The Bone Garden

Front Cover
Ballantine Books, 2008 - Fiction - 502 pages
7 Reviews
Unknown bones, untold secrets, and unsolved crimes from the distant past cast ominous shadows on the present in the dazzling new thriller from New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen.

Present day: Julia Hamill has made a horrifying discovery on the grounds of her new home in rural Massachusetts: a skull buried in the rocky soil–human, female, and, according to the trained eye of Boston medical examiner Maura Isles, scarred with the unmistakable marks of murder. But whoever this nameless woman was, and whatever befell her, is knowledge lost to another time. . . .

Boston, 1830: In order to pay for his education, Norris Marshall, a talented but penniless student at Boston Medical College, has joined the ranks of local “resurrectionists”–those who plunder graveyards and harvest the dead for sale on the black market. Yet even this ghoulish commerce pales beside the shocking murder of a nurse found mutilated on the university hospital grounds. And when a distinguished doctor meets the same grisly fate, Norris finds that trafficking in the illicit cadaver trade has made him a prime suspect.

To prove his innocence, Norris must track down the only witness to have glimpsed the killer: Rose Connolly, a beautiful seamstress from the Boston slums who fears she may be the next victim. Joined by a sardonic, keenly intelligent young man named Oliver Wendell Holmes, Norris and Rose comb the city–from its grim cemeteries and autopsy suites to its glittering mansions and centers of Brahmin power–on the trail of a maniacal fiend who lurks where least expected . . . and who waits for his next lethal opportunity.

With unflagging suspense and pitch-perfect period detail, The Bone Garden deftly interweaves the thrilling narratives of its nineteenth- and twenty-first century protagonists, tracing the dark mystery at its heart across time and place to a finale as ingeniously conceived as it is shocking. Bold, bloody, and brilliant, this is Tess Gerritsen’s finest achievement to date.

"An old mystery is crossed with a modern story in the latest from Gerritsen (The Mephisto Club, 2006, etc.).Julia Hamill, newly divorced and still smarting, purchases an old house outside Boston. Determined to dig a garden, she instead finds the bones of a long-dead woman–the apparent victim of murder–which starts her on a journey to ferret out the story behind her death. Julia connects with Henry, a no-nonsense 89-year-old with boxes of documents that once belonged to the now-deceased previous owner of Julia’s home. The two discover a mystery dating back to the 1830s. At the heart of it is a baby named Meggie, born to the beautiful but doomed Irish chambermaid, Aurnia. Married to a man who cares nothing for her, Aurnia lays dying in a maternity ward with her sister, Rose, at her side. Rose, a spirited 17-year-old, takes Meggie to protect her from Aurnia’s husband, but soon finds herself the target of a bizarre manhunt. Someone is after the child–and Rose, as well, because she witnessed a horrifying murder. The body count piles up as Rose struggles to remain free of those who would take Meggie from her. Meanwhile, a young medical student becomes the chief suspect of the West End Reaper killings when he stumbles onto another terrible homicide. Although he fights the prospect, eventually he and Rose join forces to solve the murders and protect the baby at the heart of the mysterious deaths. Readers with delicate stomachs may find Gerritsen’s graphic descriptions of corpse dissection hard to take, but the story, which digs up a dark Boston of times long past, entices readers to keep turning pages long after their bedtimes."
-Kirkus Reviews(starred)


From the Hardcover edition.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lisajoanne - LibraryThing

This is a GREAT novel with some really interesting historical connections like Oliver Wendell Holmes and the practice of medicine in the early 19th century. The characters - both "present" and 19th ... Read full review

Favorite Read Ever

User Review  - PinkDiamondFrost - Borders

I loved this book! I started reading it on my lunch breaks at work and soon couldn't put it down-read the last 100 pages or so in a bubble bath because I just couldn't bare to stop at that point. So ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
3
Section 3
17
Section 4
31
Section 5
38
Section 6
60
Section 7
88
Section 8
116
Section 21
303
Section 22
328
Section 23
331
Section 24
344
Section 25
357
Section 26
359
Section 27
375
Section 28
393

Section 9
140
Section 10
156
Section 11
171
Section 12
182
Section 13
195
Section 14
205
Section 15
214
Section 16
245
Section 17
254
Section 18
255
Section 19
276
Section 20
288
Section 29
400
Section 30
412
Section 31
427
Section 32
439
Section 33
449
Section 34
473
Section 35
476
Section 36
485
Section 37
486
Section 38
488
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Tess Gerritsen is a physician and an internationally bestselling author. She gained nationwide acclaim for her first novel of medical suspense, the New York Times bestseller Harvest. She is also the author of the bestsellers The Mephisto Club, Vanish, Body Double, The Sinner, The Apprentice, The Surgeon, Life Support, Bloodstream, and Gravity. Tess Gerritsen lives in Maine. Visit her website at www.tessgerritsen.com.


From the Hardcover edition.

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