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.
I would like to thank Pan Macmillan and NetGalley for approving my request to read and review this book.
The perfect family...
Everything is perfect in Joanna Anderson's life: her surgically enhanced body, her elegant dresses, the imposing house, the well-groomed lawns and garden, her amazing husband ... her two perfect daughters.
"It's a lovely night for walking in the woods."
Everything is perfect... until one day eighteen-year-old Rosie, Joanna's eldest daughter goes missing, and is later found brutally murdered in the woods. Shockwaves ripple through the quiet village and everyone is dumbfounded.
Kate, a local gardener and horse trainer is in shock. The girl went to school with her daughter Grace and came frequently to their house to help her with the horses. Rosie was quiet, reserved and gentle. Who would harm such a lovely girl? And why? Kate is determined to find out.
Though this debut thriller involves murder, it is not a police procedural. It is mostly written from the point of view of Kate but also from that of Rosie... or more properly Rosie's spirit, after she's murdered. Rosie tries to tell us what has happened through snippets from her and her parents' past. But I want to clarify that though this book is very atmospheric, it is not a ghost story.
"The nicest people can have the darkest secrets."
So, Joanna's perfect world wasn't that perfect after all. As the saying goes 'not all that glitters is gold'. You can never know what dark secrets and maddening obsessions are hidden behind a person's smile.
I have to say that this book lacks any significant OMG moments or mind-blowing twists and turns. However, it's quite engaging and held my interest till the end. The story develops gradually, as the author unfurls the mystery page by page.
In my opinion, the fact that there is a murder involved with little or no police intervention somewhat reduces the story's credibility. Also, there were few possible perpetrators making it quite easy for me to suspect and then guess their identity early on in the book. This however, didn't reduce the impact the very disturbing and shocking ending had on me.
I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to read a good thriller with toxic family dynamics at its centre.
About the Author
Debbie self-published the women's commercial fiction novel Wildflowers before writing The Bones of You, her first psychological thriller.
She now writes full time from her home in a small West Sussex village where she lives with her family.
You can visit her blog at www.debbiehowells.blogspot.co.uk or follow her on Twitter @debbie__howells.