Bone by Bone

Bone by Bone

by Carol O'Connell

Paperback(Tall Rack Paperback - Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425231050
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/03/2009
Series: A Mallory Novel Series , #11
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 606,922
Product dimensions: 4.25(w) x 7.63(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Carol O'Connell is the author of eight previous Mallory novels, including the national bestseller Winter House, and of Judas Child.

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Bone by Bone 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Twenty years ago, then seventeen Oren Hobbs and his fifteen years old brother Josh are walking in the woods taking separate paths. When they fail to meet up, Oren searches for his sibling but his efforts prove unsuccessful; the Coventry, California townsfolk attempts to find Josh also are futile. It is as if the teen just vanished into thin air. His despondent father sends Oren to boarding school and Oren thinks it is because he didn¿t want to look at him as a reminder of their loss; from their Oren joins the army where he becomes a CID investigator. He leaves the force when the family housekeeper informs him his father is dying.

Oren returns home for the first time in two decades only to find his dad in perfect health. Something creepy is happening top his family, which is why the housekeeper asked him to come home. Josh¿s bones are left on the porch every night and his dad places them in a coffin in Josh¿s room every morning. Someone appears to know where Josh was killed and the sheriff, not interested in a cold case, gives Oren permission to investigate. Like any town, Coventry has its dark secrets, which Oren plans to bring into the light so that he and his family can finally attain closure.

Whereas Mallory takes a breather, the great Carol O'Connell provides a deep psychological suspense thriller that will give readers goose-bumps. Readers see skeletons in the closet slowly revealed as Oren gets closer to the truth. The eccentric support cast provides a strong feeling of small-town California living while their point of view enhances the cold case whodunit investigation. However, as with the Mallory series, Ms. O¿Connor digs deep into the lingering psychological aftermath of human atrocities on surviving family members and their circle of friends and neighbors; the entire town of Coventry is still haunted twenty hears after the tragedy.

Harriet Klausner
VSliker More than 1 year ago
Bone by Bone was my first Carol O'Connell book. Two words sum up this book: Character Driven. It's the characters that draw me into a book, the characters who cause me to set the book down or continue reading, and when I opened this book, the characters grabbed me instantly. (the small town setting was no less draw either) Oren, a recently retired criminal investigator for the Army, returns home after a 20-year banishment. Page by page, like peeling an onion, we learn the story behind his banishment. Page by page we peel back the crusty shell around his father's heart and experience the lifetime love of Hannah, the housekeeper who raised Oren and sustained Oren's father through tremendous loss. Page by page we unravel the mysterious disappearance of Oren's brother, Josh and the mysterious reappearance of Josh's bones, appearing one by one on Hannah's front patio. Character by character we wonder "who dunnit?" Character by character we glimpse into the human struggles of life, experiencing the weight of mental illness, the obsession of selfish love, the hardship of physical handicap, the shame of low self-esteem and the loneliness of self-protective fear. And it's all tied together with a mystery in which the reader plays detective. I'm going to try some of O'Connell's Mallory novels, but I'm a huge Amelia Sach's fan (Jeffery Deaver) and an even bigger Kay Scarpetta fan (Patricia Cornwell) and I keep Temperance Brennan (Kathy Reichs) for backup if Sachs or Scrapetta are otherwise occupied, so Kathy Mallory will have to work hard to earn a spot on my bookshelf with these ladies, but good luck to her, the game is on.
Cohee More than 1 year ago
Although I'm a huge fan of Detective Mallory, I took a chance because Carol O'Connell is such a talented author. This book was such a surprise, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I couldn't stop reading it. Anyone who's looking for a good "who-done it?" will find this book fits the bill. It was a true page turner and I can't wait for her next title!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book for book club. Had a hard time following the story line and who was who with the characters. By the time I got to the middle of the story, I had sorted out the characters. The book is good. Did have a surprise ending.
MaDonnaLA More than 1 year ago
Worst book I've read in a long time. I could never get into the characters or get a good visual. I kept reading to finish, thinking it had to get better, but never did. I found myself speed reading just to get to the end.
citygirl on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Series writer produces stand alone in a totally different setting, an unusual and creepy small town in Northern California peopled with affluent eccentrics. Twenty year old disappearance case revisited by victim's brother/prime suspect/ex-Army investigator. O'Connell's characteristicly wicked emotional violence and disturbing characters are at play. Multilayered. I will probably enjoy a re-read in coming years.Why: I buy O'Connell in hardback at the earliest opportunity without even reading the synopsis blurb. I guess I'm addicted.
Storeetllr on LibraryThing 25 days ago
This is a stand-alone mystery/thriller and is good but not as good as Judas Child, her other stand-alone, which I thought was fantastic. Of course, her Mallory mysteries ~ in particular, Find Me, are favorites of mine. I hope she writes more of Mallory, but, even if she decides to move on and write either another series or more stand-alones, I'll be grateful and a faithful reader.
mangaphan on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Bone by Bone was an amazing read.To make this a decent review, I know I should write more, but I am going to keep this short and simple as I did when I did the write up at amazon.1. Carol O'Connell just gets better with each book she writes.2. There is no Mallory in this novel, but that's okay because I want more of Oren Hobbs.3. As to the rest, I have this to say: If you like a good mystery with great characterizations, well rounded plot and smooth prose that makes the reading a pleasure, then this is your book.I will admit that it is not for everyone. There are a lot of characters to keep track of and it can see like it is a little too much for some, but for me, it hit all my reading pleasure points, so I gave it the 5 stars.
pstotts on LibraryThing 25 days ago
What is every parent¿s worst nightmare? Kids getting bad grades? They don¿t make any friends? Not even close. Every parent¿s worst nightmare is that their child will go out to play, and never come home. Now imagine that this actually happened, how could anything be worse than this? How about by having that missing child come home twenty years later¿bone by bone. This is the setup behind Carol O¿Connell¿s latest thriller ¿Bone by Bone,¿ a wonderfully captivating tale filled with great characters and a clever and engaging mystery.One day, the sons of Judge Henry Hobbs, Joshua and Oren, go out into the woods to play. That evening though Oren returns alone. Every available resident in the town of Coventry helps search the woods to find little Josh Hobbs, but strangely he is never located. The news ripples through the town like a shockwave. People warmly recollect their memories of Josh; Josh following them around with his camera and snapping candid pictures of the Coventry townsfolk. After a while, Josh¿s older brother Oren is sent away from Coventry by his father. Not surprisingly, this incident only sparks more speculation and rumor-mongering among the nosy townspeople. What could be worse than having one of your sons disappear? How about having the other one accused of killing him. Twenty years have passed and after receiving a letter from his father¿s housekeeper, Hannah, which hints at his father¿s ailing health, Oren returns to Coventry. When he arrives at his father¿s door, he¿s not only startled by the appearance of Hannah, but by what was left at the front door, namely a human bone. Discussing recent events with Hannah, Oren comes to shockingly discover that his brother has been coming home bone by bone for weeks now. While the family now has confirmation that Joshua is dead, they must suddenly unravel the mystery of who found him, killed him and is now sending him back one bone at a time. Even though the town banded together twenty years earlier to find Josh, not all of them are totally clueless about what happened that fateful day. Oren becomes fixated on discovering who killed his brother and clearing his family. In the process, he discovers that everyone in town has their own dirty little secret to hide and his brother may have paid dearly for photographing some of them.The story¿s mystery arc is well-plotted and executed by a masterful hand, producing an extremely captivating read. Carol O¿Connell does an excellent job of developing the back-story for all the characters, providing a depth to them that makes each character incredibly relatable to the reader. Her fine characterizations had me cheering for the protagonists and despising the villains, and are the reason the novel works so well. I empathized with Oren¿s struggle to uncover the mystery of his brother¿s disappearance and subsequent gruesome return. And even more, I was engaged by it.The plot in ¿Bone by Bone¿ is intricate and shrewdly crafted. It contains many blind corners that I never saw coming. The narrative moves quickly, the mystery unfolding or complicating at a rapid pace. Dull moments won¿t be found here. O¿Connell sprinkles a little trail of breadcrumbs throughout the story to entice her audience, not enough to spoil the conclusion, but with enough substance to let the reader speculate on possible outcomes. The climax of the book did not disappoint, wrapping everything up beautifully in a stunning conclusion. The only drawback to the novel is that the extremely short story breaks felt schizophrenic since each one changed the focus to a different character. If anything, this made the story harder to follow and get into. Last Word:Despite a somewhat schizophrenic nature due to its rapid pacing and intricate storyline, ¿Bone by Bone¿ delivers a bucketful of thrills and chills. It¿s a story that will pull at your heart strings, while at the same time making you seethe with anger at some of the characters. If you¿re in the mood for a great m
mcna217 on LibraryThing 25 days ago
I had really looked forward to reading and reviewing "Bone by Bone" by Carol O'Connell. I enjoy murder mysteries, I had read great reviews of the author's previous books, and was also intrigued by the book's premise. However, I must say I was disappointed by this novel.The first pages were engaging enough, as the groundwork for the story was laid out. It tells of Oren, an Army investigator who returns home to investigate his brother's disappearance. Soon however, I lost interest in continuing this book. It was set in Northern California (where I have lived for years) but this was not the region I know. This Northern California was populated exclusively by eccentrics and misfits like the town librarian who never bathes, the alcoholic who lives in a tower like Rapunzel, and the hotel owner who runs seances for her guests. There was not a SINGLE character who was not damaged in some way or another. I enjoy reading about unusual characters, but only if they're presented in a somewhat believable way. This cast of characters were just too unrealistic for my tastes. Additionally, the romance (if that's an accurate description) between Oren and Isabelle was absurd. Isabelle (a thirty-something professional) showed her affection for Oren by attempting to run him over with her car, or by kicking him in the shin. It reminded me of the schoolboy who shows his romantic interest by pulling his classmate's braid.Needless to say, I am unable to recommend "Bone by Bone". Even though I usually enjoy this genre, this particular book was not for me.
TrishNYC on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Oren returns home to Coventry, California after a twenty year absence. The event that precipitated his departure from Coventry was the disappearance of his younger brother, Josh. Suddenly, twenty years later his brother's bones begin appearing on the family porch almost night after night. So begins a very promising mystery about coming home to battle past demons and finally finding peace. By the time Oren returns home he is an excellent Army investigator whose reputation with the army is blemish free. He begins to investigate his brothers death and discovers many things about his home that were previously unknown to him. But as the investigation rolls along, the book begins to lose its way. The characters were just downright unrealistic in their behavior and motivations. Everyone has a back story that is filled with trauma and drama. There is the librarian who showers maybe once a year and her smell kept the library empty. There is the wife of the town tycoon who is a raving alcoholic and has a daughter, Isabelle, who though not as damaged as her mother has had to live with a mother who is slowly going mad with drink and a father who fuels the habit. There is also the housekeeper whose origins had remained obscured for more than forty years but was sure to be hiding something. It was just too much after awhile. It began to feel more like a mental institution rather than a town. The relationship between Oren and Isabelle has to be one of the worst storylines I have ever read. Isabelle is obviously in love with Oren and has probably been so since she was about eleven. But because Oren refused to dance with her at a party, she proceeds to show her love for him from then on by ignoring him. When he returns to town, she sees him in the street and after having not seen him in twenty years, she walks up to him and kicks him in the shins. Her next encounters with him involve her trying to run him over with her car and almost running him over with her horse. Seriously!!! Who writes this stuff? I felt like I was reading a Mills and Boon novel. Did I mention that by this point both Oren and Isabelle are in their thirties? And sadly enough we are supposed to take this as some sort of legitimate courtship. Did I mention that they never actually spoke to each other after the incident at the party? The actual mystery got lost in the mix of all this unnecessary stuff. It is sad that this book was so exciting and enjoyable at first and lost steam along the way and never fully recovered. By the time the mystery was solved, I have to say that it did not matter as much to me anymore who had done what. I believe that this writer has alot of potential as evidenced by the first part of the book but with this one I believe she missed the mark. An exciting mystery was derailed by an over abundance of eccentricity in the town and its character.
JGoto on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Carol O¿Connell¿s Bone By Bone is an engaging murder mystery. Oren Hobbs is called home to small town Coventry after a twenty year absence when his missing brother¿s body starts appearing on his father¿s doorstep, bone by bone. Oren uses skills learned as an army investigator to unearth clues to the unsolved murder that dates back to his childhood. Oren¿s younger brother, Josh, was a teenager with a great talent in photography at the time of his disappearance. The subjects of his photographs were the people of Coventry, and Josh¿s uncanny ability to capture their vulnerabilities produced photos that exposed many secrets. Using the photographs as clues, Oren uncovers a town full of people with questionable pasts. There is a former cop who was ambushed and scarred for life, a pedophile who stalked a boy he loved, an alcoholic who was slowly driven insane, and her husband, a shady lawyer with secrets of his own.The plot of Bone by Bone is suspenseful and reaches a satisfying conclusion to the mystery. On the other hand, there is a ridiculous relationship between Oren and Isabelle, the alcoholic¿s daughter. Oren had snubbed Isabelle by not dancing with her when she was eleven years old. When he returns to Coventry twenty years later, Isabelle¿s first reaction is to kick him. Later, she tries to run him down with her automobile. These actions get a chuckle from the woman who raised Oren, with a comment that they would eventually marry each other. O¿Connell could have developed a romantic relationship between Oren and a fiery woman without taking such an easy route and resorting to silliness. In my opinion, it compromised the quality of the book.
cmwilson101 on LibraryThing 25 days ago
This outstanding novel by Carol O'Connell is about a cold case. A teenage boy was killed 20 years prior to the story, and his brother has come home for the first time since the murder. The brother, Oren, is drawn into a quest for truth when he learns that someone has been leaving his brother's bones on the porch of the family home. As Oren investigates, it becomes clear that the question is not who killed his brother, but rather who did not -- everyone involved has secrets and motivation.O'Connell's writing is lyrical and beautiful. Characters are vividly drawn, and it is easy to sympathize with even the most flawed characters because O'Connell relays their hopes, dreams, and thoughts. It is impossible to guess the plot, and in fact sometimes it's necessary to stop and think through the implications of a seemingly trivial detail which is casually dropped into the story. In addition to the well-done characters and plot, O'Connell's writing also has an element of the unexpected which is delightful. For example, no one will enter the town library. This mentioned several times and little teasing hints as to why are dropped throughout the story. When it is finally revealed why, it makes perfect sense; but who besides O'Connell would include a strange, off-beat detail about a library that no one will enter? The story is littered with such quirks, which reflect the fact that in real life, not everything is cut and dried. People behave strangely, think illogically, and weird events occur. It's always a delight to read Carol O'Connell, on many different levels, and this book is one of her best.
IrishMonahan on LibraryThing 25 days ago
This book hooked me from beginning to end. I read the audio version, which may make a difference. The characters were very believable and so were the situations, once you understood the placement. Oren left home twenty years ago after his brother Josh failed to return from the woods surrounding their home. With allegations and accusations flying that Oren may have had a hand in Josh's disappearance, the Judge decides to send Oren far from the trouble at hand. By the time Oren returns to Coventry, which is in itself a rather messed up town of criminals and misfits, Hannah, the housekeeper is ill, the Judge is having strange dreams and Josh is coming home, bone by bone. The skull is the first bone that shows up with Oren's arrival. Having built a career as the best CID agent in the army, Oren sets out to find out the truth about his brother's disappearance. The whole town could have done it, but the ending is a great surprise. I enjoyed the CID agent sent to investigate the sheriff, Josh's disappearance and Oren. She was not what I would have expected for this character, but she was so funny and on cue that I couldn't help adore her.
kraaivrouw on LibraryThing 25 days ago
I really like Carol O'Connell's Mallory series of books & enjoyed her other stand-alone book, Judas Child, so I picked this one up with anticipation. I enjoyed this book, but not quite as much as her others.This is a gothic confection of a tale about two brothers who go into the woods with only one returning & what happens 20 years later when Oren, the surviving brother returns home to find that his missing brother is returning home - bone by bone.The opening chapters and setup are great. There are some wonderful eccentrics populating the small town of Coventry, CA where the action takes place. There is one scene late in the book, depicting a dance between two characters who were once lovers that is breathtaking & this small set of 3-4 paragraphs alone would be worth the read.There are some downsides. The book is ultimately more plot than character - sharp departure from O'Connell's other books. In particular, O'Connell seems too distanced from her central characters, Oren & Josh, making them less interesting than some more fleshed out minor characters which makes the impetus of the whole thing less interesting. O'Connell's writing and plotting seem much less precise here than in any of her other books. The plot tends to wander about an awful lot in ways that seem more calculated than natural - another difference between this and her other books.For all that, this is a fun read & should tide Mallory fans over until the next one in that series.
alyson on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Picked this based on Melissa's review. It sure get me occupied during the April snowstorm. The small town was a little too small and did one "normal" person live there? Doesn't matter - I enjoyed it anyway.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While the premise of the story initially sounded interesting, the execution was painfully lacking. Characters were laughably undeveloped, unbelievable and uninteresting. The plot was never established – just chapters of stories of whacky characters that never tied meaningfully together and had big GAPS in the storyline. There was no suspense, no page turning. Even the reveal of the killer was contrived (let’s just find a less than plausible/uninteresting/non-suspenseful, etc. person just to end this (that was the only gift from the author -- ending the story)). COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was too disjointed and made no attempt to create any sympathy for anybody in it, even Oren. It was like a first novel.
Denverhawkeye More than 1 year ago
Carol O'Connell is one of my long-time favorites. I still miss Malory - but this is a very good, suspenseful, entertaining read.
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