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Publisher's Summary

Hilary and Mark Bradley are trapped in a web of suspicion. Last year, accusations of a torrid affair with a student cost Mark his teaching job and made the young couple into outcasts in their remote island town off the Lake Michigan coast. Now another teenage girl is found dead on a deserted beach... and once again, Mark faces a hostile town convinced of his guilt.

Hilary Bradley is determined to prove that Mark is innocent, but she’s on a lonely, dangerous quest. Even when she discovers that the murdered girl was witness to a horrific crime years earlier, the police are certain she’s throwing up a smoke screen to protect her husband. Only a quirky detective named Cab Bolton seems willing to believe Hilary’s story.

Hilary and Cab soon find that people in this community are willing to kill to keep their secrets hidden - and to make sure Mark doesn’t get away with murder. And with each shocking revelation, even Hilary begins to wonder whether her husband is truly innocent.

Freeman’s first stand-alone thriller since his Stride novels is a knockout.

©2011 Brian Freeman (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“Brian Freeman is, quite simply, a first-rate storyteller.” (Nelson DeMille, New York Times best-selling author)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • 2 Stars
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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • kathy
  • jasper, GA, United States
  • 05-13-12

A Speedy Read!

I listened to this book in a day because it just keeps you guessing; did he do it? Listen a little more and think, no he didn't do it - and awhile later - he might be the killer after all - no wait - Is it____? This is my first Brian Freeman book and it will not be my last. The one thing that bothered me was his wrap up at the end. I had to "rewind" a few times to put the sequence of events in order to solve this mystery. I think the author got so excited about his ending plot divulsion, that he ran through it too fast. I did not really understand why a house getting burned had anything to do with a teacher molesting a student? Anyway, I would suggest listening to this book and say "pay close attention to the last quarter of the book!

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

No crime in the prairies.

A pretty humdrum detective novel, part procedural, part soap opera. This isn't a true mystery, as there are no clues whatever pointing to the actual killer. Indeed, given the motivations of individual characters, much of what they actually do doesn't make sense. There are several occasions when the intelligent main characters, Mark and Hillary, do stupid things in order (seemingly) to enhance suspense. Many times I felt manipulated by the author's tendency to hint at important developments in the story, then suddenly switch to a different scene altogether. That was annoying. On the positive side, the reader did an excellent job with the upper-midwest accent without making people sound like caricatures from "Fargo." Also, the main detective, Cab Bolton, is interesting and complex; the novel was at its best when narration was from his POV.

27 of 28 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • adrienne
  • EAGLE RIVER, AK, United States
  • 01-30-13

Mysteries within a Mystery

As this story unfolds, incidents and attitudes from the past are intertwined with the current investigation of the murder of a troubled teenage girl. It proceeds in an isolated, opinionated community with a sheriff that is sure that he knows the truth about all the local dirt.

A teacher is assumed to be guilty and is treated accordingly. His wife is sure he is innocent and pursues leads to exonerate him. An out of state detective does his own investigation and uncovers local biases. Independently the wife and the detective manage to sort out the truths. There are several story strands and twists that lead to the conclusion. Some are predictable and several are not.

This is a well written and engaging book. It seems low key, but the many subplots pulled me in and kept me guessing.

Joe Barrett is an excellent narrator.

31 of 33 people found this review helpful

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  • cristina
  • Somerville, MA, United States
  • 08-07-13

Good story, disappointing ending

This is my second Brian Freeman book. "Spilled Blood" was actually written later, so maybe he has simply gotten better as a thriller writer. "The Bone House" started off great. I was glued to my iPhone, waiting to see how all the pieces would fit together...except that, when they did, some of the coincidences were way too implausible and some of the characters' actions were way too off-character. It's a shame because, in some cases, it felt that just a little bit more thought could have fixed the problem. But the problem went unchecked. As a result, the last quarter of the book was a let down.

Still, I like Mr. Freeman's style (even when I found myself saying, "Seriously?!," I couldn't put it down), so I have downloaded a third Freeman novel. Here's hoping for another "Spilled Blood."

Joe Barrett is the perfect narrator.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

A Very Suspenseful Murder Mystery!

Mark Bradley and his wife Hilary think they have it all. They have finally found love. They both have jobs they love, a new house they love, and they think all is going well for them. That is until a mother reads her daughter’s diary and finds that her daughter has written some very sensual things in there. Things about sex with her teacher, Mark Bradley. Then it is trial by gossipy neighbors and co-workers. Hilary thinks she knows her husband better than to suspect him of doing the deed with a young girl and decides to stand by him as he faces ridicule, loses his teaching job, and is ostracized by his so-called friends.

On a vacation to Florida to watch a dance competition, a young girls turn up dead on the beach outside of Mark and Hilary’s hotel. Unfortunately for Mark, not only does the girl turn out to be the sister of the girl he is accused of having an affair with, but he is the prime suspect. When Mark and Hillary return to the small town where they live, they will find out that they are no longer welcome. People believe Mark is guilty and want him gone, permanently.

As the investigation unfolds, Mark starts behaving erratically. Hillary starts to have doubts about her husband and wonders if there is something else he isn’t telling her.

This was a very suspenseful murder mystery. Right up until the ending, I still couldn’t decide if Mark was a lying, cheating jerk or just a guy suffering from ‘outsider’ syndrome. If you have ever lived in a small town you know what that is. The new people are never to be trusted, they are never allowed into inner circles, and are always the first to have fingers pointed in their direction when things go wrong.

This was my first novel by author Brian Freeman and it won’t be my last. I really enjoy a story that keeps you guessing right up until the end.


The Narration Review
This audiobook was narrated by Joe Barrett. I enjoyed his calm narration through most of the book and really enjoyed it when things started heating up and getting exciting. It was like he was right there with me in the suspense department. When you read a book and it comes to the suspenseful part you tend to read a little faster until you are almost ripping the pages as you turn them. That is what I felt like Joe was doing. It felt like he was so gripped by the story that he was feeling all the emotions that I was feeling and couldn’t wait to take me with him on the ride.

51 of 55 people found this review helpful

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Pulled me in and held me.

I love this narrator and appreciate his professionalism and delivery. To me, this was a perfect Audible book - because it was a good listen and there were times that I wanted to put it on double speed, as you can do with an iPhone, to hurry up and find out what happens. Toward the end, there were a few scenes that dragged because they seemed a bit overextended...but still, OK. Worth a purchase or a credit. There were surprises throughout (although why Hillary and her husband would stay in a community that didn't want them there is hard to imagine. Tougher that I am, I guess :) Or it's a novel...)

29 of 31 people found this review helpful

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A Very Realistic, Human Mystery

I picked this one because its read by one of my favorite narrators, Joe Barrett. His timing and delivery is always spot on. But I was equally surprised by the depth of relationships between the main characters, and the mystery kept me riveted as well.

The story revolves around a marraige under attack. The married couple are both high school teachers who are attractive, athletic, smart and charismatic. The husband has been accused of a sexual relationship with a student. Without trial or even an indictment he is fired and the couple is estranged from the small community where they live. The couple is remarkably mature, and for once in such a novel, a marraige full of love and trust is held up amidst a community and police force who are incapable of trusting or even understanding such a relationship.

The detective is Cab Bolton, son of a movie star mom, now living and working in Naples Florida. He's wealthy, thanks to his mother. In law enforcement, it is his 4th job. In fact, the bet on the police force is that he wont last another year. He's been a cop, FBI agent, private eye, and a cop again, so we understand the cynicism of his colleagues. He doesn't know who hs father is and his last relationship was a disaster. So its understandable why this healthy marraige seems so wrong to him.

So there are 3 main characters, each I found most intriguing and likable. There is a complicated mystery that kept me listening all day. And its read by one the great narrators!

42 of 49 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

An Okay to Mediocre Story

This story started very well with hints of mystery but it goes downhill pretty quick. Nevertheless, I hung in there waiting for the story to improve but it never did.

Hilary and Mark Bradley are fairly new in their marriage when they become entangled in a web of suspicion and accusations of Mark having an affair with one of his students. Mark lost his teaching job and the couple become outcasts in their community. They move to another town.... and yes, you guessed it, another teenage girl is found dead... and once again, Mark faces a hostile community convinced of his guilt. Some of the community members are willing to kill in order to keep their secrets hidden and to make sure Mark doesn’t get away with murder. Shocking revelations about Mark surfaces one after another, so much so that even Hilary begins to wonder about her husband's innocence.

In the final chapters the story truly fell apart... a college-age girl suspects a man of murder... then, why would she go to his home alone? and to top this off, a fully adult woman goes in (alone) to rescue the first and second girl only to become entangled with the killer too.! (huh?) Meanwhile there is "another" stupid young girl who is supposed to help get the girl out of the suspected killer's house, but where is she? where did she disappear to? The ending of this story was "stupid" in a lot of ways.... a full-fledged disappointment.

Joe Barrett is an excellent narrator.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Paula
  • Overland Park, KS USA
  • 01-12-14

This Will Keep You in Suspense to the Very End!

Amateur detectives beware . . .this one you won't see coming! The Bone House is an enjoyable listen with numerous sympathetic characters and some just the opposite. This story is compelling because the mystery continues to the very end. . . with the whodunit left for guessing all the way. That is an enjoyable murder mystery for sure.

It is a good listen, with good narration (not the most excellent, but good) and a keep-you-listening plot that thickens as the minutes fly by.

Listen very carefully in the beginning. . . there are links for those who would solve the crime along the way!

22 of 26 people found this review helpful

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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 06-03-16

Really stupid teen girls!

The Cab Bolton series, this is Book 1, has promise. It may eventually be as good as Brian Freeman's Jonathan Stride series. The Bone House is a good detective mystery/thriller with lots of suspense unless one pays very close attention to the first hour of the novel which gives away the ending. My 4 star rating may be a bit generous. This is not Freeman's best work, but I did find it entertaining.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful