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Skin and Bones

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  180 ratings  ·  33 reviews
In this brilliant first thriller, in the vein of Peter James, a killer goes on the rampage in a quiet Sussex village, leaving only one witness — a woman fighting for her life.

On a cold January morning, a nightmare awaits a small Sussex village. A deranged young man goes on the rampage, shooting everyone in his path before taking his own life. It is a senseless, tragic even
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 2nd 2009 by Preface Publishing (first published 2008)
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Anne Wright
Skin and Bones by Tom Bale

I give this book 4.50 out of 5

I really enjoyed reading this book, it was harrowing in the beginning with memories of Hungerford. But once the story gets underway there are other things to concentrate on.

Julia Trent is our heroine who is gutsy and stubborn. She has lost both her parents in a fluke accident when carbon monoxide invaded the house during a particularly cold spell. The boiler was turned up during the night, Julia goes to see them and finds them dead in bed.
Tom Bale, it seems, is a pseudonym for David Harrison who wrote SINS OF THE FATHER in 2006, which goes some way to explaining the deftness of touch in this crime fiction thriller. It may also go some way to explaining how the author has managed to install an almost cinematic feel to the action.

In an opening series of scenes that, frankly, were so chilling that they disturbed this reader, everything starts out very quietly one very cold January morning in the sleepy English village of Chilton. Ju
Another debut that really is rather good. The only trouble I had with the book (and it is me not the author)were the characters. There seemed to be so many that I had trouble keeping the list of who was who straight in my head.
The book starts with a village shooting, a massacre really. Julia Trent is chased by the gunman and is able to hide in a tree, where she witnesses a second gunman clad all in black with a helmet covering his face. This gunman shoots the original gunman, he knows Julia is i
Michelle Moore
Set in a small Sussex village, Julia Trent is witness to a massacre, as a young man goes on the rampage, shooting people that she knows. Julia manages to survive, and only she knows that there were two gunmen in the village - something that the police will not believe.

Julia connects with Craig Walker, a journalist whose father was killed in the massacre, and together they have to find out more, in an attempt to uncover the truth, and protect their lives.

My initial reaction was how well the autho
Apr 04, 2011 Susan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Susan by: Raewyn
A fast paced crime thriller which starts action packed and unforgiving in it's descriptions of the scenes and ends in much the same way.

I truly think that this book is a great read because Tom Bale is not scared to lay the whole story in full detail on the line. As such this story is not for the faint hearted. I want to say thanks to Bale as well because so often the full description and the full impact of what various tragedies entail is often overlooked or down played in stories for no appare
A massacre in a quiet Sussex village is thought to be the work of a lone gunman, but one of the survivors is sure she saw a second man. Working with the journalist son of one of the murdered victims, she tries to get to the truth about what happened, but puts herself in danger.

I read a lot of crime fiction and found this a good example of the genre. However, I found myself more interested in the characters and how they developed, rather than the plot which I felt was a bit creaky at times.

The op
I really enjoyed this thrilling - and as the title suggests - quite gory mystery novel. Though the book does contain a lot of action, there is a quite methodical set-up to the plot. Many characters are introduced, following the more British small-town murder mystery than the flashier, more American style of thriller. But as more and more of the pieces that Bale set up begin to fit together, the book only becomes more and more riveting. It is worth the patience required in the beginning of the bo ...more
Holly Vane
My first Tom Bale and my golly gosh it was great! The start hooked me instantly, well written, painstakingly researched and bloody marvellous. The middle did sag a bit, but with a start like that what do you expect! The ending was genuinely surprising, I didn't suspect whom the killer actually turned out to be.

The characters were well planned out and the dialogue flowed seamlessly. All in all an exceptional read and will be reading more of this author.
Joanne Parkington
Hit's the ground running from the first page which is a great way to start a book & i don't know why more author's don't do it ... good characters & plot line's but it does rather lose it's thread in the middle & i found myself skimming pages until the good stuff started again ..which it soon does. Also, despite the title, there's not a tremendous amount of gore but i loved the double twist at the end and thought, on the whole, it was a well visualised read with pacey plot line's, st ...more
A snappily written page turning crime thriller that has the added bonus of an East Sussex setting. This is a confident debut novel from Brighton author Tom Bale who I'm sure will successfully go on to write more in the same vein. There's lashings of murder and mayhem for the afficionados but what makes the book interesting is the the two central characters thrown in at the deep end and rising to the challenge of surviving while they put all the pieces together. Here it is the midle section that ...more

Starts really fast paced and drops you right in the action, then has a looong and slooow middle section, then a convoluted ending that is, admittedly, fast paced again and suspenseful.

One of the minor characters is a lesbian, I like when that is treated well in straight novels. But really, that's not enough to recommend this one, especially since it only makes up 5 pages max.
The first 5 or 6 chapters (the chapters that covered the massacre) of this book gripped me, but then it slowly slowly slipped away. Too many fingers in too many pies, it got confusing, and without giving anything away, everybody that was anybody pretty much had a part to play. Bit OTT for my liking, but a good page turner if you don't take it too seriously!
Ok. Probably a bit long.
Adam Pennington
A thoroughly tense and gripping thriller. I was hooked straight from the start.

The seemingly tranquil village makes for an intriguing and novel setting for such a dark and violent sequence of events.

Highly recommended to all fans of crime thrillers.
Carey Combe
I had half an hour to spare before a meeting and found myself without a book - disaster - so went into the nearest supermarket and bought this at the checkpoint for a couple of pounds. It was so unexpectedly good, I stayed up till I finished it!
An absolutely terrifying book written by an author whom we will be hearing of quite a lot, I think. Fantastic explosive start that truly jolts you out of your seat and comfort zone. Highly recommended.
This started slowly for me and I wasn't sure it was the sort of book I was going to enjoy. (I'm not big on conspiracy type books - 'big business' trying to hurt the small people... A bit John Grisham-y.
Terrie Sharp
Apr 30, 2010 Terrie Sharp rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: to anyone that likes thrillers
Just finished and what a great book. Layers of deceit,very likable heroine, great action. I hope Tom writes more books because this first one was every thing I like in my thrillers.
this book is thrilling and spine tingiling this book would makke a great movie but it would be hard to find the perfect actors to play the parts, like the deranged young man
I read this book very early on in my reading career, and originally thought it was great but many books later I realize it wasn't all that great. I give it 2.5 stars out of 5
Jorg De
Incredibly fast paced and utterly exciting this story goes on like a speeding train without brakes. The end is a total surprise, would totally recommend to read!
Very lively opening to a decent thriller. Keeps you going throughout, & will reduce your beauty sleep!
David Slater
A good first novel and I look forward to the next from Bale. Could have been shorter though.
Shirley Campbell
Gripping read only complaint too many characters took me a while to work out who was who
Ian Young
First novel, fast moving thriller, good for a fairly mindless holiday read.
My first book by Tom Bale. Captivating. Once you start, you cant put it down. ...more
Dennis Lott
If you like crime thrillers, don't pass this one up.
OK - but not anything too new or surprising here
Chanaka Hettige
Twists and turns and a great story allaround!
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Tom Bale has had a variety of jobs including retail assistant, claims negotiator and project manager, but none was as exhausting as the several years he spent as a househusband with two pre-school children. Tom has been writing since the age of seven, and completed his first novel at fifteen. After twenty years and hundreds of rejection slips, his first novel SINS OF THE FATHER was published under ...more
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