a stand-alone novel since you will get enough background info on the main characters so you won't feel lost. But I'm positive that if you read one, you'll want to read them all! I'm hoping there will be more books that take place in The Hollows. I not sure I'd want to live there but it makes for an extremely exciting story. I've enjoyed seeing Finley grow and accept her special gift to help others. As always, with books written by Lisa Unger, I would recommend this as a definite must read novel! * Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for a copy of this book to read. This review is my own honest opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was given a pre release book of this book for a honest review. I am a new reader of Lisa Unger and I am so glad I found her. She is an amazing author with very thought provoking books. This book was amazing. I will not go in to the plot or give anything away. I hate when reviewers give too much information away. The book had plenty of twists and turns and I did not see the ending coming. Definitely a great book and will continue to wait for more books to come out by her.
Reens53 More than 1 year ago
Lisa Unger has done it again. Ink and Bones is a great mystery, I could not put it down, a real page turner. If you can, read The Whispering Hollows three novellas before delving into this novel to understand the strange happenings that is happing in the Hollows a little better.
Diane Keenoy More than 1 year ago
I was lucky enough to get the ARC directly from Lisa Unger, the author. On one hand, I was really thrilled but, then, I thought what if I don't like it? Well, that didn't happen, I read this book straight through and loved it! There's a lot going on here in The Hollows. Finley Montgomery has always seen people that no one else can see and they are starting to get out of control. She decides to move to The Hollows to live with her grandmother, Eloise Montgomery, a psychic who has been working with Jones Cooper, a detective. She needs her grandmother's help in getting a handle on her own gift. Merri Gleason is a mother who has been looking for her daughter who disappeared ten months ago. Her family has fallen apart after the loss of her daughter and she has nothing else to lose, so she goes to Jones Cooper for help. It's Finley, though, who's getting messages from a young girl and she, more so than her grandmother, starts working on this case. As they get into the investigation, they find out that Merri's daughter, Abbey is not the only young girl to go missing from The Hollows. There are so many layers to this story that it is difficult to put down and I didn't until I finished it. It went on sale this week, don't miss it!
DMS1962 More than 1 year ago
“The Hollows gets what it wants, no matter what.” What exactly does it want? Well, you will have to read Ink and Bone to find out. Ink and Bone introduces readers to Finley Montgomery. Finley has moved to The Hollows to live with her grandmother, Eloise. Eloise developed psychic abilities after a tragedy earlier in her life, and passed those down to her daughter, who passed them down to Finley. Finley is just starting to recognize, understand and control these abilities. And, at Eloise’s urging, she joins forces with James Cooper to figure out what happened to a little girl who went missing while on vacation with her family in The Hollows. This book is a real page-turner, and is impossible to put down until the last page has been turned. There are twists and turns that will keep you guessing. And it defies classification. Is it a mystery? Yes. A psychological thriller? Yes. Love story? You got it! Does it show the power of hope and faith? Yes, indeed! Does it examine the family relationships? Absolutely. The relationship between man and nature? Without a doubt! This book really has something for everyone. Ink and Bone is the fourth book in The Hollows series, following Fragile, Darkness, My Old Friend and In the Blood. You can read this book without having read the earlier books (though many characters were introduced earlier.) But once you have finished, and caught your breath, you will want to go back to the beginning of the series and read it forward. Why? Because The Hollows gets what it wants!
SMGonzalez More than 1 year ago
Unger beautifully weaves the thrilling, surprising plot with profound truths that speak to your heart. It is rare to have an author entwine a tantalizing thriller with reflective and insightful concepts so brilliantly. I loved the suspense along with the complexity of the characters. I could read Unger’s writing all day long. The book revolves around making your way, trusting your instincts and finding the courage to accept yourself and others. Within these larger themes, is a thriller that has you guessing to the end. The final twist will surprise even the seasoned suspense/thriller reader. Unger’s use of strong lead women is a welcomed change in this genre. I enjoyed the journey in which I got to know Finley, Penny, and Merri. They all represented strength and courage in different ways. I love that you are able to know these characters and relate to them on a level you don’t find a lot in this category of books. Unger gives you robust characters, emotion and drama all with within a page turning suspense story with Ink and Bone. It will leave you thinking about it long after you read the last page. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone.