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Bone by Bone

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  2,042 ratings  ·  313 reviews
In the northern Californian town of Coventry, two teenage brothers go into the woods one day but only one comes back. No one knows what happened to the younger brother, Josh. Twenty years later, when the older brother, Oren, now an ex-investigator for the Army Criminal Investigations Department, returns home after many years, he is confronted on his first morning back with ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published (first published 2008)
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BONE BY BONE (Psy Mys-Oren Hobbs-No. Calif-Cont) - Ex
O’Connell, Carol – Standalone
Putnam, 2008, US Hardcover – ISBN: 9780399155147

First Sentence: A batty old man of the cloth had once described the Hobbs boy as a joke of god’s: an archangel of the warrior cast and a beacon for women with carnal intentions.

Almost 20 years ago, 17-year-old Oren Hobbs and his younger brother Josh, went into the woods. Oren came home but Josh was never found. Told that his father is dying by the housekeeper who has
I really like Carol O'Connell's Mallory series of books & enjoyed her other stand-alone book, Judas Child, so I picked this one up with anticipation. I enjoyed this book, but not quite as much as her others.

This is a gothic confection of a tale about two brothers who go into the woods with only one returning & what happens 20 years later when Oren, the surviving brother returns home to find that his missing brother is returning home - bone by bone.

The opening chapters and setup are grea
Glenda Bixler
Bone to Bone
By Carol O’Connell
Penguin Group
340 Pages

When I selected Bone to Bone by Carol O’Connell, I was expecting a forensics-based mystery. But I’d just read The Family Bones by Kimberly Raiser and was surprised by its storyline; so I was not ”too” surprised when O’Connell’s book turned out to be a “whodunit.” A fantastic one, to say the least!

O’Connell has so many relevant clues thrown into the story that you just begin to think you know who did the deed...and then she proceeds to build up
Doug Beatty
Oren Hobbs returns home after years in the army. He discovers his father is being terrorized by someone who is leaving human bones on the front porch of the family home. As Oren's brother Josh had disappeared years earlier, Oren is convinced that these bones are Josh, finally returning home. Oren quickly notices that the collected bones do not match, indicating that there is more than one skeleton out there. O'Connell creates some really creepy characters in the small town, all harboring a myria ...more
Lynn Pribus
Read this book in a hurry on a cross-country flight to visit my sister. She is in a mystery book club and we met yesterday for lunch and discussion. I enjoyed the book.

Not sure how this writer has stayed under my radar -- she is very polished, creating interesting characters. This is a stand-alone novel, she also has a series female protagonist and I will seek her out when I get home.

Jan 15, 2013 Hmmm. I have absolutely NO memory of this book at all which is strange. I wonder if I read something

Josh and Oren Hobbs went into the woods one day when they were teenagers. Oren came out. Josh was never seen again.

Oren, seventeen at the time, is sent to boarding school and then he enlisted in the Army for twenty years. He was one of the most highly regarded CID officers in the Army. Now he has resigned from the military and he has returned to Coventry, CA, his hometown, for the first time since the summer Josh disappeared.

Raised by their widowed father, the real force in their lives was Hanna
I keep having this strange problem with sharks.

See, sharks are kind of awesome, at least in the abstract. It's really cool that they're these huge predators that swim around eating people and seals and generally being all badass and having movies made about them, but think about this: the average adult female great white is 14 feet long.

Now, stop right there and take a moment with me. You're what, six feet tall? I'm closer to five, and a Vanagon is seven feet long.

In other words, the average f
Emily Yonke
I really enjoyed reading this mystery. It was full of suspense and I liked how I kept guessing on what was going to happen next. Everything in this book was drama about investigating bones that appeared on the front porch of the Judge’s house.

The main events in this book were pretty spread out but also had little events in between those. The first main event that happened was when Oren Hobbs returned home from his Military position as an investigator of bones finding out that his brother that
Linda  Branham Greenwell
I really liked this book... the characters are so real you feel like you know them ... especially Hannah
The town is full of eccentric and quirky people ... and a mystery. Many years ago a boy named Josh went missing and was never found. His older brother, Oren, was sent away shortly thereafter. Oren joined the service and became an Army Criminal Investigator. Their dad is Judge Hobbs - currently
retired. Hannah is the housekeeper who is not only intuitive but somewhat of an enigma herself.
The st
Bone by Bone is a book that will bring the reader an intriguing mystery, a lot of suspense and wonderful, eccentric characters that actually seem to come alive in the pages of the book. The author makes you want to walk the streets of the town and see each character for yourself.

Years ago, Oren Hobbs and his little brother Josh ventured into the woods. Oren returned but Josh was never found. Now Oren has returned to his hometown of Coventry. Letters from Hannah Rice, the housekeeper who raised h
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oh my gosh...she has done it again! This is a mystery-lover's delight. She drops little clues (bones) contantly as you try to piece together the full picture of this complex murder and its surrounding mysteries. I am so sorry to see this book end! I am also delighted that she has been able to rebound from the Mallory series. Her first mystery ("Judas Child") still haunts me...then she did the fabulous Mallory series. But she was probably pushed (by fans and publishers) beyond where she intended ...more
Ginger Hallett
I downloaded this audiobook, read so well by Benjamin Harris, to listen to via my mp3 player while I walked and found it to be very suspenseful, a real page turner. The eleven-plus hours went by quickly. Instead of pacing myself to listen to it during 11 walking sessions, as planned, I found myself listening to the entire audiobook in my armchair in three sessions, after having a problem with my mp3 player early on and sitting down to try the audiobook in my laptop, where it played perfectly. I ...more
I put off purchasing this book for a long time. I love Carol O'Connell and am addicted to her Mallory series- I wish she published more frequently. Was initially disappointed that this was not a new Mallory book but an so glad I broke down and got it. The author does such a great job of showing us how intentions and feelings influence communincations between the characters. The most positive motives often create terrible outcomes. The story centers around a murder 20 years in the past. And while ...more
This was a great read. Brilliantly paced and I just couldn't put it down. Mystery after mystery with not a superfluous word anywhere. Atmospheric with out being ploddy, mysterious without being tedious. Just fantastic..highly recommended. The last page of the edition that I had out of the library had had some manual editing by some previous reader carefully crossing out "hung" and writing "hanged"...that so annoyed me that I felt a bit cheated right at the very end.... but that had absolutely no ...more
Like other reviews has said, in the middle you start to get ansty with the slow pace of information being doled out. I liked that there were lots of possible motives, but none of them (including the real one) was fleshed out enough. Despite the shallow story lines, the book was too long. In places, it reminded me of older books when psychology was just becoming understood and characters did all kinds of things that were chalked up to traumatic events in their lives, which caused them to go crazy ...more
I loved it. I first read Judas Child by O'Connell and was very impressed with her writing. I ran out and found two more of her novels, Mallory stories and was really disappointed. I thought two to one, JC must have been a fluke. Wow was I wrong. I had forgotten about the author until my hubby brought Bone by Bone home. Despite my misgivings, I picked it up and couldn't put it down. Once again, fine story crafting. Suspenseful yet surprisingly complex characters. Small town, illicit affairs, murd ...more
First off I LOVE O'Connell's Mallory books. This one is a standalone and while I did enjoy it, I was also annoyed. It was an interesting tale of murder with lots of possible murderers, all plausible. Interesting, if slightly crazy characters, with secrets slowly being spilled. But for all that, about halfway through I was getting antsy, I wanted the games to end, to just stick with a motive and prove it. Perhaps it was the small town setting, perhaps it was that it wasn't Mallory. I think it's a ...more
This outstanding novel by Carol O'Connell is about a cold case. A teenage boy was killed 20 years prior to the story, and his brother has come home for the first time since the murder. The brother, Oren, is drawn into a quest for truth when he learns that someone has been leaving his brother's bones on the porch of the family home. As Oren investigates, it becomes clear that the question is not who killed his brother, but rather who did not -- everyone involved has secrets and motivation. O'Conn ...more
Disappointing to me. O'Connell's usual high quality of storytelling took a hit with this book. She seems to have written it just to write about a bunch of quirky characters in a quirky small town. It makes me wonder if O'Connell has ever even visited a small town before. Does she honestly think places like this exist? And the characters don't act like any rational human beings I've ever encountered. There is some entertainment value in the sheer carnival-type atmosphere she's created.
Bonnie Morse
It's rare that I read a mystery, and even more rare that I like it. This book isn't quite a unicorn--it took about 50 pages to really get into the story and start caring about the characters--but it's pretty special. There are almost too many characters, we seem to know every person in the small town of Coventry, and even now I don't quite have them all straight. But once we got acquainted, as soon as it started to matter that Josh was a sweet little boy, that his brother Oren's life effectively ...more
Amanda J
May 16, 2010 Amanda J rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amanda J by: Bookshelf Bitches Members Choice May 2010
The awkward prose forced me to have to re-read whole sections - something I rarely do. The book suffered a slow start and while it did pick up toward the end, it wasn't enough to make up for the cumbersome first-half. Unrealistic characters with even more unrealistic motivations coupled with the poor writing style means this one is better left on the shelf.

I really liked the storyline in this book. I was interested in all of the characters and what was going to happen next. I was disappointed by the ending, which is why I didn't give this book four stars. It was like being excited by a birthday present, only to find the box is empty.
A very good stand-alone mystery. Small town, very rich and very poor folks, everyone has a past and a motive, and there's a lot to wade through to solve the 20-year-old crime. Totally satisfying in every way from the unvoiced crush to the marvelous Hannah, my favorite character.
I picked it up yesterday afternoon and couldn't put it down until it was finished. I was impressed by the layering of characters and situations. It was definitely more complex than I imagined it would be, and I really enjoyed it.
Stephanie (the nerdy princess)
This book hooked me from beginning to end. I read the audio version, which may make a difference. The characters were very believable and so were the situations, once you understood the placement.

Oren left home twenty years ago after his brother Josh failed to return from the woods surrounding their home. With allegations and accusations flying that Oren may have had a hand in Josh's disappearance, the Judge decides to send Oren far from the trouble at hand.

By the time Oren returns to Coventry
Mary Beth
This was a good story, poorly told. I found the writing style a bit off-putting. I was interested in the plot but I didn't care for Ms. O'Connell's writing technique.
First time reading this author. Enjoyed the book. Liked the portrayal of the characters. And didn't figure it out ahead of time - which makes for a good mystery!!
Going home is very hard to do especially when you are under a cloud of suspicion that you killed your younger brother years ago and got away with it.
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Discussion questions 2 12 Jun 05, 2014 09:23AM  
  • A Thousand Bones (Louis Kincaid, #8)
  • By the Time You Read This
  • Sir John Hargrave's Mischief Maker's Manual
  • A Wild and Lonely Place
  • Boneyard (Kelly Jones Mysteries, #2)
  • A Sentinela
  • Capital Punishment: (Charles Boxer, #1)
  • To Play the Fool (Kate Martinelli, #2)
  • The Reaper
  • The House (Blackwater, #3)
  • The Damage Done
  • Silent Confessions
  • The Stranger You Seek (Keye Street #1)
  • A Wicked Snow
  • Now the Drum of War: Walt Whitman and His Brothers in the Civil War
  • Undercurrents
  • The Death Artist (Kate McKinnon, #1)
  • Where the Dead Lay (Frank Behr, #2)
Born in 1947, Carol O'Connell studied at the California Institute or Arts/Chouinard and the Arizona State University. She lives in New York City.

* Kathleen Mallory

More about Carol O'Connell...
Mallory's Oracle (Kathleen Mallory, #1) The Chalk Girl (Kathleen Mallory, #10) Judas Child Stone Angel (Kathleen Mallory, #4) Find Me (Kathleen Mallory, #9)

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