What if the figure that haunted your nightmares as child, the myth of the man in the woods, was real? He’ll slice your flesh. Your bones he’ll keep. Twenty years ago, four teenagers went exploring in the local woods, trying to find to the supposed home of The Bone Keeper. Only three returned. Now, a woman is found wandering the streets of Liverpool, horrifically injured, claiming to have fled the Bone Keeper. Investigating officer DC Louise Henderson must convince sceptical colleagues that this urban myth might be flesh and blood. But when a body is unearthed in the woodland the woman has fled from, the case takes on a much darker tone. The disappeared have been found. And their killer is watching every move the police make.
The Bone Keeper is a creepy, at times downright scary, mysterious and original serial killer thriller.
“I didn’t think you could be that scared and still live, you know”
The story starts with an atmospheric, albeit terrifying, prologue, Before, then jumps to Now and continues to move back and forth throughout the book gradually piecing together what has occurred. Now is no less terrifying as a woman is found wandering a Liverpool street, having been hideously and gut-churningly tortured, and claiming that The Bone Keeper did it.
Most of the story follows Detective Constable Louise Henderson and her immediate superior Detective Sergeant Paul Shipley as they investigate, but soon it becomes clear that this is a much bigger and murkier case than either of them could have predicted.
The story plays out in an engaging way and is well-plotted, showing how the investigation moves forward and grows, getting closer and closer to a very unnerving and unpalatable truth. The book has a quick pace for the most part although, at times, it did feel a bit like we were going round in circles – there was some noticeable repetition – and the ending, after such a pacy and exciting story, felt a little drawn out and overlong.
There is a lot to enjoy here: it is creepy, some parts are particularly scary; it mostly moves along at a cracking pace; I really liked Louise and Paul; I enjoyed seeing how Before and Now came together; and there is a neat little surprise at the very end which will not help you sleep any better at night!
Thank you to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster UK Fiction for the ARC of The Bone Keeper.