Monday, June 1, 2015

Blog Tour Review + Giveaway: THE BONES OF YOU by Debbie Howells

Publisher: Kensington
Publication: June 30, 2015
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Source: e-Arc
Rating: 4 Stars

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A stunning, wonderfully assured psychological thriller that evokes Gillian Flynn and Alice Sebold, The Bones of You revolves around a young girl’s murder and one woman’s obsession with uncovering the secrets in an idyllic English village.

I have a gardener’s inherent belief in the natural order of things. Soft‑petalled flowers that go to seed. The resolute passage of the seasons. Swallows that fly thousands of miles to follow the eternal summer.

Children who don’t die before their parents.

When Kate receives a phone call with news that Rosie Anderson is missing, she’s stunned and disturbed. Rosie is eighteen, the same age as Kate’s daughter, and a beautiful, quiet, and kind young woman. Though the locals are optimistic—girls like Rosie don’t get into real trouble—Kate’s sense of foreboding is confirmed when Rosie is found fatally beaten and stabbed.

Who would kill the perfect daughter, from the perfect family? Yet the more Kate entwines herself with the Andersons—graceful mother Jo, renowned journalist father Neal, watchful younger sister Delphine—the more she is convinced that not everything is as it seems. Anonymous notes arrive, urging Kate to unravel the tangled threads of Rosie’s life and death, though she has no idea where they will lead.

Weaving flashbacks from Rosie’s perspective into a tautly plotted narrative, The Bones of You is a gripping, haunting novel of sacrifices and lies, desperation and love.

 "Everyone has a destiny. Rosie told me she knows what hers is. She's known for awhile. She told me she's going to die."

I'm a huge fan of a good thriller and for the most part I really enjoyed this book. It had a bit of a slow start and I'll admit that the in the beginning the constant switching of pov would confuse me. It just felt like the booked jumped around an awful lot. Usually I can read different pov that switch suddenly with no problem what so ever, but in this case it made it difficult for me to read. Maybe the e-arc that I had made the book's formatting unbearable but for a second there I wasn't sure I would even be able to finish the book.

Thank goodness I did! The second half of the book was much better in my opinion and had some gasp-worthy moments. I guessed pretty early on who I thought the killer was but I think that the author may want us to know who it is from the very beginning. It was still shocking all the same when it finally came to light what really happened that fateful night. I'll even admit I shed a tear or two. I'm definitely one of those readers who feels very deeply when reading, so when I read about what happened, it broke my heart. The Bones of You deals with abuse; emotional, physical, and some sexual. At times it was hard to read because victims of any type of abuse is just a touchy subject for me personally. It hit a huge nerve that made me angry.

Rosie, the young girl who has gone missing, is one of the pov's that we follow. Although we go back in time and see what her life was like growing up. It wasn't such a great life. Rosie saw things that no child should ever have to see and she had things happen to her that should have never happened to her either. But it did. From the outside looking in, she and her family have the perfect life. Everyone knows though, that there is no such thing as perfect. Along with Rosie, we meet Kate. And it's up to her to help figure out what it is that happened to Rosie. Along the way, we see and learn that things aren't always what they seem. At all.

Overall, I think this was a great book. It's full of easy enough characters to like and the plot was just right. I look forward to reading more from the author. I hope that she has more thrillers coming out because I'm always looking for the next one to read that will keep me up reading at all hours of the night.

*Thank you to the publishers for providing me with a copy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


1.       When did you start writing?

I began writing in earnest about five years ago, women’s fiction which was what I liked to read.  But I also wanted to write books that addressed more serious real-life issues as well.  I think with Wildflowers I achieved that. It’s had some wonderful reviews on Amazon, but though 6 agents asked to read the full manuscript, no-one actually took me on.

The Bones of You is a change of genre.  How did you come to write it?

I’d put everything I had into Wildflowers and it came so close, but not close enough.  I knew then I had to write something different.  Everyone says, write about what you know about.  I think that’s true, but I think also, you have to appeal to the market.  That said, I don’t think it’s possible to write without your heart one hundred per cent in it.

Were you surprised with the reaction you got from agents and publishers?

Completely blown away!  It was beyond my wildest dreams.  There are phone calls and emails from that time that I will never, ever forget.  When you’ve worked so hard for so long, battled rejection but kept going anyway, to reach the point where I’m being published is something I’m so excited about – and enormously grateful for.

What advice do you have for other writers?

There are so many brilliant, unpublished writers out there.  Finding an agent and a publisher mean you have to write a good book, but it takes luck, too - in spadefuls -  to hit the right person with the right idea when the market’s right… It’s also a massively subjective industry.  What one person loves, another wouldn’t give the time of day to.  And no-one can predict tomorrow’s bestsellers.

If you can’t find an agent to take you on, consider self-publishing.  A number of authors have had huge success this way and in any case, you learn from it.  Then keep writing – the next book, the one after.  If you don’t, you’ll never know...

Have you written your next book?

I finished it just before Christmas.  It’s another psychological thriller about not just what we hide from other people, but from ourselves, too.  It’s about a washed-up lawyer and a woman he used to love, who’s suspected of a murder.  He’s determined to prove her innocence but an overdose has left her in a coma. As well as a thriller, it’s also a love story. 


Buy Links:
Amazon US-
Amazon UK-

About the Author:
Debbie self-published three commercial women's fiction novels before writing The Bones of You, her first psychological thriller.
She now writes full time from her home, in a small West Sussex village where she lives with her family.

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