The Bones of You by Debbie Howells

26029974When Kate receives a phone call with news that Rosie Anderson is missing, she’s stunned and disturbed. Rosie is eighteen, the same age as Kate’s daughter, and a beautiful, quiet, and kind young woman. Though the locals are optimistic—girls like Rosie don’t get into real trouble—Kate’s sense of foreboding is confirmed when Rosie is found fatally beaten and stabbed.

Who would kill the perfect daughter, from the perfect family? Yet the more Kate entwines herself with the Andersons—graceful mother Jo, renowned journalist father Neal, watchful younger sister Delphine—the more she is convinced that not everything is as it seems. Anonymous notes arrive, urging Kate to unravel the tangled threads of Rosie’s life and death, though she has no idea where they will lead.

The Bones of You has left me perplexed.  I read it in only a couple of sittings and found it very compelling, I really couldn’t stop turning the pages.  Yet, I’m not sure how I feel about it having taken a few days between finishing it and writing the review.  I enjoyed it – I’m just not sure how much.

There is a lot to recommend it.  The plot is interesting and has plenty of twists and turns (leading to the page turning) and it is well written, with some great descriptive passages.  There is also a slightly supernatural element in that the story is not only told by Kate, the central character, but also by Rosie who hasn’t been able to move on after her death.  This isn’t something that would always appeal to me but I thought it was well done.

I found myself looking forward to the Rosie chapters, which I thought were really clever and felt haunting (which is basically what Rosie was doing).  Then I’d get back to Kate and feel a slight sinking.  And I think this is where my problem lies because although it’s a good story, I didn’t like Kate – at all.  I thought her reaction to Rosie’s disappearance was over the top and her response to Jo and Neal’s actions too slow.  It didn’t seem right and it didn’t seem believable.

I wanted more action from Kate and I think I expected that from the book blurb – her “unravelling tangled threads” – but it seemed she didn’t do much unravelling.  For me, she was more a bystander, albeit a close one – someone who happened to be at the right (or wrong) place at the right (or wrong) time.  I wanted more oomph and I wanted her to question more.  That she wasn’t / didn’t frustrated me and has left me with these mixed feelings about the book, which is a shame because it isn’t all bad.  It does mean though that whilst I liked this one but can’t go further than that – sorry!



Source: Library
Publisher: Pan
Publication Date: 31st December, 2015
Format: paperback
Pages: 380
Genre: mystery, crime
Find on: Amazon UK / Amazon US / Goodreads




    • I know other people haven’t felt the same way I did but I just like a bit more get up and go in my characters. Still, I’d read another Debbie Howells book as I think this is her first thriller.


  1. I’ve read this one and checked my review quickly and I was a little mixed as well though did enjoy it. I’ve got Howells’ next book on my NetGalley shelf to read.


  2. […] The Bones of You by Debbie Howells, one I couldn’t really get my head around.  I couldn’t stop turning pages but couldn’t get away with the central character either in this crime novel about a murdered teenage girl. […]


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