Book Review : The Bones of You by Debbie Howells

August 17, 2015 Book review 5 ★★★★

This book had me so jumpy from the very beginning.  The atmosphere was menacing and I could feel evil hiding around the pages just waiting to grab me!  Well maybe not me but definitely some of the characters!

Book Review : The Bones of You by Debbie HowellsThe Bones of You by Debbie Howells
Published by Pan Macmillan on July 16th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Psychological, Thriller
Pages: 380
Format: Hardcover
Source: Received from Publisher

I have a gardener's inherent belief in the natural order of things. Soft-petalled flowers that go to seed. The resolute passage of the seasons. Swallows that fly thousands of miles to follow the eternal summer.

Children who don't die before their parents.

A community in shock

When eighteen-year-old Rosie Anderson disappears, the idyllic village where she lived will never be the same again. Local gardener Kate is struck with guilt. She'd come to know Rosie well, and thought she understood her - perhaps better even than Rosie's own mother.

A family torn apart

Rosie was beautiful, kind and gentle. She came from a loving family and she had her whole life ahead of her. Who could possibly want to harm her? And why?

A keeper of secrets

Kate is convinced the police are missing something. She's certain that someone in the village knows more than they're letting on. As the investigation deepens, so does Kate's obsession with solving the mystery of what happened to Rosie

First Line of The Bones of You by Debbie Howells:

“I put down the phone and just stand there, completely still.”

Five reasons to read The Bones of You by Debbie Howells:

Beautiful writing:  Seriously the prose was gorgeous but it never got in the way of the plot.  I hate when descriptive writing slows down a story but here the plot and writing complemented each other so well.  For this alone, read the book!  The descriptions of nature and the flow of life were fab.

Dark shadowy mystery:  I’d describe this as ghostly and I’ve heard others compare it to The Lovely Bones and I can see why.  It’s not the same, in fact it’s very unique, but vibe is similar.

Village setting : I loved the English village setting.  At first glance it all seems so peaceful and idyllic but for some families it is far from that.  There is a sense of community and of neighbours who genuinely care but behind closed doors, there are unseen horrors.

Ugly, ugly, sick characters!  Characters that you will despise and that make you mad as hell.

Complex characters: Even the good characters (Kate, I love her) make some dubious decisions during the book.  At one point I wanted to reach into the book and shake some sense into Kate but life is never black and white and I appreciate when characters aren’t either.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: four-stars


What a début!  I love when an author digs into the undercurrents of family life and shows us the good, the bad and the unthinkable.  I was a bit bothered by the plot hole in one of the storylines as it was something the coroner would have immediately noticed and this stopped it being a five-star book for me.  But apart from that, I’m impressed and want to read more by Debbie Howell in the future.

Thanks to Pan MacMillan for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


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5 Responses to “Book Review : The Bones of You by Debbie Howells”

  1. R_Hunt @ View From My Home

    It was beautifully written, I loved the English small village setting, and the author is obviously talented, but I found the plot disturbing and some of the characters rather icky. I can’t say anymore without providing spoilers but I gave it 3 stars, (which means decent, good read for me) but I remember folks saying something like, wow- only 3 stars? This was great! Okay, maybe for most but not my taste. However, I would definitely try the next book by the author.
    R_Hunt @ View From My Home recently posted…Weekly Wrap-Up 8/16/15

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