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The Bone Garden

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  21,029 Ratings  ·  1,777 Reviews
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Tess Gerritsen's The Silent Girl.

Unknown bones, untold secrets, and unsolved crimes from the distant past cast ominous shadows on the present in the dazzling new thriller from New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen.

Present day: Julia Hamill has made a horrifying discovery on the grounds of her new home in rural Massa
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published September 18th 2007 by Ballantine Books (first published 2007)
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Andrea Or you can just let people write reviews as they please. These are not done by professionals, or for material gain. I write reviews for myself for…moreOr you can just let people write reviews as they please. These are not done by professionals, or for material gain. I write reviews for myself for future reference, so I can write whatever the bloody hell I want. (less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Judith You missed nothing....that is what made the story interesting...the unlikely suspect.
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Paige  Bookdragon

You know the problem of writing reviews for books like this? It makes you stupid. Like "What am I going to write?How am I going to explain to them that this book makes me feel fucking lonely and satisfied at the same time?

Side note: I never thought that loneliness and satisfaction combined is like floating in the middle of the Dead Sea contemplating life and shit. Does it makes sense? No? Then good. It doesn't make sense to me either.

When I finished The Bone Garden my face is exactly like this:


Apr 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
A page-turner historical fiction/whodunit with some fascinating (and gruesome) glimpses of early 1800s medical school training in the US. Written by a physician - a quick read that will make you grateful you live now instead of then! One of the characters is Oliver Wendell Holmes, not the Supreme Court judge, but his father, who, in 1843, introduced a new practice to American medicine in an attempt to control "childbed fever"...suggesting that physicians wash their hands between patients.
Newly divorced, Julia Hamill, buys a house and discovers a skeleton in her front garden. Looking for answers to the ancient mystery dating back to 1830, she soon connects with the family of the previous owners. In a parallel tale, the mystery is solved, leaving the reader in utmost surprise and awe.

This is one of those perfect suspense thrillers with a nerve-tingling impact reminiscent of the best of the all-time crime writers. The standard of the writing is just way above average. I started thi
Dec 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting story of two time periods that will ultimately converge through the characters. Julia Hamill, newly divorced, has just purchased a new home and is working the garden when she discovers human remains. It's determined that they are over 100 years old. Julia, with the help of the brother of the previous owner, researches old letters that provide a compelling story of Rose Connelly, a young seamstress living in Boston in the 1830s.

Rose Connelly's story is the substance of the
Opening line: “So this is how a marriage ends, thought Julia Hamill as she rammed the shovel into the soil.”

This was a very good read although not quite what I was expecting. The Bone Garden is two stories woven into one; starting with Julie Hamill in present day who has just purchased a new (old) house in Boston following her divorce. While attempting to dig a garden she makes a horrifying discovery –a human skull. According to medical examiner Maura Isles (who only has a cameo in this book) th
Ken Consaul
May 09, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: diehard Gerritsen fans
This is my second foray into Tess Gerritsen's books. I enjoyed about eighty percent of this one. As anyone who has read The Bone Garden, they can guess which eighty percent I'm talking about.

I really don't see what the present day tie in had to do with the story. Essentially (not really a spoiler), a woman buys a house, finds a skull when gardening. The famous Maura Isles shows up, appears on two pages to tell the reader she has nothing to do with the story. The rest of the present day segments
Jul 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished reading The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen. As I thought about writing a review of the book I decided to mention where I had read an interview with her--the one that led me to select this book to read. As happens more and more often, I couldn’t locate the darn magazine or remember which one the article was in. My thoughts drifted farther afield to consider in my review, how had I missed reading Gerritsen until now? One more step lodged itself in this zigzagging brain, what is my c ...more
Dec 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoy mysteries, historical reads and those who like twists in the endings.
Recommended to KD by: my mother.
At first, I was quite perplexed over the present day/historical split as the present day story seemed thin with the majority of the tale taking place in the 1830's. In the end, the story came full circle, providing that connection for the characters in both eras. I thought the details regarding medicine of the 1800's was fantastically gruesome and superbly done (and as many other reviews have stated, made me VERY happy to be a woman today!) with descriptions so rich your could almost smell the ...more
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tess'e ne kadar yıldız verseniz de hakettiğinin yanında az kalır. Bu zamana kadar okuduğum Tess romanlarının hiçbirine benzemiyordu.

Bir Tess hikayesinin sonunda ağladım, hala şoktayım. 1830 da geçen hikayeyi nasıl bir beyin tasarlar, kalema alır anlam veremedim. Tüm detaylar çok güzel anlatılmış, hiçbir ayrıntı boş yere verilmemiş. O kadar güzel bir kurgu var ki kitap bitince ağzı açık kalıyor insanın. Nefes almadan okunuyor, katil kim ya da olaylar nereye gidecek diye merak etmeye vaktiniz kal
Yz the Whyz
Sep 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-reads
Not an author or a genre I would have picked up on my own, if she was not a Featured Author in the RRRC group.

The Bone Garden weaves two stories in two different time - one in the past and the other in the present. In the past, it follows the lives of Rose Connelly, a poor Irish girl trying to protect her newly-orphaned niece and Norris Marshall, a struggling student doctor, and how fate had intertwined their paths, both joyous and poignant. We read about them through letters read by our modern
Yay new shelf! So this is what I'm gonna call a "kitchen sink" book. Meaning Ms. Tess Gerritsen decided to throw everything and the kitchen sink into this pretty average but well written mystery. We've got;

1.)A modern day heroine going through a difficult divorce that is ENTIRELY the fault of her awful husband who's bought a fixer upper that of COURSE has a body in the backyard. Oh no!!!! How did that happen!? There's something weird going on around here!

2.)And of course said body is a few hundr
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes you take a chance on a book and it pays off, sometimes you regret it. This was a case of regret. Though the book started with a promising mystery the protagonist in the current-day plot line was a namby-pamby and hard to identify with. The storyline in the past was more interesting but the contrast between the two left the book off-balance.

It was OK until nine-tenths of the way through it took a turn toward romantic drivel in the past plot line which soon ended tragically. I don't hav
Ariana Fae
Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished the BONE GARDEN by Tess Gerritsen. Words to describe what’s in this story: suspense, mystery, misogyny, betrayal, racism, gruesome images, family ties, friendship, reincarnation and bitter sweet romance, which had my eyes glued to the pages of this book.

One of the things I loved was how Mrs. Gerritsen showed glimpses of 1800’s medical training in the US. It was gruesome, shocking and so realistic. Another was how the Resurrectionist (grave robbers) operated and what they had to g
Aug 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic! I loved every minute of the story of a woman who dug up more then she ever expected in the weed choked garden of her recently purchased old home.

The search to see if she could puzzle out the identity of the unknown woman who's bones she had discovered involved a story line spanning back almost two hundred years. The story in the past involved some Boston history, early medical practices in American medicine, poor Irish immigrants, young medical students, and a young woman who would no
This book sat on my bookshelf collecting dust and may have still been there if it hadn't been for the Geocaching challenge. I'm so glad that I didn't leave it to sit any longer.

One of Tess Gerritsen's medical mystery collection, the story is split between the present day and 1830. When Julia digs up a skeleton in her newly acquired garden, she unearths a 200 year old mystery.

I really enjoyed the story about a young medical student in 1830's Boston. Secondary to the mystery was the medical histo
Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
I'm just going to C + P my one status update for this book because it sums up my feelings/thoughts:

The weakest parts of the book are the modern day portions. The past portions are very well done. This book was a very mixed read for me.
Loved the historical aspects. Was busy throughout the book looking up stuff on the internet. Great stuff, but not for the weak of stomach. Some very gruesome scenes. The mystery was well done too; kept me turning the pages along with a sincere concern for the main characters.
Aug 28, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Tess Gerritsen Fans Group Link

When started I found it difficult - 10/2017 - abandoned
Had bad logic between past & present to follow
Clare K. R.
Would have given this 3.5 stars if I could. I would definitely have given it at least four stars if the novel had only been the historical parts of the book, without the modern-day parts.

The two sections just didn't mesh well. I suspect the author just wanted to include a modern-day section as a hook for readers who are used to her contemporary mysteries. The modern-day section only has two connections to the historical mystery: the main character finds one of the bodies in her garden, and some
Fabulous whodunnit with an interesting twist - the story is related in the present day via letters found written by people in the 1800's. This can be qualified as all of these - historical fiction/suspense/mystery/romance/horror/biography - all in one book. The related story is tied to a house that is purchased by the main character at the start of the book. I listened to this via audio & I have to say it is one of the best presented audiobooks I've read to date. Extraordinary reader - I can ...more
Sandra Bašić
Oct 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Priča ovog Tessinog romana započinje kad Julia Hamill u svom vrtu nailazi na ljudski kostur. Uz pomoć antropoloških forenzičara otkriva da se radi o ženskoj osobi koja je u 19. st. umrla nasilnom smrću.

Većina radnje bazirana je na Boston 1830.-ih u kojoj su žene masovno umirale od porodiljne groznice, koju su širili liječnici zbog sindroma prljavih ruku.
Norris Marshall je student medicine, siromašni farmer, koji postaje pljačkaš grobova kako bi se uzdržavao, opskrbljujući fakultet leševima potr
D.C. Menard
Jun 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
By far the best of Gerritsen's books that I have read.

The book takes us back into the 1800's, looking at a life that has long since been forgotten. A young Irish girl, fresh off the boat watches in misery as her dear sister dies of childbirth fever. And when she refuses to hand over the child, a string of events is set into motion. A killer emerges, killing every nurse and doctor who stood watch as the girl shared the last of her secrets before she died. And the blame for these murders is placed
Marta Tandori
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Perfect Blend of Past and Present

This is truly one of my favorite books by Tess Gerritsen - and I've read them all! The book alternates between two story lines; one that's set in the past and the other in the present. As with all of Gerritsen's books, there's an underlying substance to THE BONE GARDEN and as I got to the last page, I had this sense that I'd actually learned something. The historical story line had me hooked from the get-go with its interesting combination of elements - a sweet
Ali Murat
Feb 15, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Bir türlü bitmedi bu kitap... İşkence gibiydi walla.
Nida Kazi
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't think I've wept so badly for any thrillers I have ever read except this one. I was not expecting this book, this beautifully written yet full of deceit book to actually tear me apart. (I cried for a while and then wrote this)

The historical truth captures almost 90% of the whole story. A student of commerce(me) was amazed by the medical aspects of the book (I don't know how). The characters, the setting, the era was described truly. This review will be one of those words that nothing wil
Peg (Marianna) DeMott
Wow, there were just so many " I didn't know that" in this book that I don't know where to start. And that's exactly why I absolutely loved this book. For instance, justice Oliver Wendell Holmes was a junior. His physician father was probably even more famous in his time than the son, and not just for some amazing contributions to medicine, but also as an essayist who counted Poe, Hawthorn, and Emerson as friends.
The Bone Garden, an amazingly well written historical fiction/medical thriller writ
Laurie Carlson
This book takes place in the present and the past in the early 1830's. It switches back and forth in an easy way. The author will tell you 'present day' or 1830, so you are NOT lost while reading this. She has even brought in the real Oliver Wendell Holmes. The premise of this book is this so far; a woman buys a new house. While she is gardening, she comes across a complete skeleton. A Forensic Anthropologist is called in and she is working to identify the body. The book goes back to the 1830's, ...more
Sep 30, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: completed
Gerritsen continues to turn out solid thrillers with cleverly plotted mysteries. In this novel, Julia discovers skeleton remains while digging in the garden area of her new home. They turn out to be quite old and a relative of the previous owner thinks he may have a clue as to the owner of the remains is in a box of old correspondence and newspaper clippings that were collected by the house's previous owner. The story flashes back to 1830's Boston and the city is in fear of a gruesome killer on ...more
Aug 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite micro-genre. Not "medical thriller," I didn't even know that was a thing. But now that I know I'll be happy to read them. No, my favorite kind of story is where there are two mysteries, one in the past and one in the present, and they build and expand and eventually meet in an extremely satisfying way. Like ghost stories that aren't supernatural.

The Bone Garden did this well. In the present, Julia finds a skull in the back yard of her new house. In 1830, 17 year old Rose watches her
Jan 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Of all the Tess Gerristen books I've read, this one has the least focus on Dr. Maura Isles and Det. Jane Rizzolo more. They basically made a "cameo" appearance in the book, but I honestly didn't miss them.

The book is about a woman who is starting her life over and buys an old, secluded house. As she is digging her garden, she discovers bones and it catapults her into discovering the mystery that occurred in her own back yard decades and decades ago.

I love the historical references in this book
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Internationally bestselling author Tess Gerritsen took an unusual route to a writing career. A graduate of Stanford University, Tess went on to medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, where she was awarded her M.D.

While on maternity leave from her work as a physician, she began to write fiction. In 1987, her first novel was published. Call After Midnight, a romantic thriller
More about Tess Gerritsen...

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“Charles threw down the knife. Its thud was lost in the high-spirited bedlam of young men let loose upon a task so gruesome, the only sane response was perverse frivolity.” 4 likes
“ that age aren't known for their superior judgment.” 4 likes
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