Publishers Weekly Starred Review
Another sterling entry in a truly outstanding series”
Booklist Starred Review
DCI Bill Slider tackles the coldest of cold cases in this absorbing mystery.
A young couple discover human remains buried in the garden of their new house: could this be the resting place of 14-year-old Amanda Knight, who disappeared from the same garden two decades before, and was never seen again?
The problem comes almost as a relief to DCI Slider, still suffering from the fallout of his previous case. He is not popular with the Powers That Be, and his immediate boss, Detective Superintendent Porson, reckons that at least this little puzzle will keep Slider out of trouble. After all, with a murder twenty years in the past, this is the coldest of cold cases. Most of the suspects and principal players are now dead too, and all passion is long spent … Or is it?
Read an Excerpt
There comes a point in the life of a balloon when it has lost so much air that its taut, festive body becomes sagging, wrinkled and – well, frankly, sad. DCI Ron Carver’s retirement party had reached that stage.
Slider cast an experienced look round the upstairs room of the White Horse and saw that the inevitable end was not far away. The young marrieds were eyeing their watches and wondering how soon they could leave. The young unmarrieds were eyeing each other and wondering how soon they could leave. The divorced and miserable were trying with increasing desperation to neck the equivalent of the gross national product of Belgium. A few career bunnies were holding the centre of the room and talking hard about Home Office initiatives and crime statistics. And a few old lags, Carver’s bosom buddies, were making a lot of noise in the corner where Carver himself was getting determinedly bladdered.
Carver was a miserable bastard, who had raised resentment to an art form, and his leaving do was appropriately cheerless. The Osman Room – named with no apparent irony after some dreary character in a popular soap – had clearly been decorated by someone with terminal depression. There was a table with food – mini pork pies, scotch eggs, and the sort of sausage rolls that bend. There was drink – party kegs of beer, and a few grudging bottles of Australian shardonay for ‘the wimmin’: female police officers, and a boot-faced civilian clerk who had already done eight years hard as DS Benny Cook’s mistress, with no hope of parole.
There was even a cake, a vast flat rectangle covered in rubbery fondant icing, decorated with Carver’s name and two dates, as though it were his tombstone. Inside, Slider knew from sad experience, the cake would be a desiccated industrial ‘sponge’, sandwiched with a red substance in which even the most detailed DNA test would fail to find anything related to the raspberry.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.5 STARS A human skeleton is found in the garden of a house newly inhabited by a young couple. Twenty years ago teenager Amanda Knight disappeared from the same area. Could this be the missing teen? DCI Bill Slider and his team are charged with investigating. But after so many years, there is no evidence, and a lot of the people who were questioned back then are no longer in the area or have passed. With police corruption hanging over their heads, Slider almsot welcomes a cold case. It will keep him busy and keep him out of the public eye at the same time. This is the 19th book featuring DCI Bill Slider. While reading this one, there are a lot of references to previous cases. The book was not fast paced, and it was more mysterious than suspenseful. I did enjoy the characters and the humor that sparked along the way. OLD BONES is a fairly good British police procedural. Many thanks to the author / Severn House / Netgalley for the advanced digital copy of OLD BONES. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
Another great Slider mystery. One caveat thouh, you must read the book before or you wont understand the backstory.
A British Police Procedural that's written with wit and intelligence.