Quick Book Review: The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen

The Bone Garden by Tess GerritsenRating: 4/5
I read this in: English, the original language
Number of pages: 504
First published: 2007
Genre: thriller


I’ve read a few books by Gerritsen but this one is quite different from the hospital thrillers I know. There is some medical drama, but it’s in the past, in 1830. The story alternates between the past and the current time.

It all starts in modern times when Julia Hamill moves into a cottage. When she digs up the garden she finds some human bones. A family member of the previous owner has many old papers going back even to 1830 and Julia goes to visit this man, 89-year old Henry, to try and discover who used to live in her house and what their story is.

In 1830, Rose is left with her new-born baby niece when her sister dies while giving birth. It appears there are people that want to get hold of the baby, and she leaves her with a nurse maid. Then several people (who all were present at the birth) die at the hands of a shadowy figure.

When Norris Marshall, a medical student, is accused of the murders, his and Rose’s lives come together. They need to find out who the real killer is before Norris is convicted and hung.

The historical part was good and convincing. I could picture Rose’s poor circumstances very well. I didn’t find Rose very likeable but she was a good person, looking after her niece whatever it took. She was a resourceful person, and it was interesting to see how she solved the problems she came across.

The modern part of the story was a bit disjointed. A lot of what was described in the historical sections was assumed to be known in the current time. Julia and Henry had obviously found out that information while researching the past, but that was not made clear. To me, the fact that I knew what happened to Rose doesn’t mean Julia and Henry would necessarily know.

Overall it was a good read and if you’ve only read Gerritsen’s hospital books, you’re in for a surprise.

Extra: Other Gerritsen books – Harvest, Life SupportThe Sinner and The Mephisto Club.

A-Z Books Challenge

About Judith
I'm owner and editor at bookhelpline.com and bookhelpline.nl. We edit books and articles for independent writers.

8 Responses to Quick Book Review: The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen

  1. Nadine Nys says:

    I’ve never read a Gerritsen book, Judith, but I mean to, sometime. Now, should I start with this one or should I begin with one of her more ‘typical’ ones? Choises a person has to make…

    • Leeswammes says:

      Nadine, this book is totally independent from the other books (that I know) by Gerritsen, so this book will not really give you an introduction to her other work. You might better start with the books in the links at the bottom of my review – or read this book (it’s nice!) but not with the idea of getting an idea about Gerritsen’s work in general.

  2. I found this book interesting from the historical standpoint but I don’t think it really needed to be part of the Rizzoli and Isles series. I agree that the modern side didn’t seem to fit.

  3. Tes says:

    This sounds really interesting. I’m sure I will like this book 🙂

  4. Susan Oloier says:

    I like Gerritsen’s hospital thrillers (I have Harvest on by bookshelf right now). I think from an author’s point-of-view, it’s great Gerritsen broke out and wrote something new. From a reader’s (and branding) standpoint, I’m not sure I want to read it. I’m used to a specific genre from her.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Susan, I agree. This book could have been a totally different author, so that was a bit strange. Some authors use pseudonyms for books that don’t fit in their standard oevre and I think that could have been a good idea for this book.

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