Valley of Bones
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Valley of Bones (Jimmy Paz #2)

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  741 ratings  ·  86 reviews
Critically acclaimed, bestselling author Michael Gruber's second novel to feature police detective Jimmy Paz is a chilling and remarkable work of intelligence and imagination. After a wealthy oilman plunges ten stories to his death from the balcony of a Miami hotel, Paz and the young cop who witnessed the fall discover a woman on her knees praying in the dead man's room. A...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published April 28th 2009 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published January 1st 2005)
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If you're reading this review of the Jimmy Paz series than you've read them all. In my opinion this series is remarkable for its intelligence, its strong plot and, it's philosphical world view and psychological depth of characters. Mixing murder with ethnography and sorcery, Gruber brings us a fascinating tale of Jimmy Paz, a cuban-american detective who is about to have his world and beliefs shaken to the core.

We all have brains, we all possess varying degrees of intelligence, and we all are ph...more
Gruber continues to delight me with his intelligence, depth of thought, and interesting characters. His thrillers jump out of their genre to stand as literary works of art. I've looked up several words (new to me, or forgotten) in each of his 3 books I've read so far. Not many authors build my vocabulary this way, and I appreciate it. Not to mention he keeps me turning the pages past the time I should be asleep.
Books like this are why it's called "genre writing." _Valley of Bones_ falls (not to say sinks) into the category of "beach reading" (provided it's a really nice beach and you're in an especially distracted mood) or what it's perhaps more accurate to call "potato chip reading": the pages go down like potato chips, but no individual chip requires your attention. There's only one reason to write like this: money. Before anyone gets his knickers in a wad, let's be clear: I'm very happy if writers m...more
Will Byrnes
This is another very interesting suspense novel, a worthy follow up to the excellent Tropic of Night. Jimmy Paz remains the central character, a Cuban-American Miami detective with connections to the Santaria community. An Arab is smacked on the head and thrown from a hotel room to his death. A young woman is found in the room in a state of shock. The story-telling is structured like a braid with the threads intertwining. Chapters alternate between the diary of the mad woman, the investigation b...more
Rosina Lippi
I reviewed Gruber’s Tropic of Night; Valley of Bones is a sequel of sorts. This one also has Iago (Jimmy) Paz as a detective working a murder, and the setting again is a very vibrant, very vivid Miami. Noisy, colorful, crowded, dreadfully poor and rundown on the one hand and polished like a gemstone on the other.

These are crime novels. A guy gets thrown off a hotel balcony, a woman is found in his room, her fingerprints on the object used to clonk the guy over the head. Her name is Emmylou Dider...more
One of my favorites, a thriller, a mystery, a police procedural, a wonderful introduction to the culture and place of South Florida, plus a primer on the long running conflict in Sudan. Jimmy Paz is the protagonist in a series of three books by Gurber, but the other characters in each are super as well, just terrific. I have this book in hardbound, and in a Kindle version, and the Kindle version has a fascinating addendum that is the back story to sources for Michael Gruber's experiences that al...more
It's the suspect who is most fascinating in this Jimmy Paz case. She's a hard, manipulative woman with an enigmatic and otherworldly quality about her that seems to unexpectedly infect those who come in contact with her, including Paz. She requests hardbound notebooks in which to write her lengthy and absorbing confession, which is integrated into the novel as the overall plot unfolds. As a result, the book entails three discrete interwoven sub-chronicles that gradually coalesce into an anomalou...more
Jim Morris
I'm not going to summarize this book, but I am going to give it my highest recommendation. It is a great and engrossing read with some of the most powerful characterizations I have ever encountered. Sister Emmylou Dideroff is my new hero, one of the toughest characters in fiction. Any book that features an order of nuns nicknamed The Bloods, who have their own jump school will win my heart, and as far as I know this is the only one that has that. Take my word for it; this is a fabulous read. Do...more
Jonah Gibson
I loved this book. I've read Tropic of Night, Gruber's first novel featuring Miami Detective Jimmy Paz, and also The Book of Air and Shadows, which is quite different. I expected to be transported by Valley of Bones, and I was not disappointed. Gruber weaves multiple narrative threads into a taught braided arc chock full of wonderful notions and interesting characters. Here he gives us the continuing saga of Jimmy Paz, Cuban American autodidact smart enough to hold his own with his new PhD squee...more
A really out there writer. I enjoy his books a lot -- recently I've read The Good Son, and before that another Jimmy Paz novel. Strange, strange combination of guns n' conspiracy, literary/historical smarts, cultural stuff (Cuban Miami), great characters (love Jimmy, Cletis, and Jimmy's mom), and...religious mysticism, with real devils, zombies, and spirit possession. Wacky, but fun and never boring. I also appreciated a writer who steadfastly refuses to split the infinitive.
Yasmin M
For the life of me, I don't understand how this guy manages to have a best selling book with the crap he writes and his repugnant style of writing.
Linda  Branham Greenwell
Not sure exactly what kind of book. Yes, a mystery, but also visions, saints, demons and voodoo... and the politics of oil

The mystery begins with officer Morales responding to a disturbance call from a hotel. where he becomes a witness to a possible suicide. He investigates the victims room and there he finds Emmylou Dideroff huddled in a corner of the room muttering prayers.

Detective Jimmy Paz enters the crime scene and figures Emmylou is the killer and thinks she might be going for a crazy pl...more
This is a series I really like! The second of the Jimmy Paz series (is it really a trilogy, or just a three-book (to date) series? I don't know yet) is considerably lighter in tone than the previous "Tropic of Night" but in its own way just as good. The book begins with what appears to be a clear case of murder with the killer at the scene. But the woman accused, a strange religiously zealous woman named Emmylou Dideroff, is a woman with a complicated past and it becomes clear very soon that she...more
July 2013
My annual Gruber festival is usually in February, but this year I read them in a different order, in different months. My opinion doesn't change - still good. I like very much the idea that there is value in everything, every experience - even the painful ones because, perhaps, the most change occurs with pain. I paid more attention to the politics this time - distressing because its so very likely to be true.

May 2009
Another re-read, another book purchase. Not as good as Tropic, but go...more
I enjoyed this interesting police thriller set in Miami - the immigrant areas, not the celebrity enclaves. A believable unbelievable plot using Gruber's now familiar style of three stories simultaneously. I was not so keen on the voodoo aspects of the back story, but I guess it is authentic for some sections of the Cuban migrant population. It was the second in a series (currently three) featuring the character Jimmy Paz. I prefer to read books in the sequence they were written, but have not bee...more
Tracy Terry
The second in a series of books, I have to say that, apart from the occasional reference to the first book, this read perfectly well as a standalone novel.

Alternating between the story of the crime of which Emmylou Dideroff is accused (IE the killing of Sudanese oil baron Jabir Akran al-Muwalid) , her written notebook 'confessions' and a history of the fictional order known as the Nursing Sister's of the Blood of Christ, it is my opinion that it is only the story of Emmylou's crime that is is an...more
I LOVED "Tropic of Night," the first Jimmy Paz novel. I stayed up all night reading it. So I came to "Valley of Bones" with high expectations, excited to read more about Paz and Gruber's artfully-depicted Miami. But "Valley of Bones" was a big disappointment to me.

First of all, it was something of a let down. The stakes in "Tropic of Night" were so high! And even though much of it was back-story, there was such immediacy in the book's events that you really felt like you were on a rollercoaster....more
Not exactly sure what to think of this one. I really enjoyed the first book of this series, Tropic Of Night, but this one seemed to miss the mark for me. The main issue I had with it is the way too long and meandering written "confessions" of one of the characters. They were interspersed throughout the book, and I found myself just trying to get through them to get to the more interesting parts of the book. Never a good sign.
This second book by Gruber involving Detective Iago (Jimmy) Paz of the Miami Police Department is every bit as intricate as the first book, Tropic of Night. Gruber obviously enjoys research, especially gathering all sorts of information from a variety of arcane subjects, and weaving them into a narrative.

Where I found the the first book absolutely riveting in its blood-chilling and macabre details, Valley of Bones is considerably "tamer" and not a nail-biter. (Hence the fouir-star ratring rathe...more
Oh my goodness, this was all over the map. It was a hundred pages longer than most books I've enjoyed in this genre and I was entertained for all of them. It was a mixture of politics and suspense with a little supernatural thrown in the mix. I stumbled across this, the second of a trilogy which means I have two more books to read. Good news.
Jan 11, 2013 Abby rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Abby by: Sarah
It was such a heavy read. There were too many things going on, too many stories to follow: that of Emily/Emmylou's, Paz's, Wise's, the dead man's, Morales', Oliphant's, etc. There are only too much the mind could handle.

I didn't like the first few parts. The Christianity, coupled with mania and vision, is a huge dilemma, a heavy burden. Although, I have to admit, it did help me understand things. Somehow, there were lessons I found that, although I have encountered before, haven't fully underst...more
Second book with Cuban-Miamian police detective and restaurant cook, Jimmy Paz, as the protagonist, this time with a witness and possible murderess named Emmylou Dideroff. A thinking person's mystery-thriller novel where this time religious nurses-without-borders meets international oil meets gunrunning survivalists meets crime fiction. Very gripping in the story's pacing and jumps in time and place using diary entries to give perspective of one of the two main characters and narrative for the s...more
Not very good at all. The last novel of his I read really veered off into weirdness--voodoo, end of the world stuff. This one doesn’t go quite as far, but I almost wish it had. A religious fanatic (who really doesn’t seem that fanatical, but that’s how she’s continually described) may have committed a murder and oil and foreign relations are involved… All very silly and complicated. Then Santeria enters the picture and miraculous pregnancies… And I don’t really like the main character, Jimmy Paz...more
Another Michael Gruber that I greatly admired. His books all seem to relate in some way to the utter mysteriousness of good and evil, the world as perceived by consciousnesses other than the accepted ones of today, and religious confusion and doubt. All wrapped up in mystery/thrillers that are utterly believable, until you close the book and realize how thoroughly you've been enthralled. Or so it would seem when looked at "in the cold light of day." Which is exactly the "normal" outlook he's alw...more
Another Michael Gruber mystery with detective Jimmy Paz. This is a complex thriller that kept my attention from the beginning to the end. Skin-head survivalists, Homeland Security, African terriorist, Miami gangsters, Catholic sisters, and soldiers of fortune are characters in this book. Gruber is great at having his characters and readers ask the question, "What is real and what is not?" Read Tropic of Night before this book so that you have good background on detective Paz and his former partn...more
I chose this book because it was available in MP3 format, which is compatible with listening on my new iphone. Also, the narrator, Nick Sullivan, is my new favorite male narrator.

The book is long, and the second in a series (I plan to read the first and third one). It's a good story, a little long in some parts, but in general I enjoyed it. The reading is one of the best I've experienced, and I listen to many audiobooks. He does an amazing job with male, female, and all the accents.

I would defin...more
Jean Doolittle
Complex and stimulating. Unsettling and provocative. A very good read
I read this book second in the trilogy, unaware that there was another book that preceded it. In this mystery, Jimmy Paz, recently retired from the Miami Police force, is thrust back into conflict with the forces of evil. On his side is a truly terrifying force, the force of good, represented by a defrocked nun who is on the lam from a world of violence and evil in Africa. Paz meets his wife to be in this chilling battle, a psychologist who does not believe in the supernatural. Unfortunately for...more
Kathryn McCary
The second Jimmy Paz, and every bit as good as the first. A structure similar to that of Tropic of Night: three narrative POV's in ordered succession, one of them a written narrative detailing a character's past that led to the present situation. And, again, an examination of outposts of religious experience--Christianity this time. But it isn't repetitious, rather it is expansive. And there are a handful of fascinating observations about both the craft of writing and the obsession of writing. T...more
Bonita Braun
Mar 17, 2014 Bonita Braun rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery fans
Recommended to Bonita by: Amazon site
Shelves: mystery
Good story, interesting characters. Good dialog, easy to read and hard to put down. Bogged down a bit for me in 4th notebook of confession.
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Michael Gruber is an author living in Seattle, Washington. He attended Columbia University and received his Ph.D. in biology from the University of Miami. He worked as a cook, a marine biologist, a speech writer, a policy advisor for the Jimmy Carter White House, and a bureaucrat for the EPA before becoming a novelist.

He is generally acknowledged to be the ghostwriter of the popular Robert K. Tane...more
More about Michael Gruber...
The Book of Air and Shadows The Forgery of Venus The Good Son Tropic of Night (Jimmy Paz, #1) The Witch's Boy

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