Tuesday, October 7, 2008

"Bone Harvest" by Mary Logue

Was the motive for the murders of the Schuler family believable, once everything came to light?
For more information about the author, Mary Logue, check out her website at:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I did read and enjoy the book (especially since it had botanical elements), and had a few notes:

Great title that gives hint of a key plot device, the removed fingers of the victims Very strong sense of place Believable dialogue The historical context of post-WWII prejudice against German Americans Overall good structure and pace, which never gets bogged down Short sentences throughout kept tension and suspense A mystery that fooled me: I didn't guess (and I always try!) what the exact circumstances of the family's murder were until they were finally revealed

Things that bothered me:

The main character, Claire Watkins, didn't become full for me until well into the book. I know she is a recurring character in a series, so perhaps this was why; the author may have felt she developed Claire in past books in this series.

Too many characters; I found I kept having to refer back and see who was who (this may have been the result of not reading book in one

The motive for the pesticide threats from the character of Paul Lindstrom, who as a small boy had witnessed the murders (but didn't realize that the Schuler father had committed them), seemed somewhat contrived.

Earl Lowman, witness to aftermath of murder of his family by Schuler, and who murdered Schuler at his request. More or less a mercy killing, but seemed very unlikely to me that this man would shoot another in the back, even a murderer.

Having said all that, I thought the book was mostly successful and enjoyable, especially since it balanced the life-affirming relationship of Claire and Rich with the depressing aftermath of the 50+ year old multiple murder. It's not easy to come up with a riveting, plausible mystery with engaging characters, but I think Mary Logue does a credible job. I wouldn't read another of her books or recommend this one, but I respect what she's done here.