Thursday, October 11, 2018

Paperback: "Bone Yard" by Michelle Gagnon

Paperback: Bone Yard by Michelle Gagnon, 2008, 9780778325390.

I grabbed a paperback for camping during Boy #1's mountain bike races. I listened to Gagnon's YA Don't trilogy featuring teens on the run against a massive conspiracy. This is the second novel with FBI Special Agent Kelly Jones.

Jones has recently joined the FBI's behavioral science unit that researches serial killers. When a remote "bone yard" of graves is found in a Western Masschusetts state park Jones is assigned to go help. Jones is already a workaholic and is now going to miss a long planned vacation in the Caribbean. But, she is the only profiler available and is tasked to go and advise the joint Massachusetts and Vermont investigation.  Jones will not have total legal authority, she is there to lead and advise and immediately finds out how much the Vermont and Massachusetts lead investigators hate another.

Massachusetts state murder investigator Doyle is an all around prick. Vermont cop Monica is more relatable but she and Doyle constantly quarrel and snipe at each other. Jones has to keep the two of them from fighting, guide the investigation to follow leads and interview people, push for results, and generally keep things going. This is not easy for Jones because she does not want to be there and cannot take the case over since no federal crime seems to have been committed.

Things happen. We meet the killer and his nemesis. Jones and Co. chase down leads. Jones's "security expert" boyfriend shows up. Monica tries to get lovey-dovey with the forensic anthropologist sent along with Jones. There is some violence and torture and murder. There are some false leads. There is some relationship drama.

I enjoyed the novel. Gagnon nicely balances all the characters and story lines. Squeamish readers won't like the torture scenes but Gagnon doesn't linger on the blood and gore. I enjoy the way she tells the stories. There are some nice clues and foreshadowing for what to expect and we get a couple surprises as well.

Spoilers below.

The killer is an early reveal by Gagnon. Another early reveal is that the killer is being observed and followed by another local who knows the guy is a torturer and murderer. Second Guy holds a grudge and is getting even. At first I thought this was a pretty lame twist but I ended up enjoying the plot line.

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