Kari Anderson's Reviews > The Skeleton Box

The Skeleton Box by Bryan Gruley
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's review
May 28, 2012

really liked it
Read from May 28 to June 03, 2012

Someone is breaking into homes in Starvation Lake. At first nothing was taken, and no one was hurt. The bandit was dubbed the Bingo Night Burglar. Everyone is a little on edge, not sure who is a target and why, but everyone gets scared when the burglary becomes a murder at one home.

And it’s the home of Gus Carpenter’s mother. Gus is the chief of the local paper. His mother wasn’t the victim in the burglary, but her best friend and a woman who helped raise Gus was. Plus, she was the mother of Gus’ first love, who is now a cop.

While the investigation begins to find a murderer, the prime suspects come from a religious group that has set up camp in town, but there is so much more that will come from this investigation than what the town plans for.

History from decades back comes back to the present, with a possibly scandalous priest, a vanished nun and ties to the man accused of her disappearance. It’s funny how you don’t really know the people who have woven their way into your life.

There were parts of this book that I absolutely loved and other parts that I just skimmed over (no offense Bryan). Throughout the murder and burglary investigation, a small town hockey team is vying for a state title. Hockey has never been a big thing in my life. I liked watching my college intramural team, but for me, it’s more of an in person sport rather than one to read about. I just wanted to get done with those parts of the book and get back to the juicy parts.

And those juicy parts were the ones I loved. I have never been extremely religious and used to cringe when I saw there were religious ties in books. I have a relationship with God that I am comfortable with and that is all I need. I have found myself reading a lot of Christian books over the past few years that has a hint of religion, but didn’t push the limits. I am fine with that. What interested me about this book, and some others that I have chosen to read during my bloggy duration, was with a possible scandal in the church. Granted, you want to believe that religious folk would not be committing crimes like these, but it happens and it intrigues me. From the beginning of this book, knowing there was scandal in the midst, it kept me reading and up until the very last page, I couldn’t put it down, wanting to know more.

And as much as that aspect of the book pulled at me, I love books with deep dark secrets. In Starvation Lake, there has been a secret gnawing at the insides of a few select town folk for decades. We always hear that the truth will set you free, but as in this book, that may not be the case. I always love seeing how secrets play out in books. Sometimes you have them and wish you would have told them because it comes back to bite you. Other times, you tell them and everything crumbles around you.

I do give credit to Bryan for keeping a little piece of scandal a secret until the very end. I normally like to pat myself on the back for figuring these puppies out and part of this book, I nailed it, but I was so focused that I completely missed the other shocker. I liked to consider myself a novel sleuth, so kudos to you Bryan!

I like the Starvation Lake area. I am always a fan of small towns that have a little water, much like my hometown growing up and where I currently live, in a small town bordering the Ohio River. I feel like I can relate with Starvation Lake a bit and although the name kind of gives me the creeps and seems a bit dark, I have to say I kind of like the town.

This is the 3rd book in the Starvation Lake series. I think I’m going to have to go back and catch up on the rest, but will have to do a little research to check on the hockey aspect in them. I’ll probably have to skim those areas as well.

I give The Skelenton Box 4 of 5 bookmarks.

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