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Circle Of Bones: a Caribbean Thriller (The Shipwreck Adventures #1)

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  1,180 ratings  ·  134 reviews
Based on one of the strangest true mysteries of World War II, Christine Kling's new adventure thriller CIRCLE OF BONES begins aboard the ill-fated French submarine Surcouf as she departs Bermuda in 1942 on her final voyage into the Caribbean.

Fast forward to 2008 when former U.S. Marine Maggie Riley is sailing alone aboard her forty-foot sailboat. She rescues a crazy conspi
Paperback, 558 pages
Published February 18th 2012 by Tell-Tale Press (first published December 19th 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,569)
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James Thane
Circle of Bones is a tense thriller, set mostly in the Caribbean, and featuring Maggie Riley, a woman who is sailing alone, away from a troubled past that includes a treacherous lover, a father who’s gone tragically senile, and a brilliant brother who died way too young. It also involves the search for a French submarine, the Surcouf, that disappeared in the Caribbean during World War II, and an extensive conspiracy stretching from the war down to the present day, involving Yale’s infamous club, ...more
♡Karlyn P♡
This was a really good freebie political/suspense thriller with treasure hunting, a secret political club with deep control over world affairs, and layers upon layers of intense plotting. There is no doubt the author has deep knowledge about all things nautical. She did a great job blending facts with fiction, including the historical search for an actual missing WW2 submarine lost over 60-years ago.

If you are a romance fan like me, you should know that is does have a strong romance element but
I devoured Circle of Bones in one sitting. It is a very good maritime yarn, as good or better than Clive Cussler's on a couple of levels in plotting and writing. Like Cussler, Kling does a great job in weaving several narratives together.

Former U. S. Marines embassy security guard Maggie Riley sails to the Caribbean aboard a forty-foot sailboat to find solace as a solo sailor following a her recovery from a near-fatal embassy bombing and a lover's abandonment.

Near the islands of Dominica and G
Carl Brookins
I'm a sucker for sea stories, and for thrillers of all kinds. I've read Kling's other books and enjoyed them immensely. The parallel plot development in this novel is very well designed. With one exception, the characters are intriguing, usually act appropriately and are worth following. The settings, the rhythms of the action,and in most cases the reactions of the characters work to maintain or raise the tension. But the novel is way too long. Again and again the tension builds to a climax only ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I got this title when it was free for Kindle. It isn't typical of my reading choices but I thought I'd give it a go for something different. I'm glad that I did. I enjoyed the strong female presence of Maggie Riley. She's intelligent, strong, and sexy but not infallible. I enjoyed the male protagonists as well. Cole and Theo are a great compliment to Maggie's personality. The danger and conflicts throughout the book kept my attention to the end.

The main villain is satisfyingly diabolical and rem
this was a decent read, but a lil overlong and dragged in place for me, especially with the villain and his hammy and less than believable henchmen and overall plotline...

in fact, all the characters were kinda cliche and that is probably the major downside of this novel...the general premise is interesting reading, given it is based on real events and i mostly liked the suppositions proffered in explaining them...

if i could, i would have given it a 3 and a half star rating...decently written and
Paullei Mumme
A decent book with enough action and suspense to keep me interested but the book as a whole fell short of what it could have been.

The characters never fully captured my heart. There were several areas that didn't hold my attention and I skimmed over it. I wanted to love the book but I instead I just enjoyed it.

I've noticed with this author that she is creative and does a decent job of weaving characters and plot but I always feel cheated for either lack of character development and rushed stor
Sally Malkowski
I LOVED this book. Great writing technique - a blend of education, humor, suspense, Cariabean travel history, search for missing "treasure" - all linked with likeable and believeable characters. The ending leads one to believe there could be a sequel. My only suggestion would be to put the Surcouf's history before the start of the story as it would have had more of an impact on me personally. Rated 1 to 5, with 5 the highest, I would give this a 4 & 7/8 taking off ONLY for the few grammatica ...more
A lot of fun, this. Think Dan Brown-lite, with a more likable protagonist and fun sailing scenes. This is the first in a series of books featuring a former Marine, Maggie Riley, who gets caught up in the dangerous underworld of secret societies (mainly a tinfoil hat version of Yale's Skull and Bones) and their attempts to control the world through war profiteering, and - because why not - salvaging sunken treasures. The latter gives author Christine Kling a reason to introduce Riley's conspiracy ...more
Nadine Slavinski
Although the opening chapters felt a little slow and I was tempted to give this book three stars at times, by the end, I was whipping through the pages. If that's not four stars, what is? Circle of Bones is a fun adventure novel in an authentic Caribbean setting (having sailed to the story locations myself in a small boat I can vouch for that). I love seeing a strong female protagonist and a well-conceived tale of hidden treasure. There are points where the story gets convoluted or contrived (fo ...more
This book had its moments.

At its best, it's a pretty good thriller with a strong sailing/boating element. The plotline that kicks off all the action is of course ludicrous, but that's normal in this genre. It's hard to send people careening around the planet in search of a better pie recipe, so we always end up with the Earthshattering MacGuffin.

My issue with this book is with the secondary characters. The main characters are basically fine. The secondary characters are poor. There's the Magic S
Nelio Gomes
This book was not what I would have usually picked up to read. What piqued my interest was the locale - the islands of the eastern Caribbean! Having recently visited the area, I was looking for a novel to take me back. As it turned out, Circle of Bones did that and much more. It is a wonderfully written tale of international intrigue, treasure hunting, assassins, history altering events, and a goofy love story -- what more could a reader ask for? Following events in the life of ex-marine Maggie ...more
Circle of Bones, true to its cover blurb, is "a Caribbean thriller". And, a tense thriller it is indeed.
The story starts with Maggie Riley, a former US Marine no less, rescuing nude, handsome Cole Thatcher from the sea off the coast of Guadeloupe. At first she dismisses him as some kind of kook because he claims that killers are after him and spouts conspiracy theories. However, she reevaluates a bit when she finds out that he is a Marine Archeologist with a PhD and owns a very practical salvage
Kathryn Flatt
Well, I only got one quarter of the way into the book, Chapter 23, and gave it up. No clue what everyone's after. Little or no idea of who these people are or what motivates them. I kept slogging along, hoping for something to snare my interest, but alas. I don't even know if I particularly like any of the characters. The flashbacks to a key historical event progress too slowly and don't really add much. Too much detail about the mechanics of sailing. Maybe someday I'll go back and try to fini ...more
Cheryl Meyers
I love this author. Her books are usually set in and around the water and you can tell she knows boats and how to live on the water by the way she writes. I look forward to reading DRAGON'S TRIANGLE, the second in this series. I have read all of her Seychelle Sullivan books and was thoroughly entertained by her characters, plots, and settings in that series. I just signed up for her web site so I can follow her real-life adventures. What a wonderful time she must have traveling around the world ...more
Kalda Orso
The elite, who feast on the spoils of keeping our Nation at War!

1942 French submarine Surcouf disappeared in the Caribbean with a hoard of gold and secret documents. Information that could change the history books. from World War II to the fall of the Twin Towers. This information is more important than the millions of French gold Angeles hidden in the hole of the largest submarine of that time. The Circle of Bones infiltrate the Government's of two great nation's and they will stop at nothing t
Ted Blockey
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I'm a sucker for anything set in the Caribbean, especially with boats and diving. Riley is a great, believable female protagonist--independent, capable yet aware of her limitations. The story is robust and complex, cleverly interwoven with history and recent events. This is what I'd hoped the Harlequin Bombshell line would produce, but the best of those couldn't hold a candle to Riley. The bad guys were a bit heavy-handed and melodramatic for my taste, but so many thriller villains are. Looking ...more
Bud Mallar
So, this was a Kindle $0.99 special.

I mean how are we ever going to expand our horizons, or at least the authors we read, or get into other genres, if we don't try something new????

This isn't going to win book of the year, but it's certainly not the worst.

If you buy into a bit of a ludicrous background story - and don't we all, that's why we read thrillers and mysteries because they are just a bit off the truth - the story of this heroine is a fun read.

Fast paced, some very interesting character
Admittedly, reviews of any kind are always subjective. But I feel like I've read enough books in different genres to recognize what makes a book good, both technically and commercially, and Circle of Bones is a GREAT book. The main plot alone is compelling; then you add in Kling's character development and its powerful effect on the subplots, and you have a bonafide page-turner.

For me, Circle of Bones had elements of everything I love about fiction all in one book. It's not often I find a solid
Ben Pashkoff
I just finished Circle of Bones last night. Actually I have been keeping an extra hour or so each night to work on it. First, I really enjoyed it. The plot line, and characterization are great. The action (for the most part) was good, and the twists were intriguiing. The technical detail as to boating and sailing were great. I,for one, think that the technical detsails in books like these are what really adds reality to the story (See also Clancy and Cussler).

My main caveat is actually with some
R.P. Dahlke
Clive Cussler and Dan Brown move over! This is a rip-roaring sailing adventure set in the Caribbean islands.
A young woman, Riley, retired from the Marine Corp, sails the Caribbean while she tries to forget the loss of her fellow marines in a tragic bombing. A diving archeologist, Cole, whose absentee father mails him coded letters about a WWII French submarine sends him on a quest to see if the clues will help him realize the prize.

The submarine, which may or may not be is sitting intact unde
Victoria Allman
Christine Kling, of Seychelle Sullivan Mysteries fame, is back with her first stand-alone nautical thriller. Expanding her geographical location from Florida in her superb mystery series, Circle of Bones sails the waters of the Caribbean islands of Dominica and Guadeloupe.

Like Kling's earlier protagonist, Riley is one of the strongest most likable women I've read. I couldn't decide whether I liked her or Cole, the maybe-crazy conspiracy-spouting love interest, more. Riley, a former marine, meet
Philip McClimon
I would have to say, this book is Indianna Jones meets Titanic. It is an adventure and a mystery that kept me reading and I never lost I interest the whole way through. It has intrigue and violence and secrets, the little guy pitted against men in power. I really came to like Riley and Thatcher. I thought they were strong characters that played well off each other. Digger was a sadistic s.o.b and a significant force for the two heroes to go against. This was a fun treasure hunt like Indiana Jone ...more
This was a really fun book. It's a thriller set in the Caribbean (imagine that!) with events centering around an ancient order and a missing submarine. There's much more to it than that, but i'll let you read it for yourself. The storyline is in three separate timelines - the distant past, the near past, and the present, with most taking place in the near past. It's interesting to see how the distant past plays out, driving what happened in the near past. The perspective switches back and forth, ...more
Val Wilkerson
At first I had trouble keeping up with the characters as the story bounces back & forth from 2008 to 1942...but once I got that straight I enjoyed the plot & the characters.The story is fiction but is based on
a real French submarine named Surcouf, which was the largest submarine in the world when she was commissioned in 1934. I may have to google that now. Anyway I will check out Christine Klings other books after reading this one.
J.Z. O'Brien
Circle Of Bones, an intriguing thriller by Christine Kling, came to me highly recommended by a friend, a well read friend. The crisp, clear writing style won me over in the first chapter and kept me reading well into the night. Caribbean waters, treasure hunting, and secret societies woven together make a great story and this is well told.

My friend told me to add Circle of Bones to my "To Read" list so I wouldn't forget, and I pass on that recommendation!
This was the prequel to Kling's DRAGON'S TRIANGLE. There is a little bit of everything here, romance,perfidious government agents, and treasure hunting in the Caribbean. The characters are developed in a way that you either love or hate them, no gray area. Sure, there are some mind-boggling events--being pulled from the Caribbean and on a commercial flight to DC, in still damp shorts and shirt. Flying first class, or course, makes this OK. Definitely a 5 star read.
Carol Cronin
Circle of Bones spins a tale that dives back into the past while living securely in the present, with the Caribbean as a lush tropical backdrop.

Mostly when I read fiction that involves sailing, it is either too dull, too overly dramatic, or just doesn't sound right to my sailor's ear. Christine Kling has done a fantastic job of creating an authentic story that takes place on boats. The sailing details aren't overdone, and she even places her characters on powerboats as necessary, to get them pla
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Armchair Sailors: Free ebook 1 26 Feb 14, 2012 12:46PM  
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I have spent over thirty years living on and around boats and cruising the Caribbean and the Pacific. I've been a boat wife, mother and now I am captain of my own boat. I've had articles and stories published in many publications including Cruising World, Sailing!, and The Tiller and the Pen, Gulfstream Magazine and Miami Noir. My first four novels are in a series about Florida female tugboat capt ...more
More about Christine Kling...

Other Books in the Series

The Shipwreck Adventures (2 books)
  • Dragon's Triangle
Dragon's Triangle Surface Tension (Seychelle Sullivan, #1) Cross Current (Seychelle Sullivan, #2) Wreckers' Key (Seychelle Sullivan, #4) Bitter End (Seychelle Sullivan, #3)

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