Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Review: Dry Bones in the Valley (Henry Farrell #1) by Tom Bouman

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1093 KB
  • Print Length: 284 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (July 7 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English

Book Description

Winner of the 2015 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller and Winner of the 2015 Edgar Award for Best First Novel.

A stark, stirring debut mystery set in the hills of rural Pennsylvania.
When an elderly recluse discovers a corpse on his land,
Officer Henry Farrell is drawn into his first murder
investigation, a case he has little hope of closing. In Wild
Thyme Township, secrets and feuds go back generations.
Meth labs and heroin dealers are sprouting like mushrooms in
the woods, and the steady encroachment of gas drilling has
brought new wealth and discord. When danger strikes close
to home, Henry’s hunt for the killer will open old wounds,
dredge up ancient crimes, and lead to a final, deadly reckoning.
As Daniel Woodrell did for the Ozarks and Dennis Lehane
does for gritty South Boston, Tom Bouman immerses readers
in rural northeastern Pennsylvania, a region now undergoing
profound changes. Mystery readers will love fiddle-playing,
deer-hunting Henry Farrell, a bashful local cop with a wry
voice and hidden depths.


 A tough, edgy thriller that asks hard questions about the destruction of our environment, our local communities, and our families. Readers of smart literary thrillers are going to love this novel. I wish like hell that my name were on the cover. — Wiley Cash, New York Times best-selling author of A Land More Kind Than Home

Raymond Chandler said that Hammett took murder away from the manor houses and gave it back to the people who actually commit it. Tom Bouman continues that tradition. Bouman's story is deceptively simple, layered with history, bearing the promise of lightness, of redemption. — James Sallis, author of Drive

Tom Bouman is a remarkable new voice in contemporary fiction. Dry Bones in the Valley is a tightly crafted piece of rural noir that seems pulled from the earth itself, a profound look at the dark corners of rural America. Readers of Daniel Woodrell and Donald Ray Pollock will find much to love. — Steve Weddle, author of Country Hardball

It's a mystery, yes, but it's also a love story between a man and the land and people he knows like the back of his hand. Dry Bones in the Valley is a gorgeous, lived-in novel, and Bouman's turns of phrase are chest-clutching in their beauty. — Hannah Pittard, author of The Fates Will Find Their Way

So smooth it's as if it was written on spring water. Shadowy, swift, impossible to put down. I was enraptured. Any justice and this writer will soon be a major star. — Joe R. Lansdale, author of Deadman’s Road

Officer Henry Farrell is a shy man, but in his own ways just as ornery and tough as the cast of rugged characters who inhabit his Pennsylvania woods, where the mysteries are as old as love and grief. A rural cop with a keen intelligence and a wounded heart, Henry’s the right man to unearth the secrets of Dry Bones in the Valley. Tom Bouman’s debut novel is one you won’t want to miss. — Ed Falco, author of The Family Corleone

[An] outstanding debut… Henry’s growth from a grief-stricken widower to a lawman with an inner resolve fuels the brisk plot, as does an evocative look at a changing landscape. — Publishers Weekly, Starred review

Bouman’s debut shows rural noir at its finest: a poetically written mystery about a man struggling with his inner demons and an area of great natural beauty few had heard of before the natural gas boom. — Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

Grit-lit meets wry suspense, along with a keen rendering of place and politics. — New York Magazine (Six Books to Read this Summer)

Some stories are so sad, you want them to have the comfort of a gentle storytelling voice. Tom Bouman extends this kindness in… his beautifully written first novel. — Marilyn Stasio (New York Times Book Review)

[Incorporates] literary elements—thick atmosphere, regional rootedness, social scope—into an actual fast-paced mystery series. — Boris Kachka (New York Magazine)

An exciting and disturbing debut… Bouman brings his world to life with texture that gives every room and vehicle and person a history and character, keeping us immersed in this mesmerizing and often terrifying story. — Michael Sims (Washington Post)

Debut author Tom Bouman is a gem… Recommended for your end of summer pleasure. — Joe Hartlaub (Book Reporter)

About the Author

 A former book editor and musician, Tom Bouman lives with his wife and daughter in Pennsylvania.

My Review

 Dry Bones in the Valley is the first book in the Henry Farrell mystery series by Tom Bouman. It is also Bouman"s first book. I had heard great things about this book and am glad that I finally got around to reading it. I am looking forward to the next book in the series Fateful Mornings that will be released this year in 2017.

Dry Bones in the Valley is set in northeastern Pennsylvania, an area of which I know nothing so I found the setting very interesting. I also found it to be a dark place that doesn't have a lot of hope.

Dry Bones in the Valley introduces us to some very interesting characters. The main character Henry Farrell is a police officer in a very small community. The community is inhabited by families that have been there for generations. There are a lot of secrets Henry soon discovers. The backroads and the hills hide meth is a lot like other rural areas in the US that are suffering from a lack of an industrial base.

The background of the main character Henry Farrell is revealed as the novel moves along. Henry lost his wife to cancer...cancer he suspects was due to fracking. Henry is vehemently opposed to the fracking that is now finding a home in his area of northeastern Pennsylvania.

Great tale...great mystery...highly recommend. I am looking forward to Fateful Mornings and more from Tom Bouman.

No comments:

Post a Comment