Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by book blogger extraordinaire, Renee at It’s Book Talk. She started this weekly feature as a way to highlight old favourites and read books that have already been published. Sometimes, I feel like I need a serious kick in the pants to get some of my poor book babies that have been sitting lonely on my shelf. Following the mantra of my friend Amy at Novel Gossip, I figure participating in Throwback Thursday will help me to read at least one older title a week!
I have been very clear with my love of Tess Gerritsen’s Rizzoli and Isles series. I have also been a fan of her standalone novels, most of which are medical thrillers, so I was very excited when I made room in my reading schedule to read The Bone Garden, a standalone featuring the medical examiner, Dr. Maura Isles from her Rizzoli and Isles series. It was the best of both worlds for me!
Going back and forth through time, the plot is rolled out. First, in present time, Julia (a recently divorced woman) makes a discovery as she is doing home renovations: a skull, from a woman, buried in her garden. In Boston, 1830, a medical resident plunders graves and harvests the dead for sale on the black-market to pay for his education. However, when murders happen in the area, he finds that he is a prime suspect. To prove his innocence, he begins to search for anyone who witnessed the killings and comes across Rose, a beautiful seamstress from the slums who could very well be the killer’s next victim.
What struck me about The Bone Garden was that this novel had the same addictive voice but totally different vibe than the other Gerritsen novels I have read in the past. It all had all the features of her medical thrillers, all of the prime characterization and cool details but I found this one significantly slower than the others I have enjoyed. I think this may have come from the fact that the historical fiction piece is very large in this novel. I found that it worked, and I was intrigued at the beginning, but, by the end of the novel, I was finding myself bored.
I think fans of a more traditional historical thriller or historical fiction will really enjoy this novel, as it is brilliantly written, but, unfortunately, it was not my favourite novel by this author.