You all probably know how much I love the books by Tess Gerritsen and you also probably know how much I love all things Victorian, so imagine if the two things were combined, it would be just the perfect read. That is exactly what ‘The Bone Garden’ is and as you might guess I won’t be recommending it to you enough. Even if you haven’t tried Gerritsen before or have never planned to give this book a whirl do give this post a read and you might just be convinced.
‘The Bone Garden’ is something a little bit different from the other Tess Gerritsen novels that I have read so far in the fact that really this is a historical mystery and a modern mystery set in alternating chapters and, you guessed it, somehow they both link to each other in a way that twists and turns as you read along.
As the book opens we read a letter regarding ‘The West End Reaper’ who terrified Boston in the 1830’s. I have to admit I did go and google to see if ‘The West End Reaper’ actually existed which shows how believable the story is. It is also a nod in the direction of the UK’s very own ‘Jack The Ripper’ a mystery which still puzzled the world today. We are then taken to modern day Boston where Julia Hamill has recently bought a new house after a messy divorce and whilst clearing the garden discovers a skeleton. Alternating between Julia’s efforts to find out who the body is and why its there and going to the events of the 1830’s which proves to be a particularly gripping romp and mystery combined, especially as you learn that one of the characters became one of the pioneers in medicine.
I liked the modern elements of the novel yet it was definitely the older period of the book which got me hooked especially when seen through the eyes of our plucky (I hope that word doesn’t put people off) heroine Rose Connelley and Norris Marshall a young farm boy who gets accepted at medicine school despite all odds and must do all he can, including grave robbing, to support himself. There is also the man Oliver Wendell Holmes (who I thought was Gerritsen’s homage to Sherlock but is actually real) and the mysterious cloaked figure who is determined to murder at any cost.
In some ways ‘The Bone Garden’ has been described as a spin off from the Isles and Rizzoli novels which have become one of my favourite series to read. Realistically though there is no Rizzoli in this novel and not as much Isles as you might think from the blurb, though Isles does appear on and off in the modern alternating part of the story and its always nice to see a friendly character now and again. Yet I would say if you haven’t given Tess Gerritsen a whirl and you fancy trying her out then this would be a great starting point (though I would of course say start the series with ‘The Surgeon’ if you are after the modern storylines alone).
I really enjoyed this and it has been the perfect read to help cure a rather depressing period of reading difficulty. It is also yet further proof of why Gerritsen deserves to be the number one best seller in the UK which she has been with her latest novel. So should you want a gripping historical mystery, some winter escapism or to give Gerritsen a whirl; then you can’t go wrong with this. 8/10.
Anyone else given this a whirl or any other of Tess Gerritsen’s novels? There will be a special post tomorrow which will give you much more insight into the world of Tess Gerritsen. I shall say no more for now!!
I was bought this book as a present a couple of years ago, I am savouring the series as they come though (even though I now realise its actually a seperate novel rather than part of the series).