Friday, October 12, 2012

Review - The Skeleton Box

Title: The Skeleton Box
Author: Bryan Gruley
Publisher: Touchstone (June 5, 2012)
Format: Hardcover; Pgs 336
Genre: Mystery / Suspense
Source: Library
Series: Starvation Lake #3

As I have said before, if you combine hockey and murder, then the book is guaranteed to be an ideal fit for me. There is just something about small town hockey that draws me in. Now granted, the murder part and the history that got us there is not kid stuff. So in your mind, you will have to separate the two. If you are easily offended by the wrong doings of certain members of the Catholic Church, you might want to avoid this book altogether. Just a bit of forewarning.

Weekly bingo night has taken a bad turn, as the residences of Starvation Lake are off at their weekly social event; someone is breaking into their homes. Not stealing, just rifling through as if they are looking for something. What is most curious, the homes all belong to childhood girlfriends.

Bea Carpenter has begun her slow decent into dementia and her best friend, Phyllis Bontrager, has decided to stay with her this evening. The burglar did not expect anyone to be home and when Phyllis surprises him, bad goes to worse quickly.

Being the mother of his ex-girlfriend Darlene, Gus Carpenter has taken the loss personally. If it were not for him asking for her help with his mother, Phyllis would not have been there. Would not have lost her life, so Gus has taken on a personal search for the killer. As he took on this investigation, what he did not expect was that his mother was hiding a very old secret. A secret that had begun when a beloved Nun mysterious disappeared from Starvation Lake.

Starvation Lake, Michigan is changing. A religious group lead by an odd man has moved into trailers on Tatche’s property, Luke Whistler a reporter from Detroit has moved into Gus’s newspaper and a small town boy is finding out things about his mother that he wished could have stayed buried.

Spinning out of control and losing his bid for re-election, Sheriff Aho starts arresting everyone insight – including Bea. As her story unwinds, Gus is thrown into saving his mother and getting to the bottom of this mess. A bottom that has so many layers that the reader must pay close attention.

As compared to the two previous books in this series, I would call The Skeleton Box complex. You need to focus on each individual storyline and each individual character as their dramas unfold. The book has a very creepy-eerie feel. An isolated town in winter, a killer on the loose and a family secret. It is time that the truth comes out but there is no telling where this truth will eventually lead them.

Inspired by a true story of the disappearance of Sister Mary Jane Janina in Isadore, Michigan, in 1907.

No comments: