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Twenty Seven Bones (E.L. Pender #3)

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  629 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews

The brilliant author of Fear Itself pulls readers into an intricate web of ritual killings orchestrated by an evil pair of murderers who always manage to be one step ahead of the law.

Former FBI Special Agent E.L. Pender may be retired, but he jumps at the chance to help solve a particularly gruesome series of crimes in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

This is no ordinary case,

Paperback, 361 pages
Published 2005 by Pocket Books (first published 2004)
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Apr 21, 2008 Gina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First, thank you, Jocelynn (Coles) for recommending this one. It wasn't a bad book!

Although I found the action and thinking scenes well done, I sort of felt ... well, detached (for lack of a better word), as I read it. Okay, the plot I think, isn't terribly original, but the way it came about was.

But none, and I mean none, of the characters jumped out at me or stayed with me once I finished the book, and that includes the main character, Edgar Lee Pender. I didn't feel any of them are worth reme
Apr 13, 2009 Dreadlocksmile rated it really liked it
Jonathan Nasaw’s psychological thriller ‘27 Bones’ is the third novel to involve the FBI agent and authority on serial killers, E. L. Pender (the other two being ‘The Girls He Adored’ and ‘Fear Itself’).
The novel is situated on the island of Saint Luke, which is a fictional composite of three U.S. Virgin Islands; St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John. From the very beginning of the novel, the reader is informed who the killers are and their particular motivation for their dreadful atrocities. Draw
Dec 22, 2014 Wendy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was not sure what to expect with this book. It came highly recommended by members on an online book group and so I thought I would give it a try. Set in St. Luke, a fictional island in the chain of Virgin Islands, a couple and their houseman are stealing the last breath of their victims. The author introduces a host of characters, some of whom are charming, funny, and those who are despicable. One of the main characters is retired FBI agent, Pender, who is called in by his friend, the Chief of ...more
When reading horror/thriller books in the past, I have always enjoyed trying to fathom out who the killer/s are all by myself. With this book, the reader is fully aware of who the culprits are right from the beginning. After reading who were behind these gruesome murders, I wondered quite how the story was going to unfold from there and whether or not it would ruin the enjoyment and suspense for me. In this case, I'm pleased to say I found the story to be equally compelling as other books in its ...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
This has to be one of the best books I have ever read......Chilling, gripping, well written. Add it to your list.
I generally really enjoy Jonathan Nasaw books because of their unique murder circumstances and deeply developed psychological issues.. this, not so much.

This book has a mile of characters that only digs about an inch deep. Having a wide variety of characters isn't inherently a bad thing, but I felt like I did not get to know any of them, nor did their personalities seem to hold any interesting benefit to the plot (there's a little boy who was born with no arms, and it had nothing to do with any
Brian Sison
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 19, 2013 Levian rated it it was amazing
being retired doesn't stop FBI former agent Pender to stop jumping at the chance to help solve a gruesome series of murders. it was no ordinary murder, because the victims' right hand were missing. the local police tried to keep the existence of the serial killer under the radar, with the hope of solving the crime before the media came in. Pender was convinced that the killer was Apgard, the husband of the last victim, however he had yet seen the connection between Apgard and his neighbor. the E ...more
Dec 18, 2015 Celestine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, thriller
This book was pretty good. It started off too slowly for my tastes, but got better the further I got into the story. There was another lull in the middle, but by the end, the pace had picked up again. I didn’t get particularly attached to any of the characters; some of them seemed to be very superficially written. But the antagonists of this story were very hate-able people. I loved the way the island is portrayed. I could tell a lot of research went into understanding the Caribbean dialect and ...more
Sep 29, 2016 Janice rated it liked it
The cover alone was intriguing enough for me to pick this up and read it. I found this a gripping read with good twists. A page turner I didn't want to put down. I look forward to finding out more about this author's other books.
I really enjoyed tis book. I just wish that i had known that it was a series book so I could have started at the beginning. Now I'll have to go back. I'm kinda anal about reading books in order.
Nov 14, 2014 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
I read this is the Winter of 2004-2005. I remember really liking this book. I had no idea at the time this was considered the 3rd book in a series with the same detective.
Oct 12, 2014 Farhan rated it liked it
Another novel featuring the lumbering, funny, middle-aged Fed called Pender. Set against the colourful backdrop of a Caribbean island, it is an entertaining read.
Sep 01, 2016 Arsenic420 rated it did not like it
I was looking for a nice thriller but instead couldn't finish the book due to its sexual content. Especially in regards to rape & sacrifice of children & adults alike. thus book was too much for me. ew.
Dec 06, 2010 Jordan rated it it was ok
Meh. You know I love serial killers but this book didn't really do anything much for me. It felt a little forced like he had a great idea but it could only take him so far and to make a novel he needed to cobble together some extras. The audiobook reader guy, while amazing at narrating The First 48 on A&E, tries to do voices for each character but can't seem to keep them straight and he also seems slightly bored. It's as though he doesn't really like the book he's reading and it seems to com ...more
Jun 25, 2008 Eric added it
Recommends it for: NO ONE!!!!!
Shelves: tossed
I'm not even giving this book any stars. Terrible. Two chapters in and it's already full of smut. I want a good murder mystery. There's enough sexual abuse and violent sexual murders in reality that I don't need to read about it in books. What makes a good murder mystery/ thriller is a genius killer who doesn't resort to baser instincts. And it needs a hero who doesn't cheat on his wife and contemplate suicide. That does NOT make a fun read. Call me an old-fashioned purist, but I like a good cle ...more
Sep 21, 2014 Katherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good easy read for me, might have to see in to the other books this author has offered up.
Dan Webb
Oct 21, 2013 Dan Webb rated it really liked it
An offbeat and entertaining take on the psycho killer thriller, set in a fictional Caribbean island. A good amount of action and alternating perspectives between the detective, the killers, the accomplices and other characters keep the story moving forward. The characters are well drawn--even the psychopaths and the rich cad are three dimensional. In fact, I found the villains more interesting than the heroes. The amount of sex and violence may be excessive for some readers, but those varieties ...more
S Miller
Used - Good (Some spine creases)
Dec 15, 2015 Debbie rated it liked it
Interesting to read about ancient rituals, but not very enthralling
Virginia Walter
Retired FBI agent Pender is in the fictional Caribbean island of Saint Luke, assisting in the capture of a serial killer who chops off the right hand of the murder victims. In both Nasaw mysteries I have read, the killer is identified early on; the suspense comes from wondering how he/she/they will be caught and hoping that a particularly vulnerable and appealing potential target escapes. Here the killers are a crazed husband and wife anthropologists and their Indonesian assistant who has reason ...more
Aug 19, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it
Well written mystery
Natalie Law
May 07, 2016 Natalie Law rated it really liked it
Very good and loved the characters. Nice easy read.
Orpah Williams
May 03, 2016 Orpah Williams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I gave this book 5 stars because I couldn't find anything I didn't like about it. The plot was interesting and different. The characters were lovable, even the bad guys, except for Phil. I don't think I liked him that much. And of course, being from St. Thomas, I loved reading the accent and the ways of the people. Reminded me of home. I could eat some conch right now. Also, it's been a long time since I heard the word "bumsie " :)
I'm gonna have to find some more books from this author.
Mar 10, 2009 Jenness rated it really liked it
I listened to this book and it was slow going at first. But once past the first few chapters, I was totally engrossed. A husband and wife serial killer team are loose in the U.S Virgin Islands. Local police involve a retired FBI agent from the mainland to help solve the latest murders. Throw in some colorful island residents, one a fugitive from the law for the past 30 years, and things get interesting. This is a new author for me but I will certainly try some of his other books.
Mar 22, 2010 Kristi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
sucked, the best part was the line one dective gave the other

I have a hunch, .... so did quasimoto get lost paraphrased of course

this was just stupidly whacked the characheter were old and very very stereotypically crack pots. the ending surprisingly wasn't all that bad. still sucked

oh and memo to myself very very weird smut stuff not interesting at all.
Jun 06, 2011 Dawn rated it it was ok
Shelves: mysteries
This book was okay, it was pretty much your standard mystery horror book. It takes place in the Islands and follows serial killers who kill people for their last breath, which they believes gives them strength. I thought the characters were believable and well developed. There was lots of sex which didn't really add much in my opinion...all in all, ok...
Angie crosby
Jul 28, 2008 Angie crosby rated it it was ok
Shelves: alex, thriller
I finished this out of curiosity to how it ends. It wasn't a great book at all. The story idea was okay. The book wasn't well written, and it didn't seem like the author really cared about writing it well, just more that he wrote it. Also the storyline itself had issues, and the characters weren't developed much at all.
Oct 22, 2008 Robin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense-crime
Many books have been written about serial killers and I have read some of them. This book was a good thriller although not terrifying. There were some things that made me think "NO, WAY, NOT FEASIBLE!" Even so it was still an enjoyable read.
Dec 14, 2011 Juliakmiller rated it it was ok
I listened to this on tape driving to work. I didn't like it much at first - thought it was a little too graphic for me. But as the book went along, it got better. It was still pretty obvious what was going to happen.
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Jonathan Nasaw is the acclaimed author of Fear Itself and The Girls He Adored, both Literary Guild Selections. He lives in Pacific Grove, California.

* E.L. Pender
* James Whistler
More about Jonathan Nasaw...

Other Books in the Series

E.L. Pender (5 books)
  • The Girls He Adored
  • Fear Itself
  • When She Was Bad
  • The Boys from Santa Cruz

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“As any psychiatrist will tell you, it is a fact of life, a psychological home truth, that every human being from Mother Teresa to Jack the Ripper operates from the same basic needs, using the same basic defenses, and accessing the same basic pool of emotions as every other human being. Deep down below the surface, we all want to be safe, we all want to be loved, and we all want to be respected. (15)” 9 likes
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