Bone Yard lives up to grisly title

TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER/The Book Worm

This summer stretches out before you…

And it’s already packed: reunions, ball games, barbecues, long-awaited household projects. Can’t wait.

Or not. Perhaps you’re looking at a lot of empty spaces in your calendar with little to do. The summer stretches out before you, and it feels like forever.

Dr. Bill Brockton, too, was unenthusiastic about the season ahead and the busywork that filled it. He was hoping for some gentle distraction, but in the new novel “The Bone Yard” by Jefferson Bass, the diversion stretched his definition of cruelty.

Angie St. Claire had such promise.

With a sharp eye and a knack for critical thinking, Angie was the star of the forensic investigation class that Bill Brockton taught at the U of Tennessee’s Body Farm. But when she left the class abruptly after a troubling phone call, Brockton wondered if he’d ever hear from her again. And then she called him. Angie needed help.

Told that her sister had killed herself after a night of arguing with her husband, Angie was skeptical.

Kate wasn’t depressed or suicidal – Angie was sure of it, just as she was sure that Kate’s husband was trying to get away with murder.

She needed an expert to go over what southern Georgia officials might have missed. She needed the opinion of a forensic anthropologist like Dr. Bill Brockman. And besides, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement could use Brockman’s services, too: a local dog had found an old human skull in a remote area, and authorities were eager to close an easy case.

But the skull was no ancient artifact.

It had once held the thoughts and dreams of a 12-to-14-year-old boy, and his death was relatively recent. Judging from the injuries he’d suffered, he didn’t die of natural causes, either. In fact, there was every reason to believe the child had been murdered.

And then another child’s skull was found, then a femur, and the dog and his owner were found dead. Somebody was – had been? – on a murderous rampage that apparently included torture. But why wasn’t anyone missing these children?

When the truth came out, it was almost more than a seen-it-all forensic detective could possibly handle…

When I started “The Bone Yard”, I figured I’d just read for a few minutes before bedtime. But there is no such thing as “just a few minutes” when it comes to Body Farm novels, and though the plotline is a little too convenient at times, it sure was good to see Bill Brockman again.

Authors Jon Jefferson (a novelist) and Dr. Bill Bass (founder of the University of Tennessee’s Body Farm) add plenty of authenticity to “The Bone Yard”; more, when you consider that part of it is based loosely on actual events. Despite the occasional implausibility, those details make for a sure-fire, gruesomely realistic page-turner that whodunit fans will relish.

If you’re looking for good, shivery, escapist fun for the summer ahead, “The Bone Yard” is your book. Start it soon – even though it is a little bit of a stretch.

Just Posted

There’s still time to stamp your Passport to Christmas

There are 50 Ponoka businesses participating

Photos: 2019 Ponoka CP Holiday Train stop

Featuring Madeline Merlo and Scott Helman

Ponoka Food Bank doubles number of hampers given away last month

Comparing the first two weeks in November in 2018 and 2019

PHOTOS: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas …

Winter wonderland of lights: Everywhere you go in Ponoka, people are getting… Continue reading

Ponoka family physician retiring after 40 years of service to community

Dr. Brendan Bunting is hanging up his stethoscope after 40 years as… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: Ethical and sustainable gifts for the season

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Man accused in toddler son’s death inept parent, not murderer: defence

Toddler’s body was found outside Good Shepherd Anglican Church in April 2017

Job numbers disappointing, but oil and gas growth expected in 2020: Kenney

Unemployment rate in Alberta rose to 7.2 per cent from 6.7 per cent last month

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Feds approve Alberta’s carbon tax on big industrial emitters

Tax will be applied on 10 per cent of emissions produced by the province’s biggest polluters

Appeal denied: Alberta’s top court upholds conviction of triple-murderer

Douglas Garland was convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of a couple and their grandson

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Economy lost 71,200 jobs in November, unemployment rate climbs to 5.9%

Jobless rate is at its highest since August 2018, when it hit 6%

Most Read