Book Title: Bone Music
Author: Christopher Rice
REVIEWED BY: CHELSEA
Series: Burning Girl #1
Genres: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Crime Fiction
Pub Date: 03/01/18
There’s more than one way to stoke the flames of revenge…
Charlotte Rowe spent the first seven years of her life in the hands of the only parents she knew—a pair of serial killers who murdered her mother and tried to shape Charlotte in their own twisted image. If only the nightmare had ended when she was rescued. Instead, her real father exploited her tabloid-ready story for fame and profit—until Charlotte finally broke free from her ghoulish past and fled. Just when she thinks she has buried her personal hell forever, Charlotte is swept into a frightening new ordeal. Secretly dosed with an experimental drug, she’s endowed with a shocking new power—but pursued by a treacherous corporation desperate to control her.
Except from now on, if anybody is going to control Charlotte, it’s going to be Charlotte herself. She’s determined to use the extraordinary ability she now possesses to fight the kind of evil that shattered her life—by drawing a serial killer out from the shadows to face the righteous fury of a victim turned avenger.
They didn’t plan to kill my mother. She wasn’t like the other women, the ones they stalked and captured. The ones who came to in a cold root cellar miles from where they’d been abducted, hog-tied and disoriented, their faces pressed to the dirt floor.
What an opening, right? After a long and fruitless reading slump, I was beginning to think that maybe my love of thrillers had dissipated. The domestic, trendy, psychological thrillers just haven’t been doing it for me lately; I was in desperate need of an action packed plot with it’s own unique twists, and that’s exactly what I got while reading Bone Music. I’m lucky a friend recommended I read this with her, because I may have otherwise missed out on a top ten read of 2018 in my stubborn misconceptions. I know, you’re thinking you won’t enjoy this book because you don’t like anything set outside the natural realm, but the supernatural elements are so subtle and believable that they seem, well, quite natural! I’m not one for superhero novels where the characters wear their underpants on the outside of their clothes and show up typically in comic books, but I am ALL ABOUT medically induced vigilantes and large corporations with morally ambiguous intentions.
I’m not sure I could give you a worthy plot introduction if I tried, but just know going in that this story is so complex and has so many working parts that come together, you couldn’t be bored if you tried. We do begin with Charlotte/Trina’s backstory of being raised by a husband and wife serial killing duo, followed by the rest of her childhood being raised by her biological father and then her maternal grandmother, but this section is just a brief snippet. The following story is influenced by this past, but there are many other side plots, such as reconnecting with old acquaintances and stopping a current day, super demented serial killer called ” The Mask Maker”. *shudders* I won’t go into details as to save from spoiling the story, but if you are a super squeamish reader you may want to pass on this one. However, if you enjoy the more gruesome types of thrillers and don’t mind a little gore in your crime fiction, you will eat this up.
What really set Bone Music apart for me was the characters. Because this is a longer book (450+ pages), we easily get to know our cast without sacrificing action or those pesky pacing issues. Here, each character is memorable and unique; this helped the book feel grounded in the natural and made the subtle supernatural/medical pieces seem so realistic you feel as if Charlotte’s situation could happen to anyone in our world. This is by no means a fantasy tale or hefty science fiction; I would place it into the category of the other greats, such as Stephen King, who’s true talent is making the unbelievable seem very natural. (In all fairness though I feel like this is more of a compulsive, mainstream type of read than King’s work.) The fact that this is the debut to a new series also pleased me greatly; there are too many pieces to try and fit into a standalone novel, and Charlotte’s story and gifts make me excited to see explored in future books with their own individual cases. I’m really interested to see where the author takes us next as the possibilities are endless.
I could ramble on and on about this book, and if you’ve read it and want to discuss please message me, but for now I just want to emphasize how much I think you should read this. Aside from the squeamish folks I mentioned above, if you enjoy fast-paced thrillers with a strong female protagonist, YOU NEED THIS BOOK. Seriously, rush over to Amazon and click dat button. I can’t remember the last time the debut to a new series has gotten me this worked up; Charlotte Rowe is an incredibly intelligent, fabulously flawed, emotionally empathetic character and you really need to meet her. Come on, I’ll introduce you right now. At the time of this writing, the ebook is set at a reasonably priced $4.99, unless you have kindle unlimited because then it’s free! Hooray! Highly recommended and I sincerely hope you enjoy this read as much as I did.
*Many thanks to LMS Marketing for providing my review copy.