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The Bone Garden

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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  14,435 ratings  ·  1,318 reviews
Present day: Julia Hamill has made a horrifying discovery on the grounds of her new home in rural Massachusetts: a skull buried in the rocky soil - human, female, and, according to the trained eye of Boston medical examiner Maura Isles, scarred with the unmistakable marks of murder.

Boston, 1830: In order to pay for his education, medical student Norris Marshall has joined
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Audio CD
Published 2008 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Laurel
A page-turner historical fiction/whodunit with some fascinating (and gruesome) glimpses of early 1800s medical school training in the US. Written by a physician - a quick read that will make you grateful you live now instead of then! One of the characters is Oliver Wendell Holmes, not the Supreme Court judge, but his father, who, in 1843, introduced a new practice to American medicine in an attempt to control "childbed fever"...suggesting that physicians wash their hands between patients.
Buggy
Opening line: “So this is how a marriage ends, thought Julia Hamill as she rammed the shovel into the soil.”

This was a very good read although not quite what I was expecting. The Bone Garden is two stories woven into one; starting with Julie Hamill in present day who has just purchased a new (old) house in Boston following her divorce. While attempting to dig a garden she makes a horrifying discovery –a human skull. According to medical examiner Maura Isles (who only has a cameo in this book) th
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Sibyl
I just finished reading The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen. As I thought about writing a review of the book I decided to mention where I had read an interview with her--the one that led me to select this book to read. As happens more and more often, I couldn’t locate the darn magazine or remember which one the article was in. My thoughts drifted farther afield to consider in my review, how had I missed reading Gerritsen until now? One more step lodged itself in this zigzagging brain, what is my c ...more
Ken Consaul
May 09, 2013 Ken Consaul rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: diehard Gerritsen fans
This is my second foray into Tess Gerritsen's books. I enjoyed about eighty percent of this one. As anyone who has read The Bone Garden, they can guess which eighty percent I'm talking about.

I really don't see what the present day tie in had to do with the story. Essentially (not really a spoiler), a woman buys a house, finds a skull when gardening. The famous Maura Isles shows up, appears on two pages to tell the reader she has nothing to do with the story. The rest of the present day segments
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KD
Dec 08, 2008 KD rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoy mysteries, historical reads and those who like twists in the endings.
Recommended to KD by: my mother.
At first, I was quite perplexed over the present day/historical split as the present day story seemed thin with the majority of the tale taking place in the 1830's. In the end, the story came full circle, providing that connection for the characters in both eras. I thought the details regarding medicine of the 1800's was fantastically gruesome and superbly done (and as many other reviews have stated, made me VERY happy to be a woman today!) with descriptions so rich your could almost smell the ...more
Yz the Whyz
Not an author or a genre I would have picked up on my own, if she was not a Featured Author in the RRRC group.

The Bone Garden weaves two stories in two different time - one in the past and the other in the present. In the past, it follows the lives of Rose Connelly, a poor Irish girl trying to protect her newly-orphaned niece and Norris Marshall, a struggling student doctor, and how fate had intertwined their paths, both joyous and poignant. We read about them through letters read by our modern
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Danni
By far the best of Gerritsen's books that I have read.

The book takes us back into the 1800's, looking at a life that has long since been forgotten. A young Irish girl, fresh off the boat watches in misery as her dear sister dies of childbirth fever. And when she refuses to hand over the child, a string of events is set into motion. A killer emerges, killing every nurse and doctor who stood watch as the girl shared the last of her secrets before she died. And the blame for these murders is placed
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Laurie Carlson
This book takes place in the present and the past in the early 1830's. It switches back and forth in an easy way. The author will tell you 'present day' or 1830, so you are NOT lost while reading this. She has even brought in the real Oliver Wendell Holmes. The premise of this book is this so far; a woman buys a new house. While she is gardening, she comes across a complete skeleton. A Forensic Anthropologist is called in and she is working to identify the body. The book goes back to the 1830's, ...more
Clare K. R.
Would have given this 3.5 stars if I could. I would definitely have given it at least four stars if the novel had only been the historical parts of the book, without the modern-day parts.

The two sections just didn't mesh well. I suspect the author just wanted to include a modern-day section as a hook for readers who are used to her contemporary mysteries. The modern-day section only has two connections to the historical mystery: the main character finds one of the bodies in her garden, and some
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David
Gerritsen continues to turn out solid thrillers with cleverly plotted mysteries. In this novel, Julia discovers skeleton remains while digging in the garden area of her new home. They turn out to be quite old and a relative of the previous owner thinks he may have a clue as to the owner of the remains is in a box of old correspondence and newspaper clippings that were collected by the house's previous owner. The story flashes back to 1830's Boston and the city is in fear of a gruesome killer on ...more
Kim
Fabulous whodunnit with an interesting twist - the story is related in the present day via letters found written by people in the 1800's. This can be qualified as all of these - historical fiction/suspense/mystery/romance/horror/biography - all in one book. The related story is tied to a house that is purchased by the main character at the start of the book. I listened to this via audio & I have to say it is one of the best presented audiobooks I've read to date. Extraordinary reader - I can ...more
Therese
My favorite micro-genre. Not "medical thriller," I didn't even know that was a thing. But now that I know I'll be happy to read them. No, my favorite kind of story is where there are two mysteries, one in the past and one in the present, and they build and expand and eventually meet in an extremely satisfying way. Like ghost stories that aren't supernatural.

The Bone Garden did this well. In the present, Julia finds a skull in the back yard of her new house. In 1830, 17 year old Rose watches her
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Karen
SPOILER WARNING BELOW

wow, words alone can not express how deeply this book has touched my soul.

Rose and Norris' souls have been searching for each other and finally are connected in Julia and Tom, cried so hard and I feel of have learned a lesson from Rose as well

I was trying to figure out who was buried in the garden. never thought it would be his mother.

sophia DID love get son and had no intention of leaving her family.

poor norris marshall suffered so greatly, thought his mother abandoned him
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Dilara
Of all the Tess Gerristen books I've read, this one has the least focus on Dr. Maura Isles and Det. Jane Rizzolo more. They basically made a "cameo" appearance in the book, but I honestly didn't miss them.

The book is about a woman who is starting her life over and buys an old, secluded house. As she is digging her garden, she discovers bones and it catapults her into discovering the mystery that occurred in her own back yard decades and decades ago.

I love the historical references in this book
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Ṡṳḉḧḭ
..so Norris did indeed come back to Rose!

This is my first book by the author,and she has rendered me absolutely speechless..
I didn't want this book to end..
Wanted it to go on and on..
Just couldn't get enough of it!

If this is the way the author keeps her readers intrigued and captivated,
I would say
"Tess Gerritsen is my favourite author"!!

This book manages to include every single emotion a human heart possesses: the sentiments that involve love,friendship,trust,betrayal,parenthood,blood ties,and
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Sandra
Nakon Kirurga, Šegrta i Grijeha, Tess me ne prestaje oduševljavati. Ovaj put me doslovno "izula iz cipela"!
Spiegel
This was quite the page turner, despite a couple of predictable twists[1].

It was lovely to realize, at the beginning in the present day, that all four characters on stage were women - the house's new owner, her sister, the pathologist and the archeologist (five if you count the skeleton *g*). I wish I could add "together, they fight crime!" to that sentence, but alas, it was not to be. Ultimately the present day plot left me indifferent. I think I'd prefer a more metaphorical connection between
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Sheryl
Oliver Wendell Holmes is a surprise character in this story that begins when a present-day woman digs up a garden in her yard and discovers a skeleton. The story alternates between 1830's Boston and the present, with a plot full of grave robbers, gruesome murders, medical students, dissection, racism against Irish immigrants, and hints of reincarnation. It was a fun and well written story.
Robby
Jan 11, 2014 Robby rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All Goodreads Friends
Recommended to Robby by: Goodreads friends
Read this back in 2012 but never wrote a review; forgot I guess. Anyway; after reading Buggy's review here recently on Goodreads, it reminded me of just how much I had enjoyed that book. Though Maura Isles does make a cameo appearance in this story, it truly stands apart from Ms. Gerritsen's "Rizzoli & Isles" series. It sort of had a paranormal feel to me which along with the historical references of an 1830's Boston and Ms. Gerritsen's skillful graphic details of the medical procedures foll ...more
Stephen Hayes
I quite like books that have a mystery in the past that has repercussions in the present; Robert Goddard is probably one of the better-known current exponents of that genre. This one is Tess Gerritsen's attempt to write a novel like that, where a recently-divoced woman, Julia Hamill, buys an old house, and finds a skeleton buried in the garden.

The previous occupant of the house had died, leaving a great accumulation of papers, and, instead of tossing them out, her relatives had passed them on t
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Andrea
Julia Hamill buys a home in rural Massachusetts, and finds a buried body. Maura Isles, Boston Medical Examiner, comes to the scene and determines that the body has been interred for a very long time. Specifically, the woman had been murdered some time in the early 19th century.

The home had previously been occupied by a woman in her nineties, who had left a house full of boxes, papers to relatives. Anxious to know more of the previous occupant, Julia travels to Maine to meet the cousin who took c
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Barbra
Tess Gerritsen's books are riveting page-turners. I have read all of her Isles/Rizzoli books. I have to say that I much prefer her later stuff to her earlier stand-alones.

Back Cover Blurb:
Julia Hamill is gardening one afternoon when her spade strikes something soft but unyielding - not a rock but a human skull.
Medical examiner Maura Isles quickly determines that the skeleton - that of a woman - dates back to the early 1800s. Forensic evidence indicates foul play. 'But too much time has passed,'
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Nikki Frankel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
LJ
THE BONE GARDEN (Mys/Hist/Cont- Mass- 1830/Cont) – G+
Gerritsen, Tess – Standalone
Ballantine Books, 2007, US Hardcover – ISBN: 9780345497604

First Sentence: Dearest Margaret, I thank you for your kind condolences, so sincerely offered, for the loss of my darling Amelia.

Newly divorced, Julia Hamill is working on the garden of her new home in rural Massachusetts when she uncovers a skull a woman who Dr. Maura Isles determines was murdered. That revelation, and contact from the former owners’ elderly
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Elizabeth (Alaska)
An interesting medical thriller. A young woman finds a skull in her garden, which turns out to be an entire skeleton after the medical examiner's office excavates the area. But it isn't a newly buried body and a forensic anthropologist is called in who determines the bones are from the early 1800s. The story then centers on some young men attending medical school in Boston in 1830. One of the 1830 characters is Oliver Wendell Holmes - not the lawyer you might think, but his father who was a phys ...more
Shauna
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Debra
Another great book by Tess Gerritsen. The book goes back and forth between the present day and the past. The end of the book culminates with the big reveal tying the two times and answers the question as to whose bones were found in the garden and why. Most of the book took place in the past but I think that was necessary to lead the reader to the present.
 Eden Creed
There’s a lot of emotion packed into this murder mystery.

The story dragged sometimes, but it picked right back up and never failed to keep me hooked, especially with the delicious historical tidbits that were included.

I didn’t see the killer coming (literally) and at times I honestly wondered how the hell Gerritsen was going to wrap up all of the information that she kept throwing at me. But in the end, things fit in quite neatly, even if I found Julia’s connection with Rose far too convenient.
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Carol
This was my first book by Tess Garritsen, so I've not read any of her Rizzoli and Isles series books. I listened to this as an audio book and the narrator was excellent. Her accents and voicing added to the experience. The story moves between the 1800's society, medical students, Irish immigrants and a serial killer to the modern day. Characters include Oliver Wendell Holmes and a very important medical contribution he made (which seems like a no-brainer by today's standards). It is set in Bosto ...more
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18149
Internationally bestselling author Tess Gerritsen took an unusual route to a writing career. A graduate of Stanford University, Tess went on to medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, where she was awarded her M.D.

While on maternity leave from her work as a physician, she began to write fiction. In 1987, her first novel was published. Call After Midnight, a romantic thriller
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More about Tess Gerritsen...
The Surgeon (Rizzoli & Isles #1) Vanish (Rizzoli & Isles, #5) The Apprentice (Rizzoli & Isles #2) Body Double (Rizzoli & Isles, #4) The Sinner (Rizzoli & Isles, #3)

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“Charles threw down the knife. Its thud was lost in the high-spirited bedlam of young men let loose upon a task so gruesome, the only sane response was perverse frivolity.” 4 likes
“...men that age aren't known for their superior judgment.” 4 likes
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