Don’t you just love it when you discover a new author by pure chance? I know I do and that’s exactly what happened when I stumbled upon the brilliant thriller ‘A Thousand Bones’ by P.J. Parrish. Actually, as it happens, P.J. Parrish isn’t just one author as the name is a pseudonym used by sisters Kristy Montee and Kelly Nichols. If this book is anything to go by, then two brains definitely are better than one.
‘A Thousand Bones’ is number 8 in the Louis Kincaid series which comprises 10 novels. We join the story’s main character, Joe Frye, as she struggles to gain the courage to tell her lover, Louis Kincaid, about a dark secret from her past. We are then transported to 1975 where we join a younger rookie Frye who is drawn in by the discovery of human bones buried in the woods of Echo Bay. Frye’s determination ultimately earns her the respect of her fellow officers but not before she has to grapple with some very large egos. It soon becomes apparent that the Leelanau County Sheriff’s department is dealing with a serial killer who has been taking young girls and murdering them using sinister means. The narrative moves between the ongoing police investigation, Frye’s personal life, which is defined by her then lover Brad’s struggles to accept her career and what it entails, and an increasing understanding of the mind of the killer. The story is underpinned by Native American folklore, and in particular the Windigo, which adds an intriguing twist. In her quest to solve the crime Frye suffers great personal losses and goes on a journey of discovery about herself and what being a police officer truly means to her. When we rejoin the older, more experienced Frye and her lover at the end of the novel, we realise the true cost of this dynamic police investigation for Frye.
This book is truly brilliant. It grabbed my attention from the first page and held it until the final word. I found Joe Frye an intriguing character who demonstrated such incredible strength in the face of adversity. The novel is full of twists and turns and has a number of shocking moments which only enhance the reader’s enjoyment. Gory in places it is not for the faint hearted as murders are described in graphic detail. This gave the story a realistic edge which is often missing from novels I have previously read in this genre. I found that the novel played on my mind when I wasn’t reading it and I was thinking about the characters and what would happen to them next. If escapism and entertainment is what you are looking for I would recommend ‘A Thousand Bones’ to you. I am so pleased to have discovered P.J. Parrish and cannot wait to read more of their novels.