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Dry Bones | [Peter May]

Dry Bones

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.
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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

3.8 (272 )
5 star
 (67)
4 star
 (114)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (8)
Overall
3.7 (241 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (60)
2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (239 )
5 star
 (108)
4 star
 (91)
3 star
 (28)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
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  •  
    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!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah Gallatin, TN, United States 03-27-13
    Deborah Gallatin, TN, United States 03-27-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "I have found a new author to love!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, absolutely. Absorbing story.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes, This story was never boring. All of the clues and how Enzo and the other piece it all to gether was very interesting.


    What does Simon Vance bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    There are few narrators better than Simon Vance. He moves effortlessly from French accents (male and female) with Scottish. Very convincing in all.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    oh yes. both laugh and cry.


    Any additional comments?

    I didn't want this book to end. I will immediately get the next in the series and explore the others written by Peter May.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherri Minnetonka, MN, United States 05-05-12
    Sherri Minnetonka, MN, United States 05-05-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Enzo solves another cold case in France"

    Enzo McLeod, a big Scott who now lives and teaches forensic science in France, has a bet with a friend that he can solve a number of cold cases using modern forensic science. He tackles one case per book. Naturally, lots of people do not want them solved and so mayhem ensures.

    Enzo has a cast of interesting recurring characters and is written with good humor. Entertaining and interesting books.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. O. Pardue Atlanta, GA United States 07-02-13
    L. O. Pardue Atlanta, GA United States 07-02-13 Member Since 2010

    I love to read books set in interesting places or historical settings. I especially love mysteries and thrillers.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "A Fun Scavenger Hunt"

    I am noticing that more and more mysteries seem to go with the "cold case" instead of current crime story. I find that most cold cases are enjoyable, as long as you realize that most of the action will be at the end of the book instead of a steady pacing of it throughout the book. That doesn't mean that "cold cases" are boring and slow, just different. In fact, the writer has to be so much more clever in offering clues that are found many years after the crime.

    For this story, the clues are offered as a scavenger hunt made possible with matching the found relics at crime sites with internet searches. I enjoyed the race around France finding the next set of bones and clues as I enjoyed the actual mystery story. The only reason I rated the story 4 stars is that the final motive is less than satisfying.

    The detective, Enzo Macleod, is actually a biologist teaching in Toulouse, France instead of pursuing a career in forensics in his Scottish homeland. Peter May did an excellent job of building Enzo's character throughout the book. However, Simon Vance was a master of bringing Enzo and all the other wonderful characters to life. How does Simon Vance do such distinctly different voices and accents for each character without a single glitch? Simon Vance even voices women so well without the high falsetto voice that so many other narrators do. Simon Vance kept my interest up as much as Peter May did for this audio book. Thanks for a fun experience with this audio book.

    5 of 5 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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JoAnn 06-25-12
    JoAnn 06-25-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Kept me intrigued"

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

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet CARY, NC, United States 08-15-13
    Janet CARY, NC, United States 08-15-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narration fantastic. Story long and boring."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Too much description over and over about same things.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Peter May again?

    Yes but he needs less detail and more thrill.


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

    I think Enso could develop into a very interesting character.


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanette Lincoln, New Zealand 01-29-13
    Jeanette Lincoln, New Zealand 01-29-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great listening intensely told"
    Where does Dry Bones rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    right up the top


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    enzo - he is clever but so vulnerable


    Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

    enzo


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    love - the power and the poison


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra smithfield, NC, USA 04-01-15
    Debra smithfield, NC, USA 04-01-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fat paced but a little far fetched"

    In other reviews this book is compared to Dan Brown stories due to the treasure hunt type mystery but to me, it fell way short. I like stories where the characters have to put clues together which lead to more clues, but some of these clues really were a stretch. DNA tests were done in 24 hrs and he got permission to remove a fountain and dig up a public garden in the middle of the night? In what universe? I liked the characters so I may read the next in the series, but I hope it's a little more realistic.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Kathleen
    Aberdeen, United Kingdom
    12/13/12
    Overall
    "Oh Dear - the accents"

    What a disappointment! After listening to the 2 Hebridean novels my hopes were high but this book did not engage me. As a print book it may have been better although the constant use of words like ‘sejours’ is an irritating and useless device in creating a feeling of France. However, it was the narration which really spoiled it for me. The narrative was very pleasant to listen to but the dialogue was almost unbelievable. Both French and Scottish men ‘growled’ out a tortured transposition of vowel sounds – ‘Allo, ‘Allo meets Hey Jimmy.

    The pace of the story was good until the last section where it was very drawn out. Descriptions of areas of France were fascinating but characters are quite shallow

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Kathy
    Cornwall
    4/20/13
    Overall
    "Back to the islands for me"

    I just didn't get this. In comparison to the Lewis trilogy the book was a pale shadow. Characters not brilliant and the plot didn't answer the most basic question "why bother"?

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • M
    WARRINGTON, United Kingdom
    11/18/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not bad but not in same league as Lewis trilogy"

    My title says it all, this isn't a bad book but I have definitely been spoilt by the Lewis series. This book is not as good. All that said, I found the book ok. I did have the rest of the Enzo series on my wish list but will only consider buying them if they are in a future 3 for 2 deal or other offer.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • MikeS
    Manchester
    5/14/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Audrey BEVAN
    7/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "First disappointment from Audible"

    The story was ridiculous. The performance was disappointing - poor French accent made me grind my teeth - there must be actors who can reproduce a decent accent. There was far too much detail of the Parisian road system and the 'trail' was more like more like France by GPS. Sadly, I couldn't even be bothered to finish this book. The author should stick to the Police series, he's on surer footing there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Robert
    6/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "oh lala the accents!!"
    What would have made Dry Bones better?

    the original narrator from the first book reading this one!having just listened to book one, then moved on to book two the accents were just too bad to keep listening to it.


    What could Peter May have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    stuck with the same narrator


    How could the performance have been better?

    lose the over the top French accents and the English Scotsman.....


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    didn't listen to it all, returned it to Audible and bought book 3 instead, (original narrator returns yippee) best feature was after chapter one returning it and getting a credit back on my account, nice touch.


    Any additional comments?

    delighted with audibles returns policy, made it sufferable.....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Linda
    London, United Kingdom
    5/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Easy Listening"

    I was put off starting this series from Peter May because of rather lukewarm reviews. I did however finally take the plunge and I'm glad I did because I actually quite enjoyed. No this is nothing like the tremendous Lewis series - but then this isn't a dark,brooding tale. No it isn't as atmospheric as the Chinese detective series either - in fact the reviewer that said it was a cross between Dan Brown & the Famous Five wasn't actually far off the mark. For a bet Enzo is investigating a number of unsolved murders using today's forensic science (well loosely anyway) - and the books are just nice easy listening. Enzo does have a tendency to fluctuate between sounding like BIlly Connelly and Sean Connery, but he's a likeable enough character and the plots and clues a lot more probable than some books I have read or listened to. I cannot understand the complaints about Peter Vance's accents, I think the reading is excellent with just enough accents thrown in to easily recognise the cast of characters. No this may not set the world alight but its a decent enough series and well worth a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eileen Bagshaw
    4/14/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dry Bones, dry story"

    Too many unnecessary street / place names as though to prove that the author had done his research and knew France

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ms E. McNaughton
    Edinburgh UK
    2/1/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good murder mystery for Francophiles/Francophones"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend, but would tell them I found the book entertaining, if a little predictable at times, and it went at a good pace with enough excitement to make me stay in bed one Sunday morning to listen to the last 6 chapters! Peter May writes about women from a man's perspective - I don't mean sexist, but more how he would like women to be than how they really are! (Work this out, men!) Nevertheless, I enjoyed his story and enjoyed his wry humour - maybe because I am a Scot and it is such a Scottish thing. Other writers criticise the accents - well, one narrator can only produce so many accents - as a Scot I found it quite authentic (West of Scotland). Also a lot of French used - seems logical to me as it was first printed in French, from what I can gather from internet, and why change those bits when it helps you to learn a bit more of the language of the country in which it is set. Good for those interested in France and happy to learn a bit about the language and country. I've spent a bit of time in France and found it all quite authentic, en fait.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Kinda guessed half way through who the main perpetrator was/would be, but found the ending quite exciting - as mentioned above. The 'changes' in the family relationships were also quite predictable - but perfectly believable.


    Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favourite?

    Oh, Enzo! And it seemed to me that Simon Vance enjoyed being Enzo and tried very hard to get his character right - and I thought the accent was fine.


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

    Maybe the loss of his second wife. He appeared to have discarded the first one easily enough but he didn't have time to get tired of the second one. Nor did he seem to have struck up any other long-term relationships in the 18 or so years since she had died, so maybe it was the real thing. (I'm a cynic!)


    Any additional comments?

    Peter May is not Georges Simenon or Ian Rankin, but I thought the book might be of interest to readers of these two authors. It was well written and I enjoyed all the bits of 'education' e.g. Champagne production; and the catacombs of Paris.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Spirit
    Cornwall
    1/30/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "dreadful narration"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    A different narrator - the one who did Entry Island was much better.


    Has Dry Bones put you off other books in this genre?

    possibly


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The accents were dire - I tried to proceed but I just couldn't get past them.


    Any additional comments?

    Do try other Peter May books!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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