Desert Isle Keeper
In Her Bones
I’ve heard great things about the writing of author Kate Moretti from a number of people whose reading tastes are pretty similar to my own, and I even went so far as to purchase a couple of her books. Somehow, I never got around to reading them, even though their synopses look extremely intriguing. Since I’m much more likely to read a book I’ve promised to review, I was elated to receive an early copy of her latest novel In Her Bones. As soon as I started reading, I knew this was exactly what I was looking for in a thriller.
It’s been fifteen years since Lilith Wade was sentenced to death for the murders of six women, but the media hasn’t seemed to lose interest in her high-profile case. In fact, an unauthorized biography of Lilith has recently been released, much to the dismay of her thirty-year-old daughter Edie who is doing her best to live a normal life in spite of her horrendous childhood. Unfortunately, things aren’t exactly easy for Edie. She struggles with an addiction to alcohol, she doesn’t care much for her job, and her older brother seems to be losing his grip on reality. So as one might imagine, the extra media attention showered on her by all manner of strangers is something she could definitely do without.
Edie also has a secret she’s desperate to keep under wraps. Over the past several years, she has grown increasingly obsessed with the families of Lilith’s victims and has created fake profiles on various social media sites so she can be aware of what’s going on in their lives. She’s even gone so far as to follow some of them around the city. Edie tries to tell herself she’s just curious to know how they’ve managed in the years following their terrible losses, but a part of her knows there’s more to it than that.
Peter’s wife is one of the women Lilith is said to have killed, but he’s not so sure that’s the truth. Peter thinks someone else is responsible for his wife’s death, and he’s doing his best to uncover the identity of the killer. When Edie stumbles upon his investigation, she decides to join forces with him without telling him who she really is. The two meet and spend the night together. Edie awakens early the next morning and hurries out of Peter’s house, unwilling to deal with the awkward morning-after conversation she’s sure will ensue if she hangs around until Peter wakes up. A few hours later, she learns that Peter has been found dead in his home by a neighbor, and it seems that Edie herself was the last person to have seen him alive.
Now Edie is really in trouble. The police detective who worked her mother’s case all those years ago is hot on her trail, and Edie is determined to stay out of his way. She knows she’ll be accused of killing Peter if the police get their hands on her, so she goes into hiding and begins an investigation of her own into Peter’s death.
I adore books about people on the run, and In Her Bones is one of the best I’ve read in quite some time. Edie is unlike any other heroine I’ve encountered in recent years, and I loved her originality. She has a moral code all her own, but Ms. Moretti does a great job helping readers sympathize with her despite her often questionable actions. Right from the start, the reader knows Edie is an incredibly troubled young woman, and I for one was hoping she’d come out on top even though I didn’t always agree with the things she did. She does experience a great deal of personal growth over the course of the novel, but not in an unbelievable way. This is not one of those stories where the heroine becomes a completely different person than she was at the beginning; she remains true to herself throughout the book, even though some of her perceptions change.
Edie’s story is interspersed with excerpts from the unauthorized biography of Lilith Wade. I really enjoyed getting some insight into Lilith’s character, as it helped me understand what Edie went through as a child. We never actually spend time with Lilith, but we still learn quite a bit about Edie’s early life. These excerpts are pretty dark, and some readers might have trouble reading them.
It takes a lot to surprise me, since I read a ton of thrillers, but I was completely caught off guard when the identity of Peter’s killer was finally revealed. Somehow, I never saw it coming, even though it seems totally obvious to me when I think about it in retrospect. I formed all kinds of opinions about who it could be, but I never even came close to figuring it out.
I’m so glad I own a couple more of Ms. Moretti’s books. Now that I’ve read this one, I’m in a hurry to devour her backlist. She’s a very skilled writer, and I can’t wait to immerse myself in another one of her dark thrillers.