Book Title: Inherit the Bones
Author: Emily Littlejohn
Series: Gemma Monroe #1
Genres: Contemporary, Crime Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Police Procedural
Date Read: 10/20/16
Pub Date: 11/01/16
Secrets and lies can’t stay buried forever in Cedar Valley.
In the summer, hikers and campers pack the small Colorado town’s meadows and fields. And in the winter, skiers and snowboarders take over the mountains. Season by season, year after year, time passes and the lies, like the aspens and evergreens that surround the town, take root and spread deep.
Now, someone has uncovered the lies, and it is his murder that continues a chain of events that began almost forty years ago. Detective Gemma Monroe’s investigation takes her from the seedy grounds of a traveling circus to the powerful homes of those who would control Cedar Valley’s future.
Six-months pregnant, with a partner she can’t trust and colleagues who know more than they’re saying, Gemma tracks a killer who will stop at nothing to keep those secrets buried.
When I saw “six months pregnant”, “female lead”, and “police procedural”, I knew this book was for me. Minotaur Books has published some seriously unique concepts in the past few years; another favorite series of mine that they produced is the Brigid Quinn novels by Becky Masterman featuring a female in a mature stage of life after retiring from the FBI. Since I love those books so much, I figured it was a safe bet that this new series would be for me. While it too me about 50 pages to really get absorbed in the story, I appreciate the author’s dedication to setting up the characters and detailing little snippets that would come back later in the story for big ah-ha moments.
If you have always liked the idea of reading a Karin Slaughter book, but find the graphic violence just too much, this might be the perfect read for you. The writing style and detailing is very similar, and while there is some violence, its much more tame and muted and limited only to necessary scenes instead of the gratuitous 400 pages of blood and guts you’d find elsewhere. For those who love the nasty darkness though, fear not; don’t mistake the lack of constant gory violence for boring. This book was heavy on the police procedural with scenes chucked in of hold-your-breath suspense. OMG the bathroom scene in the middle of the night? John, please don’t ever travel again.
I always like a series that has some aspects of continuation throughout the books with individual plots as well, and this was no different. I’m not 100% sure how the author will choose to press on, but she gave great closure to the case pertaining to this book, and even to many aspects of Gemma’s life. If I didn’t know this was a series, I might have thought this was a standalone. However, knowing it is a series has me looking back at smaller details thinking “Oh yeah, she could definitely go somewhere with this”. I’m really excited to see where Finn and Gemma’s partnership goes, and I’m hoping we get to see how Sam is doing as well. I’m still iffy on Brody, but we’ll see if he can win me over in the future.
The individual mystery, I felt, was good; while it was pretty standard and straight forward, it wasn’t simple. The author put a good deal of careful consideration and detail into tying multiple people in different places together to bring a cold case and recent murder into the limelight in similar timing. I can only imagine how difficult it was to get everything just right and have nothing slip through the cracks and contradicting; the author did a fantastic job of lining it all up and clearly did great research into making everything as believable as possible. I’m really excited to see where this series goes; it has 5 star potential in my book!
*Greatest of thanks to Minotaur Books for my copies in exchange for an honest review. In addition to my review copy, they sent a finished copy that you can enter to win HERE!
**I couldn’t find a place to add this where it flowed well, but wanted to mention I loved reading about the circus and all that goes into making those performances happen.