By Sandra Ruttan

At the beginning of A Thousand Bones, Miami homicide detective Joe Frye is going to face the man she loves and confront the demons of her past. She has a story to tell, something she’s never told anyone.

The reader is taken thirteen years back in time, to 1975, to the birth of Joe’s career. Recruited from a criminology class, Joe graduates from the police academy and takes a job with the Leelanau County sheriff’s department in Michigan. And nothing could have prepared her for the case she finds herself working on.

It’s fall. Winter is fast approaching. And a few human bones have been found in the woods. Not enough to make an ID, at this point. A few other items, including a charm bracelet, have been recovered as well. The sheriff’s department has never had to deal with an investigation like this.

The level of tension rises through the story as the details unfold. Joe thought she’d faced sexual discrimination in the police academy, but on the job must fight to be included actively in the investigation. Others take credit for her accomplishments and the sheriff lets the men push her around. The tension within the department is realistic, and adds to the intrigue of the case. Soon, more bones are recovered. Joe’s hunches prove correct, and it isn’t long before they realize they have multiple victims.

There are a few things I wondered about as I read, but I don’t want to elaborate. Doing so would move into potential spoiler territory, and what they were isn’t important. The only thing to note is that everything in this book was resolved to my satisfaction. This is a wonderful start to a new series from PJ Parrish. A riveting page-turner, I was kept up half the night reading because I just had to know what happened next. Of course, the worst thing about finishing a wonderful book is that you know you have to wait a year for the follow-up, but if A Thousand Bones is any indication of what PJ Parrish can do with this character it will be well worth the wait.


Sandra Ruttan’s debut suspense novel, Suspicious Circumstances, was released in January, 2007. For more information about Sandra visit her website

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