On an isolated farm in southern Ireland, a decades-old grave houses the dismembered bones of 11 women. Detective Superintendent Katie Maguire of the Irish Gardai is used to bloodshed, but these white bones speak of unimaginable butchery.
Not far away, a young American tourist is at the mercy of a sadistic killer. His tools are a boning knife, twine, and a doll fashioned from rags, nails, and fish-hooks. The murder of his victims is secondary only to his pleasure at their pain.
As more and more victims are ritualistically murdered, Katie Maguire finds that she must solve an ancient Irish mystery to catch a terrifying present-day killer.
©2013 Graham Masterton (P)2014 Audible Studios
Mr. Masterton's imagination is full of darkness and he is not afraid to show it. Love it!
No comparison at all.
Graham Masterton is a really masterful storyteller, and the twists come fast and furious. A few choices are more over-the-top than I like in my mysteries (prefer them slightly more real,) but I can't imagine he'd ever be a wasted listen. Love his ability to set up Cork as a place in time, and to draw a series of interesting characters.
Katie is a great character. She makes unique moral choices - more interesting than a lot of authors would allow- and her morality is very particular to her as a character. I like her doggedness. Masterton isn't afraid to let her screw up, either, which makes her all the more real. The ultimate villain of this piece is interesting too. Not entirely unexpected when revealed, but still worth it.
The narrator's voice is dramatic but also soothing with its Irish lilt. It's honeyed and unique. HOWEVER, I really feel that she hams it up awfully with the American characters. Their accents are SO BAD that it unfortunately ruins some really important scenes. Seriously. A suggestion of an accent often works better than when narrators try to fully do an accent (this must happen to British listeners all the time, but my ear is tuned to North American. Sorry, British listeners! Wow!) The end of the second book implies that there are more American characters to come so I hope this is fixed.
Masterton shows his roots as a horror author - BOY is there some gore in here. Just a warning. I'm not squeamish by most measures, but something about listening to the torturous scenes in here was pretty difficult... He also likes supernatural subjects a lot.
Some lesbian stuff in both books so far has been kinda gratuitous from where I sit - much more a male fantasy than a true female experience. Not enough to wreck anything, just a little silly.
I listened to the second Katie Maguire book first. If you think you might listen to it, you might want to do this one first. It doesn't matter much in a lot of series, but there is some serious story arcing from book-to-book here, and the journey of this one was a little spoiled by listening out of order.
12 n \\\\ Born and grew up in Scotland. No species of book I do not love. Favorite genre History, thrillers, biography, memoirs etc
Sexual scenes and scenes of torture.are GRAPHIC. The sexual scenes are so detailed that that they could be used in an OBGYN text book. I needed a shower after reading one chapter. The scenes of torture including details of being skinned alive and legs amputated
in minute detail are stomach turning.
.I found myself skipping chapters. This is a well written book take out the scenes of torture and sadism I would be hooked if it turned into a series. Believe me I am NOT easily offended, I am not squeamish, sex, when its part of the story is just great. Torture in detail is another story.You need a strong stomach, not prone to nightmares and enjoy porn to enjoy this book
Broken Angels by same author.
Excellent pronunciation of the Irish language. Caroline is great.
Anger and disappointment. Terrible ending great story, ruined by unnecessary scenes of sadism, crudity and violence
Dont buy this book if you are easily unnerved.
I loved the character of Katie Maguire, and the story was a real page turner
I have a fairly strong stomach, but the descriptions of torture were quite harrowing. But don't let this deter you from listening to this book. It's a ripper.
None in particular. Caroline Lennon is a talented performer and all characters were well differentiated.
There is a great deal of "Irishness" in this book, and I found it thoroughly entertaining. I loved the dialogue, the turns of phrase, and throughout, there was a real sense of being right there in the thick of it.
When you start on a series, and enjoy it, it's lovely to know there are more in the series. However, knowing this also takes away some of the suspense when the main character is in real peril. I mean, there are three more books, so how can she possibly die? But I guess it's a small price to pay when you also know there are at least three more adventures for our heroine to (and us) to enjoy.
The graphic descriptions of sadistic violence were distracting and seemed unnecessary. I find stories that leave some of these details to the imagination and focus on the forensic analysis to be far more interesting.
As stated above, there were elements of the story that were interesting; however, I found the descriptions of the sadistic acts to be unnecessary.
Several of the characters were interesting.
I recommend against downloading this book if you are sensitive to butchery and extreme suffering. I have read six of Chelsea Cain's Archie Sheridan/Gretchen books and found them to be gruesome, but enjoyed the series. White Bones far exceeded my threshold for gore.
"Good story but some graphic torture scenes"
The story and main characters are good but interspersed with chapters of torture that are graphic and gruesome. I'm about a quarter through and wondering whether I can finish it.
I sincerely hope not.
I'm appalled by the method and description of torture which is in contrast to an otherwise good story. I think the different aspects of the book would appeal to different audiences. Unfortunately one audience would be serial killers .......
"Sinister thriller not for the faint-hearted"
White Bones introduces Detective Katie Maguire. When the bones of 11 women are found on an isolated farm in County Cork in Ireland, Katie is initially told to drop the case as the deaths date back to 1915. But then a young American tourist goes missing and her body turns up on the same farm.
I've been hesitant for a while now to start this series because of the mixed reviews and mentions of 'supernatural', but it turned out to be a really solid Irish crime procedural and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The plot centers around old Irish folklore/myths rather than the paranormal elements I was expecting and that added a really interesting aspect to the story. Mr. Masterton has previously written horror novels and while this certainly shines through, I didn't find any of the details overly gory, but I think more sensitive readers may.
The author also provides plenty of background on the main character of Katie Maguire. By the end of the book, you really feel you have a good picture of her as a person. She has to work hard as a female in a very conservative, male dominated environment and her personal life is under scrutiny which isn't helping her marriage.
The audiobook narration was done really well, and I appreciate that the narrator must have had a very difficult time switching from characters with Irish dialect to American accents. I loved the Irish lilt, the American accent felt a bit off (sorry).
If you enjoy rather sinister thrillers in an Irish setting and would like to explore some Irish history and Celtic mythology, I would definitely recommend White Bones.
Cleverly written with great narration. A real page turner that keeps you guessing to the end.
"I should have heeded the reviews!"
I will be returning this one. However, its my own fault. I should have believed the earlier reviews. The book has some of the most graphic violence I have ever read. I am not easily shocked or a prude but just found it horrible and gave up after a couple of hours. Its a shame as I found the book really engaging otherwise. I also dont agree with some reviewers about the narrator. I thought she was great and would listen to her again.
If you like really, really graphic and detailed horror - this may be for you.
I enjoyed this unusual tale. and that it is set in ireland .have the next in the series already downloaded. narrator was good overall. though not sure if she's actually Irish or not as some of her accents were a wee bit suspect. but certainly listenable if there 's such a word!
Brilliant ... So happy to have found a new author . The narrator was excellent and coped with the different accents extremely well.
"Scary but captured my interest"
Bordering on the supernatural, this story kept me enthralled on a few dog walks! It was believable even though I don't hold with such nonsense! Quite horrific but tantalised me to try anticipate the ending. Super narration
"Story good but....."
This was a good, unusual story, if not very graphic in the torture scenes, but tried too hard to be Irish. Coming from the 'Fair Isle' myself I thought the author overdid the Irish elements, which got a bit annoying in the end.
The story was gripping..... just a bit disappointing.
"Quite gory and only alright as a read"
Many here have criticised the narrator's rendition of this. I have to say that it's not the greatest, nor is it the worst. I find her voice very hard and agressive during the narration - and I can't work out why it should be. Her accents leave a good bit to be desired if one wanted authentic "Cork" accents but then again, how realistic is that?
So, what annoyed me more in this book (presuming you've no problems with gore) is the actual story. I find pretty unlikely that a lad who grew up in rural Ireland wouldn't know what Hurling is. After all he's come back to take over the family farm which his mother still lives on - so we're presuming he didn't go to the States as a two year-old. As for labradors whacking radiators with their tails like a Bodhran drum - pleeeaaaaase Angela Landsbury come back, all is forgiven - yep, it gives me that same cheesy pseudo Irish feeling! Those are just two examples that struck me early on. I then stopped trying to note them lest I give up on the book.
On the whole there's just something missing here. There's gore which isn't really necessary, the book doesn't even give me chills in the way some which don't have any obvious gore do, but mainly, the story is shallow and the characters hard to warm to because they're just not deep enough... everyone is somehow brushed over and lacking in authenticity. I also find quite strange the author feels necessary to mention the Detective Garda's gun so many times (unless it's going to play a role later?) as, although some Detective Garda do carry weapons, Ireland is not exactly New York.
It's not a bad book, but it's not that great either. (This was written when half way through and yes, I'm interested enough to keep going but probably wouldn't seek out this author again).
"Appalling "accents" - I can't continue listening."
I definitely won't listen to Caroline Lennon again. The jury is out on Graham Masterson.
I don't know.
With a different narrator. Or if she had at least managed to put on a Cork accent.
The performance has put me off so much I cannot listen long enough to say. I got as far as chapter 10. I gave one star in each category as I could not progress any further without doing so. The performance doesn't even deserve one star.
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