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Dry Bones Audiobook

Dry Bones

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Publisher's Summary

What happened to Jacques Gaillard? The brilliant teacher at the École Nationale d’Administration, who trained some of France’s best and brightest as future prime ministers and presidents, vanished ten years ago, presumably from Paris. This ten-year-old mystery inspires a bet—one that Enzo Macleod, a biologist teaching in Toulouse, France, instead of pursuing a brilliant career in forensics back home in Scotland, can ill afford to lose. The wager is that Enzo can find out what happened to Jacques Gaillard by applying new science to a cold case.

Enzo goes to Paris to meet journalist Roger Raffin, the author of a book on seven celebrated unsolved murders, the assumption being that Gaillard is dead. He needs Raffin’s notes, and armed with these, he begins his quest. It quickly has him touring landmarks such as the Paris catacombs and a château in Champagne, digging up relics and bones. Then Enzo finds the actual head of Jacques Gaillard. The artifacts buried with the skull set him to interpreting the clues they provide and following in someone’s footsteps—maybe more than one someone—seeking the rest of Gaillard’s remains and reviewing some ancient and recent history. As with any quest, it’s as much discovery as detection, and Enzo, despite all his missteps, proves to be an ace investigator, scientific and intuitive, who definitely meets his goals.

Peter May is a Scottish television screenwriter, novelist, and crime writer. He has won several literary awards for his novels.

©2006 Peter May (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“This travelogue-cum-murder mystery makes for a fun puzzle.” (Publishers Weekly)

“A thoroughly engaging puzzle.” (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1439 )
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4.4 (1312 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 11-01-13
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 11-01-13 Member Since 2010

    Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.

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    "Engaging hero, stellar narration"

    Comparisons to Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code are valid, as much of Dry Bones is a scavenger hunt for clues to a murder. In my opinion, Peter May’s writing is stronger, particularly in character development. I never really got Langdon, but Enzo MacLeod – now that’s a flesh and bone character. Middle aged and a little worse for wear, he’s flawed, has made mistakes and has regrets. But he’s smart, intuitive and has a big heart. The supporting characters are also believable, with lives of their own aside from their roles in progressing the plot.

    The one weakness in the story is how long it took to get through the scavenger hunt, which did little to suggest motive or possible suspects for the murder. It dragged us around Paris and the surrounding countryside, but the hunt was mostly engaging with unexpected mayhem thrown in along the way so it’s not wasted time. The final third of the story is where the dots get connected and it kicked into a new gear. Although the ultimate motivation for the murder was a little soft, the action was good.

    I tuned into this series because I truly loved May’s “Lewis Trilogy” (sadly no longer available to Audible in the US), and wanted more of his writing. I’ve started with this first one and will continue on, definitely cherry picking the ones narrated by Simon Vance. His ability to give credible voice to MacLeod’s Scottish brogue, the various French characters, male, female, young and old, was a significant factor in relating to the entire cast.

    54 of 56 people found this review helpful
  •  
    adrienne EAGLE RIVER, AK, United States 08-15-12
    adrienne EAGLE RIVER, AK, United States 08-15-12 Member Since 2009

    Tell us about yourself!

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    "Delightful find! First of the Enzo Files"

    I am always looking for new books in the mysteries and thrillers category. I tried this on a whim and am so glad that I did.

    This is not the formulaic finding gruesome crime scenes and trying to put together the clues to find the killer. It's a cold case based on some dry bones and scavenger hunt type clues that lead to more bones with more clues. During the process of solving the old crime, there are some new victims and an array of potential perpetrators.

    Enzo himself has an interesting professional background and personal life. He is challenged to this seemingly impossible task both intellectually and monetarily. He is urged on and abetted by the (good guy) challenger. However, he is also led astray by the bad guys.

    I found this a delightful change in the murder mystery genre. I look forward to listening to all of the other Enzo Files books.

    47 of 49 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Octopus Jones Maui 08-06-15
    Octopus Jones Maui 08-06-15 Member Since 2016

    Mystery/Detective/Thriller/Historical/SciFi/ Patrick O'Brien/ Eve Dallas/ Dept.Q/Mo Haydee/Peter Cline/Aaronovitch/K McCarthy / Live Aloha!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "How did I miss this great writer! So glad I I found him,I couldn't put it down"

    This is my kind of book. Great character development - of great characters! The plot is very creative with clever twist and turns. Brilliant ! I would recommend this book to British mystery lovers in general. If you like author Josephine Tey, Detective Morse and the like, I think you will appreciate this writer as well.
    I was so impressed with this book ( I think it's a series) I'm about to order another book by this Author.

    20 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer East Hartford, CT, United States 12-14-12
    Amazon Customer East Hartford, CT, United States 12-14-12 Member Since 2012

    I don't know about you, but why are there so so so many 5 star reviews. I LOVE books, but so few are 5 star.

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    "Not bad"

    The story was okay, but once again it was Vance that made it worth listening. The story was a little predictable and overwrought. It was entertaining, but not totally engrossing.

    I would try another book written by May, but not tops on my must read.

    22 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N. Ekim Lower, AL USA 04-11-16
    N. Ekim Lower, AL USA 04-11-16 Member Since 2008

    Nag E.

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    "A B minus at best, well maybe a B"

    I downloaded this book because the narrator is one of my favorites, Simon Vance, (No one is better at Trollope!) and because of the setting - Paris and various areas of France. In those two aspects I was not disappointed. Vance was great as always, switching seamlessly between French and Scots accents and his pronunciation of French phrases and place names was, as far as I could tell, excellent.
    I particularly loved following the story through in Paris, all most all of which took place in areas I am familiar with and love. The other areas, I am less familiar with, but I followed those portions on Google Maps. I even picked up and understood some of the French phrases. (I am a linguistic savant and can order food and say please and thank you in several languages!)
    The two factors above almost made up for the fact that the story was not that great or believable. Granted, it is difficult for mystery/thriller writers to balance realism and an intriguing storyline, but I found it difficult to buy into this one.
    Finally, a romantic relationship is a legitimate part of the plot, but I personally find graphic sex off-putting. Its inclusion seemed to be formulaic, as if its supposed to be part of the genre. I would not have selected the book had I known. Wish Audible could come up with a rating system for sex, violence, language, etc.

    42 of 48 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig Seattle, WA, United States 01-10-15
    Craig Seattle, WA, United States 01-10-15 Member Since 2016

    I teach. I Listen. I trust your judgment as a fellow listener.

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    "The Prince of Serendip (sans Sagacity)"

    When your author makes excuses for the unfathomable good luck of his detective with statements like this, "Enzo was beginning to feel like one of the Three Princes of Serendip," you know that you're being fed a lazy tale where accidents, rather than sagacity, are the dominant theme.

    The premise of this quasi-detective story (the main character is not a cop, but a biology professor) is seriously flawed - the protagonist (Enzo) takes a case on a bet. Other motivations are not clear…perhaps he's bored. Once he does engage, we follow his left turns over this "Pont" and onto that "Rue," around French postcard cities, generally unengaged with the author's sideshow cuisine and wine forays. Few North Americans can reference Enzo's urban(e) wanderings, leaving the listener feeling like he or she has just departed a boring dinner party where the hosts showed their guests a slideshow of a recent trip to France. After awhile it all blurs into a bland Ratatouille stew.

    To keep the listener attentive, the author makes a futile attempt at mimicking Umberto Eco's, The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum. But, Peter May is no Umberto Eco. Some reviewers equate this novel with Brown's, Da Vinci Code. However, Dry Bones is far too random and cliche to rise that far.

    Personally, I think Peter May should try his hand at travel writing. He seems to know a great deal of trivia that may be of interest to the Francophile in a few of us.

    42 of 51 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JoAnn 06-25-12
    JoAnn 06-25-12 Member Since 2016
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    "Kept me intrigued"

    Great story with interesting characters. Love Simon Vance. I am moving on to the Enzo stories.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan QUEMADO, NM, United States 11-12-16
    Susan QUEMADO, NM, United States 11-12-16 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sorry but I can't recommend: sex, f-bombs"

    I bought this as a Daily Deal, mostly because Simon Vance was the narrator and was hoping for a good story. It was a decent story, but f-bombs, use of Jesus name in vain, and sex don't allow me to recommend it. I thought the premise was interesting, but what i liked about it was outgunned by what I didn't , sorry. Just too rough for my taste.

    Vance as usual was wonderful.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M 11-12-16
    M 11-12-16 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good start, but..."

    I picked this up on one of the sales, and thought it was not bad for the start of a series. However, since Audible does not carry the next one in line, I will not skip forward to #4 and #5. I have tried that before on other series, and it just doesn't work. Will visit my local library instead.

    I found the characters in this book interesting and likeable, although how the protagonist could be classified as a genius is difficult to understand, since it seemed to me that the other characters did most of the "discovering". The French pronunciations made it sometimes difficult to follow, but it was interesting to listen to them (I have no idea if they were correctly pronounced or not, but they sounded good). In my opinion, this was written for a European, not an American audience, so I guess that is understandable.

    Most of the tech/computer jargon was out-dated...I assume the author was very impressed with it at the time it was written, but it is pretty common to almost everyone nowadays. Tech does not generally pass the test of time, and in my opinion, should be kept to a minimum, if at all. I found it distracting.

    Simon Vance is "as always". Nice voice, but little characterization. Constant pace, but not a hint of drama. I've often thought he would be better narrating just histories or bios or other non-fiction.

    All in all, I would think this is better in book form than audio.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 07-13-16
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 07-13-16 Member Since 2013

    Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "10 Year Old Case and 50 Something Scottish Prof"

    Very interesting mixture of atmosphere, mystery and clues, as Enzo searches for the killer of Jacques Gaillard who went missing over ten years ago in Paris . . . Enzo MacLeod, having left a career in forensics back in his native Scotland, now teaches at university in Toulouse, France . . . when Enzo begins digging up the bones of Jacques, each body part comes with a clue . . . the story is captivating, leading into the darkest and strangest places in France . . . could've been a five star if it weren't for the silliness of Enzo's affair with Charlotte and the description of their antics in bed . . . good resolution to the murder . . .

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
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  • mollyeyre
    Leicestershire UK
    3/17/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not my favourite Peter May"

    I do love Peter May's books, but I found this one to be too complicated and too 'clever', I did still enjoy it - I do agree with Peter May in his recent interview - Peter Forbes is the best narrator for his books, Simon Vance was OK - but - he wasn't quite the voice for the book.

    I enjoyed it sufficiently to encourage my reading the second of the trilogy!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Royaume Uni
    3/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "a good book ruined"

    I wish the narrator wouldnot try to do accents and voices that are so wrong. It completely ruined the story for me

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Kristian Magnusson
    Haddington, Scotland
    3/6/16
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    "Superb!"

    Great rounded characters, and ingenious plot. Well read with good careful pace and voice. Peter May appeared to know his setting intimately, and this shone through the narrative. Highly recommended.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • MikeS
    Manchester
    5/14/13
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    Performance
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    "Murder below the Streets of Paris"

    An exciting and quick paced novel which is a cross between a Dan Brown plot in that it gives a geographical/historical backdrop to the mystery - in this case Paris; and the popular forensic scientist model who acts like Sherlock Holmes making the police look like fools!
    I enjoyed it and look forward to the second in the series.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Wras
    Kildonan
    10/8/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A man with new tech to get blood out of stones."


    Enzo Macleod has made a bet, to resolve a crime that has been left open by the french police, he will use new forensics, to get blood out of stones.

    I loved the character, he is charming and distinctive, with his family and lady complications. The ambiance of Paris and the french idiosyncrasies of privilege and politics, make and excellent scenario for our scottish friend; but I did not enjoy the clue laden crime as much.

    An ok beginning to a good series, that improves with the next parts of the next mysteries. Entertaining and charming if a little too heavy on the complexity of the crime.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs Friday Caswell
    10/23/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "kept me interested from start to finish."

    very different to the China thrillers but still great. it had the same intricacies of detail about the locations and the plot was original and thoroughly enjoyable.
    I didn't have any problems with the accents that other people seem to have had. they were consistent and easily differentiated between the different characters.
    I would definitely recommend and will be listening to the next in the series.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Elaine
    7/30/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Narration"

    As a Scot, I found the narrator's ' Scottish ' accent grating and difficult to listen to. This spoiled my enjoyment of the story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Rosie Nice
    5/22/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dreadful narrator"

    Love Peter May's books. Great story only spoiled by narrator whose Scottish accent was about as good as Dick Van Dyke's cockney one in Mary Poppins. Peter Forbes is so much better at bringing Peter May's books to life.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • fiona
    Shipton Bellinger, United Kingdom
    2/2/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Terrible narration"
    What did you like best about Dry Bones? What did you like least?

    Good storyline


    What did you like best about this story?

    I struggled more than a little because I really couldn't get passed the appalling narration


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I enjoyed Simon Vance reading Hilary Mantel's books. But oh dear, this was awful. I could almost forgive the french accent but the Scottish accents were abysmal. Having just really enjoyed listening to the Rebus collection read by James McPherson this was positively painful and detracted from the whole experience. If you can't do the accent justice, just read the book, we will cope much better.


    Do you think Dry Bones needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Probably if narrated by some one else


    Any additional comments?

    James McPherson might be available

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Dr
    Sainte Colombe Sur Loing, France
    11/5/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best Peter May story I have listened to so far"
    If you could sum up Dry Bones in three words, what would they be?

    Very gripping plot


    What other book might you compare Dry Bones to, and why?

    The Girl nwith the Dragon Tatoo. The author's complete mastery of susspense and twists and turns, together with his evident knowledge of France, and the places where he sets the plot, makes this story a great one.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No, but I will search him out in future.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes, when Kirstie was at risk of drowning, and her father and her sister's boyfriend were trying all they knew to save her.


    Any additional comments?

    If you want a fabulous "read" , read by a very good narrator, look no further.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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