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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

#ATBR2019 Review: Bone Deep by Sandra Ireland @jessmapreviews

Bone Deep 
by Sandra Ireland

Publisher: Gallery Books
Publish Date: June 11, 2019
252 Pages
Genre: Thriller, Psychological Suspense

Is a story ever just a story?

Mac, a retired academic and writer, is working on a new collection of folktales, inspired by local legends, and at the insistence of her only child, Arthur, she hires a young assistant, Lucie, to live in a cottage on her property and help her transcribe them. What Arthur doesn’t know is that his mother is determined to keep the secrets of her past from ever being discovered. And what Mac doesn’t know is that Lucie has a few complicated secrets of her own.

The creaking presence of an ancient water mill next to Mac’s property that used to grind wheat into flour serves as an eerie counterpoint for these two women as they circle warily around each other, haunted by the local legend of two long-dead sisters, ready to point accusing fingers from the pages of history.

This atmospheric page turner evocatively gives voice to the question: What happens when you fall in love with the wrong person?

My Review:

"What happens when you fall in love with the wrong person?"

Lucie and Mac are brought together so Lucie can assist Mac as Mac writes her new collection of folktales.  But don't most authors put part of their own life into their stories? And just how telling are the stories they're writing?  Even local folklore has the tint of the past that still haunts the present.  When will that cause a fissure in the people surround this?

This certainly wasn't the story that I expected when I read the synopsis..  I mean, it IS, but it isn't.  A slow burn of psychological suspense, the crazy amps up with each turn of the page... once you get about halfway through.  This might have been just a TAD bit too slow for my liking.  However, I did appreciate the build up and continual atmospheric presence that the author built. 

There's always a little bit of an issue I have with a book within a book and while this was a bit minimal in this novel, I was still getting slightly confused between the characters from the book she was writing, to the person in her life to the present person speaking.  Confused yet? Yeah, me too.  I had small issues with a couple of other things that I won't spoil you on but it didn't impact the story TOO much to not still enjoy the story line for what it was. 

The author gives us insight into the person who is the mistress to the wife being betrayed and this resonates and certainly adds to the crazy factor, which I'm always all about.  Two opposites still feeling strongly and these feelings ramp into a very interesting scenario.  Take a gander if psychological suspense is your jam.


Jessica's Review:

Going into this I think was expecting more of a thriller as opposed to the slower building psychological suspense it ended up being. BONE DEEP is an enthralling read and Ireland pulls you in as the story progresses. You find yourself becoming more and more invested in Mac and Lucie which helped pick up the pacing for me.
Who doesn’t love a book about an author writing a book? Mac is working on a new book of a collection of folklore – ones that are inspired by local legends. I’m already excited, because folklore and urban legends are my thing. Mac hires Lucie as her assistant to stay with her and help with the writing. Little do these women know, they are both desperately trying to keep secrets hidden from each other. Things get increasingly complicated when a local legend of two dead sisters begins to mimic things around them.
I loved the writing and the way Ireland had the story unfold for the readers. It was atmospheric, captivating, and had a sense of growing dread. The only real drawback for me was the length of the chapters. Some got really long and as a chapter-to-chapter reader that made it drag a couple of times. But that is 100% a me thing, not the book itself. I just found myself looking ahead and counting the pages in the chapter before beginning a new one (only if I had other responsibilities going on – because life gets in the way of reading). Overall though, I would highly recommend this book! I really enjoyed it and will need to be picking up more from Sandra Ireland next time I’m at the bookstore.
3.5 stars

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