Synopsis: “In the northern California town of Coventry, two teenage brothers go into the woods one day, but only one comes back. No one knows what happened to the younger brother, Josh, until twenty years later, when the older brother, Oren, now an ex-investigator for the Army CID, returns to Coventry for the first time in many years. His first morning back, he hears a thump on the front porch. Lying in front of the door is a human jawbone, the teeth still intact. And it is not the first such object, his father tells him. Other remains have been left there as well. Josh is coming home . . . bone by bone.” Using all his investigative skills, Oren sets out to solve the mystery of his brother s murder, but Coventry is a town full of secrets and secret-keepers: the housekeeper with the fugitive past, the deputy with the old grudge, the reclusive ex-cop from L.A., the woman with the title of town monster, and, not least of all, Oren himself. But the greatest secret of all belonged to his brother, and it is only by unraveling it that Oren can begin to discover the truth that has haunted them all for twenty years.
Review: Carol O’Connell is one of my favorite authors for mystery novels. Her Katy Mallory series is really fascinating and always full of ideas. So when I came across this other book, I did not hesitate long. As I do not read a lot of thriller novels, it was therefore a very good opportunity to go back to the genre.
Oren returns home after years of absence, leaving the army, where he has made more than his proofs to care for his dying father, or at least that’s what he believes. When he arrives at home, he realizes that the letters from Hannah, the housekeeper, expressing the near death of her boss, are quite far from the truth. Indeed, not only the judge is in perfect health but he had also hidden a terrible secret, something that will upset them both as well as the city. Once upon a time lived two brothers who loved each other enormously, but one of them, Josh, had a particular passion for photography. A passion that led him to follow and observe people, learning their secrets. But one day, the two brothers went into the forest and only one emerged: Oren. Since that day Oren blames himself the disappearance of his brother, and when he discovers that his father receives parts of the body of his younger brother on his porch, he is determined to find out what is happening. But the city has more secrets than we might think and people know more than they want to admit. Despite the link between him and his deceased brother, Oren decides to understand what happened and to find out who the killer is. And I must say that we embark on a totally crazy story. All the inhabitants of the city are unique and pay attention to what they say. We follow the tracks with our former military, seeking to know the truth about each person, discovering more than he would have thought. Plots, love, betrayal, madness, are a good mix for this book.
I really enjoyed understanding and determining with Oren who the culprit was. And it was actually very difficult to know what had happened. Everyone thinks they know who the murderer is and many lie in the hope of protecting their loved ones. But our investigator will manage to determine the truth in the lies. And although I doubted many times, the assassin was really well found. This is a very interesting psychological game and I loved every moment of this quest, reviving the past of each character and discovering a little better who was the brother he thought he knew.
So it was a very good book and if you are a fan of thrillers, I will particularly recommend this one to you. A nice surprise and I was very frustrated not being able to read the whole book at once because I really wanted to understand everything and put the pieces in place.