The Bone House
Author: Brian Freeman
Acts of kindness are meant to help others. But, when Glory Fischer enters the garage with her special package in hand, finding her friend and hoping to provide protection not only for the kitten she so wants to protect but hope to keep him safe from harm. Mr. Bone keeps the key under the window ledge of the garage. The night is hot, the heat is unbearable and the garage not a place anyone should be. A pickup truck with a filthy covering and a wooden ladder are some of the decorations. Rotten smells, steps and splinters touch her hands as feet as she climbs up to the top of the loft filled with paint cans and blankets that reek from mold. But, what happens next will startle the reader, bring chills down your spine and make you wonder what is real or imaginary. What did she really see? What caused the fumes of gasoline to be spread and who poured it? Why didn’t they know she was there? One flame, one match and a towering inferno would ignite. How did she survive? She was only ten.
Fast-forward six years to when Glory is 16, not a sweet and innocent young girl and out to prove her worth. Door County, Wisconsin is a small town where gossip reigns, opinions are formed and predators seek out the weak. Mark Bradley is either a victim of one young girl’s delusions and fantasies or a serial killer in the guise of an educator, husband and friend. One young girl, Tresa Fischer, so infatuated with him hurled accusations against him claiming they had an affair. But, educators face ridicule and often, as Mark did face dismissal, embarrassment and false charges even when they are not guilty. Mark lost his job as a teacher because everyone believed the loudest voice, Tresa’s. So, why would he stop and take the time to worry about her sister Glory. Mark could not sleep and decided to walk the beach only to encounter Glory who was stone drunk. Rather than leave her to her own devices he tries to bring her back to the hotel where she is staying with her family but instead what happens will reopen wounds and old doors. Glory offers herself to him but Mark insists on taking her home. How, does she wind up dead?
Glory Fischer witnesses the murder of Nettie Bone and her two sons Karl and Scott. Although her husband was arrested for the murder he escaped before the trial. Mark was guilty without one. But, what happens next would once again shed the beacon of light on him. Mark was devoid of any happiness and was angered losing his job and nothing his wife Hilary would say would appease him. Learning about the body found would ignite questions in her mind. Finding out that it was even more.
Detective Cab Bolton drew the case. Laya Mosqueda the lead crime scene analyst together they would have to piece it together. Cab Bolton was not your typical cop. With a rich trust fund and LA style appearance many resented him and others just envied. But one-thing rings true being a cop is what he loved. Finding the body on the beach, drunk but strangled. Cab is not a member of the community and the residents are not quick to open up to him. Tresa was in Door County for a dance competition and Glory along with her boyfriend Troy came along to cheer her on. All roads would lead to Mark Bradley as Lala relates his past to Mark.
All Hilary could say or think was “Not Again.” Pedophiles are not anyone you want teaching your child or even living in your community. Although she know her husband was innocent of the first crime, and not arrested for it, what about the murder of this young girl? Small towns are often filled with cliques and the end result was Mark and Tresa denying the affair but the town still disbelievers.
Amy Leigh and Katie Monroe are on their way back from the dance competition when Amy pulls up an article about the murder on her laptop. Katie, the more distant and analytical of the two tries to counteract her fears about that night as she recounts what she remembers and focuses her attention on their dance coach Gary who plays a role in the events. Glory and Gary had some type of relationship causing her to be upset that night, seemed fearful and afraid according to witnesses and definitely drunk. But, Amy closes her eyes and flashes to dream that ignites more fears where she sees a figure dressed in black, turns around and it's her dance coach placing his arms around her neck. How this connects to the murder and what she sees remains to be seen. Added to the mix is the fact that Mark and Hilary have not come forward about his encounter with Glory. Interviewing her sister and her boyfriend yielded different opinions and views of the same girl. As Tresa describes her sister as troubled, using drugs and having a lot of relationships with boys and she was just 16, Troy describes her as if she was an Eveready battery that was permanently charged and he could hardly keep up. As Cab thinks about Glory’s death he remembers another one this one caused by him. As the layers unfold more comes to light as Mark comes in for questioning and Delia, Glory’s mother arrives. The encounter is harsh; the words are not to be taken lightly as she openly accuses him in front of others and to Hilary’s face of killing Glory. Why was she upset? Who did she see that she knew that day and why didn’t she confide in anyone? Does this relate to the fire?
The author relates the events of the fire not only to some of the characters, reliving it with others helping the reader to understand why so many were against Mark and Hilary and the rationale, if you could call it that behind the vandalism on Mark’s home when they return home. Added to that is Mark’s encounter with Cab, his lack of responses and the cold feeling you come away with when he and Cab are in the same room. Cab relates to the reader his reasons for his lack of emotional involvement when the author flashes back to Vivian. But, the town is about to emerge and the sheriff and his old friend confer what happen happens will bring more than just chills down your spine as one man is once again branded with a capital M across his chest before all of the facts are in. As you learn more a out Glory’s mother, sister and her boyfriend you begin to wonder who really cared about her and who was used by her and their true feelings for this young girl. As Amy is once again in the picture and feels she might have information that would put the light on someone else. So, why does she contact her coach and why might that the wrong move?
Things really heat up when someone tries to kill both Mark and Hilary and the evidence points in several other directions but which road will lead to the real killer: Door County or somewhere closer to Mark’s home?
The author places the light on many different suspects. Mark losing his job, Glory guilty of taking drugs, drinking under age and having sex with many guys, did she deserve to die? What and who did she see in the garage? What about Gary the coach what is his he hiding? What about the Sheriff and his friend Pete why do they hate Mark so much and why did Delia insist that he had sex with her daughter? What will the DNA show and why was Glory singing the song by Billy Joel: We didn’t start the fire? Who Did? What about Harris Bone?
When the lies unravel and the truths unfold one town will never be the same as more lives are lost, suspects are in place and the ending will send shock waves all the way from Door County and across the state of Florida and back again. Just who murdered Glory and why? Who or what did she really see that night when the fire started? One book that keeps the reader on edge until you learn the hidden secrets that lie beneath the walls of The Bone House. What really happened? Read the book and unravel the clues, the secrets and find out if Cab is really that great detective, what really happened in his life that reflects on his present job when you take the journey to Door County and decide whether you want to live there or not. When a teacher is wrongly accused will the truth ever come out? One great book, one outstanding thriller one author whose work I will definitely read more of.
This book gets: Five Special Stars
Fran Lewis: reviewer
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