"You would be hard-pressed to find a finer new series than Tom Bouman’s Henry Farrell novels because of the complexity of the plots or the richness of the characters, but what it really comes down to is just damn good writing."
Winner of the 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.
Dry Bones in the Valley is the first book in the Henry Farrell series. Tom Bouman's Officer Farrell returns in Fateful Mornings.
"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."
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.
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.
A standout debut with an authenticity of place and character rare in any form of literature.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"Grit-lit meets wry suspense, along with a keen rendering of place and politics."
"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."
"[Incorporates] literary elementsthick atmosphere, regional rootedness, social scopeinto an actual fast-paced mystery series."
"An exciting and disturbing debut… Bouman brings his world to life with texture that gives every room and vehicle and person a history and character, keeping us immersed in this mesmerizing and often terrifying story."
"Debut author Tom Bouman is a gem… Recommended for your end of summer pleasure."