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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 (157 )
5 star
 (40)
4 star
 (63)
3 star
 (39)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (6)
Overall
3.7 (137 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (36)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
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Story
4.1 (135 )
5 star
 (50)
4 star
 (59)
3 star
 (17)
2 star
 (5)
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.

    10 of 10 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
    1752
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    Story
    "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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah Gallatin, TN, United States 03-27-13
    Deborah Gallatin, TN, United States 03-27-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    34
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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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherri Minnetonka, MN, United States 05-05-12
    Sherri Minnetonka, MN, United States 05-05-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    37
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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.

    5 of 5 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
    213
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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.

    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.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanette Lincoln, New Zealand 01-29-13
    Jeanette Lincoln, New Zealand 01-29-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    12
    5
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    0
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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


    3 of 3 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 2010

    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
    234
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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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JoAnn 06-25-12
    JoAnn 06-25-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    154
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    "Kept me intrigued"

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

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Regina Seattle, WA, United States 98109 03-31-14
    Regina Seattle, WA, United States 98109 03-31-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    525
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    "Dry bones indeed"

    Agatha Christie did this kind of story much better. All that working from clue to clue to reach a conclusion, with the narrative serving as background for the murder-solving blueprint, is now tired. I expect characters who are complex and interesting on their own accounts. The hero rushes around and risks his life for a bet. It's not believable, and it's certainly not enjoyable.

    Simon Vance is perfect. If anyone could have saved this, it would have been he.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 12 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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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
  • Sharon
    Stalybridge, United Kingdom
    8/28/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "First and last in the series for me"

    Bought this as I loved the Lewis Trilogy but was quite disappointed with this. Wasn't sure what I was listening to really. It was a cross between Dan Brown, Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie and at times it was like an Enid Blyton famous five novel. Didn't do it for me and although it brightened up half way through I won't be bothering with the rest of the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Charlie
    Perth, Australia
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A thrilling race across France!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is another in a series about Enzo McLeod, his family ties, and the solving of mysteries that he does so well.


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

    "Black Light Blue" is another of the Enzo McLeod series where the main character has moved from one solution to the next in a series of unsolved crimes.


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

    Enzo takes us with him, into the undeground tunnels below Paris and the ski slopes elswhere in France. We are "feeling" his fears and joy as he searches for the solution to the current unsolved crime.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, it is too long, but there is time to develop the characters well.


    Any additional comments?

    We have enjoyed listening to many of Peter May's Books and found each one to be different, but with some common sequences, depending on the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • nigelbaker@nbaker.freeserve.co.uk
    UK
    4/16/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dry Bones oh how sad"
    What would have made Dry Bones better?

    A different reader


    Would you ever listen to anything by Peter May again?

    I have listened to blackhouse and the other two books in the trilogy and they were great


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The reader has the most appaling fake scottish accent [and I am an englishman] that makes the character sound totally implausable, and his other foreign accents are bit suspect as well.I would rank this on the level of Dick Van Dykes accent in Mary Poppins


    What character would you cut from Dry Bones?

    the reader


    Any additional comments?

    I persevered for a couple of hours and then gave up. When playing a character, either make your accent sound convincing or speak in your normal voice. For me this book is unlistenable, which is a shame as I enjoyed the other Peter May booksCan I have my money back please?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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