Saturday, March 16, 2013

IN THE BONES by Renee Miller_Review

Review of In the Bones by Renee Millerex
5 stars

“In the Bones” is an exceptionally complex novel, one which in the form of a multiple-mystery/suspense actually treats of many important issues. A large cast of characters serves as backdrop to the setting, a tiny and inexplicable town in rural Canada called “Albertsville,” a town of almost no business and industry, yet of extraordinary, and well-shared, wealth. The community is run by a “Reeve” (in medieval England that was the chief administrator, often the Sheriff), who is elected, but is actually an inherited position. The current psychopathic incumbent is one Carroll Albert, a man of intrinsic and almost unlimited evil. That’s the evil end of the continuum, along with Farley, and Calvin (who does have some human qualities, which Farley doesn’t). The good is represented by a newcomer, Ryan Cassidy, who only moves to Albertsville to fulfill the terms of this deceased paternal grandparents’ will, which requires him to live in the farmhouse for one year, in order to inherit. With his mother and stepfather both deceased, Ryan decides to take this opportunity, and perhaps finally write the novel he has been pondering. Soon after his arrival, he decides that Albertsville is like its own soap opera (I would say an evil Peyton Place), and plans to fictionalize it; but it’s scarcely days before his life takes some really ugly turns, as Carroll Albert’s paranoia has already deemed Ryan Cassidy a worse troublemaker than his late father and grandparents.

“In the Bones” is a really well-written story, and very suspenseful. Thank goodness for the character of Ryan Cassidy and his moral integrity, because there’s very little of either in Albertsville. But Ryan is a character for whom the reader feels enormous empathy.

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