Her Perfect Bones
Rockwell and Decker, Book #2
By Ellery A. Kane
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
The girl’s body is curled up like a shell and almost completely buried in sand. Only her fingertips can be seen, reaching helplessly up towards an escape she will never find…
Seventeen-year-old Shelby Mayfield sits alone on a bus to Fog Harbor, California. Aside from a few items of clothing, all she has with her is twenty-two dollars, the ragdoll she’s kept since kindergarten, and the devastating secret she’s been hiding.
How long will it be before her family realizes she’s gone?
Can anyone see the fresh bruise on her cheek beneath the makeup?
Perhaps she was a fool to believe the person she is meeting in this remote little town could help her…
When a girl’s body is found hidden in a barrel in a woodland cabin, the local police are at a loss. The film from an old camera found looped around her neck is their only lead, but Criminal Psychologist Olivia Rockwell’s blood turns to ice when she recognizes the ragdoll in one of the girl’s last photographs. She used to own one just like it, and it can only mean one thing: if she doesn’t dig deep into the mind of a deadly killer from her past—her own father—more innocent lives will be in danger…
A totally gripping and utterly addictive crime thriller for readers who love Lisa Regan, Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh. But be warned: you’ll be sleeping with the lights on after you’ve raced through the pages in one sitting! (Goodreads)
Her Perfect Bones is the second book in the Rockwell and Decker series by Ellery A. Kane. All I can say is… WOW! This series is just getting better with each story (in my humble opinion). I did not want to put this book down! It captured my interest from the prologue and kept my interest until the final word in the epilogue. A psychological mystery thriller worth picking up!
The main characters: Olivia Rockwell is a criminal psychologist working at Crescent Bay State Prison. At this time – her father is up for parole after a lifetime of prison. Detective Will Decker is a transplant from San Francisco. He has moved mainly as a result of his being a witness in the trial of a woman’s death (by his cop brother Ben).
Found – a corpse and her unborn baby in a barrel filled with sand in the basement of a home that had not been inhabited in quite a while. Who is the deceased, when did she die and who would do this to her! That is what Detective Will Decker must find out… when, why and by whom. A tall order given how long ago the murder was – approximately 35 years ago!
A tangled web is weaved, involving many characters and even more homicides to come. While I am not excited by the sheer number of deaths in this book – it certainly created a compelling, can’t put down read. Delving into the past of various characters (for example – Olivia’s dad – known as Mad Dog) heightened the level of depth of the characters above what I expected. I was also pleasantly surprised in that I was not able to pin down 100% who the killer of Shelby was until quite late in the story telling. As for the murderer of the other homicides – that was a definite surprise to me ☺
One aspect I did find a bit off-putting was just the sheer number of storylines being told. At times it was a bit confusing. However, once I created a diagram outlining the relationships between everyone, it seemed to flow better. But in my humble opinion – fewer characters and fewer storylines would have enhanced the main story.
There is humor within the confines of this book cover as well – for example – when Will was cleaning out his yard:
“He grimaced as he tossed the remains of a gray squirrel into a trash bag.
“Cy, Not again, dude.”
The prime suspect in the homicide – Will’s one-eyed cat, Cyclops – stretched in the sun, gloating like a true psychopath. At least he hadn’t deposited his victim on Will’s tailgate this time.
The relationship between Will and his partner JB was reminiscent of many TV crime partners (for example: The Andy Griffith Show: Andy Taylor and Barney Fife or Blue Bloods: Danny Reagan and Maria Baez or even Law & Order: Lennie Briscoe and Mike Logan). JB’s growth did grow on me – you could see that there might be substance underneath his wisecracking. And I think he may be as good a cop as he thinks he is – but his high opinion of himself definitely made me chuckle many times throughout the story. No ego problem there!
Another character worth noting is Grimaldi. He may be old and appear doddering – but I think it is all an act. I quite enjoyed the good cop/bad cop play between Grimaldi and Will and JB.
We also get a wee bit more of the romance between Rockwell and Decker – and by a wee bit – I truly mean that. In this book – they seem to be perpetually mad at each other. I suspect much of that has to do with their individual prior baggage, but also for the feelings they have for each other but are fighting hard against. And when it looks like they are getting close (emotionally as well as physically -> the phone rings – of course). I cannot wait to see how this relationship develops over (I hope) future books in this series.
I must say – I love the cover art – both for this book and the previous one in the series – a bit creepy. I also found it a bit haunting to have the book’s prologue and epilogue center on Shelby (the victim). It just seemed fitting actually – a rounding out of Shelby’s story from September 1985 to March 1986.
If you like thriller’s that leave you wondering if you should leave the light on after reading – then I suggest Her Perfect Bones. I cannot wait to see what a new addition to the Rockwell and Decker series will bring.