The Bone Garden

My most recent read was the most interesting one this year! If you enjoy medical thrillers, you will love The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen. This book jumps between present day and the middle 1800’s, guiding the reader through a series of murders and written letters asking the questions who is the West End Reaper and whose skeleton was found in a present day character’s garden.

Julia recently bought a fixer upper cottage that sits on a lot of history, including a skeleton she accidentally digs up while gardening. This discovery reaches the ears of an elderly man named Henry who can shed some light on Julia’s unexpected find through some letters in his possession that talks about a killer in 1830 called the West End Reaper. Julia wants to know who she found in her yard and gets that answer plus much more when Henry and her read these nineteenth century letters from the man who witnessed the story of the killer.

I throughly enjoyed this book not only because it was fast paced and interesting, it was also gruesome, bloody and

Photo curtsey of tessgerritsen.com

Photo credit to tessgerritsen.com

down right mysterious. I generally don’t like reading books that jump back and forth between centuries simply because they don’t flow easily through the story. Gerritsen made sure that jumping between present day and the 1830’s was a natural, easy transition. When our present day characters are reading the letters, we (the readers) are watching the story play out in 1830 and not reading the letters with them. After the letter/past story was finished, we jumped back to the present with Julia and Henry. Another element that I loved about this story, is the medical terminology and insight we get from the 1830’s portion of the story. Not many books (that I have read) have such great detail about what the medical world was like in the nineteenth century, it was interesting and was the main reason why the book was so interesting to me. This book was so detailed; the characters, the murders, surgeries, doctors, students, blood, tears, fear, love and mystery all entwine to make an addicting read that you can’t put down. I couldn’t and didn’t even try to stop reading!

As always, I do have one thing I have to talk about that one thing I didn’t like about the novel. The ending wasn’t climatic enough for me. The reader finds out who the Reaper is (and it isn’t who I thought it was) and that was my biggest disappointment. I wanted the Reaper to be who I thought they would be. I was hoping there would be a big fight or the Reaper would be caught and condemned to death; it was a strong, easy ending for the book just not as eventful as it should have been.

The Plus Side:
Detailed, adventurous read
Well written and easy to follow
Straight up addicting and unpredictable
Has extremely interesting medical talk and situations 

The Negative Side:
Ending was anti-climatic

Overall, I would recommend this book a hundred times even if you have no interest in medical thrillers because this book will grab you by the eyes and pull you in whether you want to go or not. 

Rating: 4.5/5

Up Next: Frost Bite by Richelle Mead

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