Monday, July 18, 2011
Bone Harvest: Review
Bone Harvest by Mary Logue is a bit more of a thriller than I usually read...it's also American and more recent. But I'm very glad that the Follow That Blurb Reading Challenge led me to it. It is a very absorbing read--quick-paced and well-written.
The story takes us back and forth between modern-day Wisconsin and the same town 50 years ago. In that small-town half a century ago, an entire family was murdered in a remote farmhouse. The town rocked from the impact of the horrible deed and eventually came to terms with the fact that the killer was never brought to justice. But one person never forgot what happened that day. And now, fifty years later, he wants the truth to come out. And he's willing to do some very dreadful things to see that it does. The modern portion of the story begins with a robbery at the local farm co-op. A large quantity of two very dangerous pesticides are the only things missing. And the thief has left a strange calling card: a tiny finger bone from a child long dead. Soon the pesticides are put to use--killing the flowers in front of the sheriff's office, poisoning a local farmer's chickens, and finally being mixed up in a deadly batch of lemonade at the annual Fourth of July Festivities. And with each occurrence another bone is left. Deputy Sheriff Claire Watkins is put in charge of the case and finds herself in a race against time to unravel the past before the next stage of the game.
Logue handles the parallel stories in a very deft manner. Her writing is fluid and quite beautiful, even when describing very horrible deeds. Her characters are strong, smart, and well-defined and she makes the reader care about the inhabitants of Pepin county. She even makes the culprit a very sympathetic character. The interludes where she shows us what he is doing and allows us to understand his character are just enough. Much more would have been too much. I enjoyed this story a lot--even though I recognized the culprit well before the end. Four stars out of five.