Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Bone Jar (Detective Lew Kirby, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Bone Jar (Detective Lew Kirby, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Bone Jar

(Detective Lew Kirby #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  8,918 ratings  ·  648 reviews
Two murders. An abandoned asylum. Will a mysterious former patient help untangle the dark truth?

The body of an elderly woman has been found in the bowels of a derelict asylum on the banks of the Thames. As Detective Lew Kirby and his partner begin their investigation, another body is discovered in the river nearby. How are the two murders connected?

Before long, the secrets
...more
Kindle Edition, 328 pages
Published July 1st 2020 by Thomas & Mercer
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Bone Jar, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
EmmyRoo
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
EmmyRoo
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,918 ratings  ·  648 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Bone Jar (Detective Lew Kirby, #1)
Misty
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020
Ok, you’re going to need a few things before you even THINK about starting this book. First, you will need to read in an environment that is wholly conducive to COMPLETE concentration. Second, you will need, at a minimum, a writing utensil and a sheet of paper, preferably a grid. Better yet, a digital spreadsheet, with an unlimited number of rows and columns. NOW you can sit down and give it a go. Seriously. Without the aforementioned requirements, there is simply no way to track the myriad char ...more
Mackey
The Bone Jar is the debut crime fiction novel by S W Kane featuring Detective Lew Kirby who, thankfully, is just a normal detective. He isn't a drunk, he isn't cheating on multiple women, no drugs, isn't on the take. I swear, I haven't read a crime fiction novel that didn't feature a messed up detective for so long that I, literally, kept waiting for the shoe to drop. It never did. It was refreshing and quite wonderful. The Bone Jar is a really good, well written, atmospheric detective story lik ...more
Ceecee
Aug 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Amazon Prime First Read - June. Yes, I’m a tad behind! I’m so pleased I chose this one as it was a good one! DI Lew Kirby and partner Pete Anderson are called to the now closed Blackwater Psychiatric Hospital where an elderly lady has been found murdered and what unfolds is a well plotted and intriguing mystery. The old hospital provides a really creepy atmosphere to the crime as does the harsh winter weather. The title refers to a very interesting circular room in which there are canisters or b ...more
Jess☺️
Sep 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Bone Jar by S W Kane is the first in the Detective Lew Kirby series and what a great start, it's a fast and creepy police thriller which is going to keep you guessing until the end.
If a dead body in an abandoned asylum with a normal detective (as in not a drunk or chain smoking or more criminal than the criminals) is your kind of reading then I definitely recommend this one 📖
...more
Christi M
Jun 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense
This book rocked! I loved it. As I write this review, I’m already plotting how to put in my request to ensure Connie and Raymond both make it back to the next book in the series.

The Bone Jar mystery begins when the security guard of an old, dilapidated asylum discovers an elderly lady dead in one of the rooms. Soon DI Lew Kirby and his partner Pete Anderson are called to the scene to investigate. What they discover is the building is due for construction with limited access so the question isn’t
...more
Lori Lamothe
Jul 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-tbr
3.5 stars

S.W. Kane's debut novel The Bone Jar is a police procedural that centers on the murder of an elderly woman at a dilapidated asylum on the banks of the Thames. By far the strongest aspect of the book is the setting, which is gorgeously eerie, especially because the murder occurs during a bitterly cold winter. Blackwater's interiors are full of shadows, broken glass, rusted beds, peeling paint and decayed mattresses. Outside, the grounds glitter in the sunlight and heavy snow clings to th
...more
Andy
Jun 15, 2020 rated it liked it
You know when you read the description of a book and you’re stoked to get it started and then you’re reading and reading and nothing really happens and then you get sad because the book is not living up to the expectations of the description of said book? You know when that happens? Well, that’s basically what happened with The Bone Jar. It’s not a terrible book and there are some pretty cool things that happen in the book, but man, it did not live up to the description in my mind. No biggie rea ...more
Ink_Drinker
Aug 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well written crime thriller that had me turning the pages to see what would happen next! It had just the right amount of creepiness and a nice twist. I've read other reviews that said there were too many characters, however for me, that is what kept the story interesting. It always kept you guessing as a good thriller should! Interesting characters and clever plot.

I am happy that this is the first book of a series and I will once again be able to read more about these well developed characters i
...more
Vanessa Menezes
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The body of an elderly woman has been found in the bowels of a derelict asylum on the banks of the Thames. As Detective Lew Kirby and his partner begin their investigation, another body is discovered in the river nearby. How are the two murders connected?

Before long, the secrets of Blackwater Asylum begin to reveal themselves. Lew along with the help of an urban explorer, Connie Darke, whose sister died in a freak accident at the asylum, must put the pieces of the puzzle together to keep the kil
...more
Linda Strong
Aug 20, 2020 rated it really liked it

The security guard of an old decrepit asylum scheduled for reconstruction finds an elderly lady dead in one of the rooms. When Detective Lew Kirby and his partner are called in to investigate, they discover another body in the river nearby.

Connie Darke is an urban explorer and is determined to help the detective. She has an agenda .. her sister sister died of a freak accident in the same asylum.

Book Blurb: The secrets of Blackwater Asylum begin to reveal themselves. There are rumors about underg
...more
Debbie DiFiore
Jun 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Interesting

It was a good book. I got a little confused at the end though and still wonder what it meant but the rest of the book was really good. I got a
Little bored in the 55 to 65% range but it really was a twisted take and I really enjoyed it. It starts with the murder of an elderly lady in the vacant asylum and a missing person and it's a tangled bunch of interactions that we wade through. I didn't guess the bad guy. It was a surprise. And very well done. I hope to read this author again.
...more
Trisha
Jul 17, 2020 rated it liked it
"Things get forgotten over the years - even extraodinary things. Out of sight, out of mind."

A great mystery but there's a lot going on. It was almost hard to keep all the story lines and mysteries straight. Dealing with the asylum's mysteries from the past, the unusual death of Connie's sister Sarah and then the present day mysteries and deaths were...a lot to take in. There were also a lot of players to keep track of and, with different timeframes, not always easy to remember who was who and ho
...more
Liz Barnsley
Jun 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed The Bone Jar, it was chilly and atmospheric, set mostly in and around an abandoned asylum.

A body is found setting off an investigation that has its roots firmly in the past, the plotting is clever and intelligent, the writing addictively flowing.

I liked the unpredictable nature of this, some engaging characters and a great descriptive sense of place..The backdrop is intriguing and speaks to a dark past.

An entertaining, subtly disturbing read that I have no problem recommendi
...more
Jackie Cain
Jun 08, 2020 rated it did not like it
I feel bad saying this about the efforts of a new author but this book didn't impress me much.

PS there are some spoilers, not in detail but you might not want to read beyond the next para.

Given the location of an abandoned Victorian asylum and the extraordinary weather: a series of snow-covered, icy weather in the middle of London's urban heat island, I found it oddly missing in atmosphere. The first chill accosted me after the half-way mark and, to be honest, if it hadn't been an Amazon First
...more
M.  [storme reads a lot]
This was also my Prime Reading First Pick for the month, and I didn’t realize I had the ARC requested until both popped up on my Kindle. I can be forgetful when it comes to books it seems, and this book is no exception. I am already beginning to forget what I read despite having just finished the book only moments ago.

I thought I was going to enjoy this book, and it did keep my attention at the start. It was once the book seemed to not ever end was when I got annoyed. This follows Detective Lew
...more
Teresa
Jul 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Bone Jar is a wonderful British whodunit debut novel by S. W. Kane. The story opens with Detective Lew Kirby taking on the case of an elderly woman found murdered in the abandoned Blackwater asylum. This is what drew me to this book as I have a strong interest in anything written about old asylums. A few years ago, I wrote two blogs posts on my genealogy blog about my husband’s two wealthy great, great aunts who were admitted to a New Jersey asylum in the early 1900’s and spent most of their ...more
Richard Propes
Jun 12, 2020 rated it liked it
London-based author S.W. Kane makes her literary debut with the crime thriller "The Bone Jar," a Thomas & Mercer release due for publication on July 1st, 2020 that is listed as one of Amazon's June "First Read" titles offering Prime members a first glimpse at up-and-coming titles.

The story centers around Blackwater Asylum, a former mental health asylum still sitting on prized property on the banks of the Thames River. High-powered developer Patrick Calder wants the Battersea stain to go and has
...more
Vicki
I thought this one was a good mystery, and I liked the setting and suspense of an insane asylum/psychiatric hospital. DI Lew Kirby and his partner Pete Anderson (who is also a taxidermist) investigate the horrific murder of an elderly woman. There are quite a few mysterious circumstances surrounding her death/murder. One of which is why on earth she'd be at/near the Blackwater Psychiatric Hospital, which is closed and had been originally simply Blackwater Asylum. The hospital is made out to be a ...more
 Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri
A terrifically exciting murder mystery/police procedural focusing on a long-abandoned London asylum, slated for expensive redevelopment, its history of horrifying secrets, and its connection to the late wealthy family in the neighboring mansion, THE BONE JAR is both riveting and wildly entertaining. Weaving the current case with Blackwater Asylum's ugly, unforgettable past, and the backstory of the protagonist, London MIT Detective Lew Kirby, the plot keeps the reader well engrossed, even to the ...more
Teresa
Jul 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Bone Jar is a wonderful British whodunit debut novel by S. W. Kane. The story opens with Detective Lew Kirby taking on the case of an elderly woman found murdered in the abandoned Blackwater asylum. This is what drew me to this book as I have a strong interest in anything written about old asylums. A few years ago, I wrote two blogs posts on my genealogy blog about my husband’s two wealthy great, great aunts who were admitted to a New Jersey asylum in the early 1900’s and spent most of their ...more
Alfred Nobile
Jun 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a great book this was. So full of twists and turns. keeps you second guessing yourself. The premise is basically, the body of 85 year old woman turns up in the abandoned Blackwater Asylum. What is her connection, if any, to the asylum? Though it could be called a police procedural, I think it's more a psychological thriller, as it focuses on secrets and connections to the asylum. Thanks to the author , publishers and NetGalley for the ARC. which I've reviewed honestly. ...more
Kay
Jun 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, prime
A body found at an abandoned mental asylum, sold!

This is a whodunit detective story. Kirby is a good lead character. You will like him. He has his personal problems which made it interesting. The story was a little slow, maybe intentional, with many characters to keep track of. Pace certainly picked up when more clues were revealed. It was hard to guess the villain that's for sure, related characters don't even share the same last name....in my book that's cheating.


...more
Karina
Oct 06, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
London is groaning under a severe snowstorm and Siberian temperatures when the body of an elderly woman is found in an isolated ward of an abandoned and derelict asylum. As soon as Detective Lew Kirby and his partner Pete Anderson start their investigation a second body is found in the River Thames. It soon becomes clear that the past of Blackwater Asylum ,with its tragedies,rumours and whispers,is to play a major part towards the solving of these crimes.
It is a good story and the setting,an aba
...more
Bandit
Jul 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
I don’t normally go for police procedurals or series, but…this one was set in and around an old asylum. You can’t go wrong with that. It’s just so awesomely creepily atmospheric. Even if it wasn’t set in a middle of a crazy winter snowstorm (and it is). Even if it wasn’t very appealingly British (and it is). Even if it didn’t feature a very charismatic protagonist in DI Ludovico (Lew) Kirby (and it does) who lives on a boat (nice) and an intriguing mystery…there would still be that eerie spooky ...more
Nancy
Feb 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021-read
WooHoo, finally found another good detective story. Have struggled for months to find one like this, started many, and gave up for different reasons. Lately, the main reason is too much filler of character history, personal thoughts, daily routines. But this one was the type I love and look for. Good storyline, great main character, and believable police procedure.
☕️Kimberly
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-2020
Detective Lew Kirby is called to the Blackwater Asylum when the guard discovers the body of an elderly woman in the Keats ward of the abandoned asylum. Situated on the banks of the Thames River the asylum has long been abandoned. It was rumored to have underground bunkers and secret rooms. In its heyday, unspeakable psychological experimentation took place. Some say a dark force haunts the ruins.

When another body turns up along the river Detective Kirby will need to decide if the bodies are conn
...more
Barb (Boxermommyreads)
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
I love it when I discover new series to love and The Bone Jar is a promising start to the Lew Kirby series. I mean, what's not to love? We have murder, an old abandoned asylum and a very snowy setting. All of these combined to engulf me in a mystery that had me guessing until the end.

The Blackwater Asylum has sat vacant for many years. It is about ready to be redeveloped when an old lady is found murdered in one of the old wards. Detective Kirby arrives on the scene and not only is the identity
...more
Barbara
I picked 'The Bone Jar' as my free Amazon prime 'first reads' choice for June and I enjoyed it a lot. I appreciate crime fiction where I can clearly picture the places described and the eerie threatening presence of the old Victorian asylum at the heart of this novel felt very real and very well described. In my student days, I had a friend in a dodgy part of London that was very close to a (now closed and even then rather dilapidated) Victorian hospital and this was the one I had in my mind whe ...more
Eles Jackson
Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
WAY TOO MANY CHARACTERS!! Oh my word. There was the main character, his stressed mother, father, step mom, girlfriend, boss and partner. There was a murdered guy who brought in Connie, her dead sister, an uncle and someone named Mole. Then there was Raymond, who spoke of a friend he visited and watched tv with and mentioned people he knew while he was a patient at the hospital that you didn't know if they were key characters or not til the book was over. (Spoiler: They were not) There was the mu ...more
Twobchelm
I felt like I read forever and still couldn’t connect all the characters.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Challenge Corner: The Bone Jar by S.W. Kane --> Starting July 15th, 2020 13 10 Jul 30, 2020 11:39PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Her Final Words
  • White Out (Badlands Thriller, #1)
  • Beatrix Rose - Hong Kong Stories - Volume 1: Hong Kong Stories Volume 1 (Beatrix Rose's Hong Kong Stories)
  • Trust No One (Devlin & Falco #1)
  • The Cipher (Nina Guerrera, #1)
  • The Select
  • Girls of Brackenhill
  • Knights Magica (Rosie O'Grady's Paranormal Bar and Grill, #5)
  • Drawing Free
  • Don't Make a Sound (Sawyer Brooks, #1)
  • No One's Home
  • Savage Moon (DI Spicer Book, #3)
  • Find Me (Inland Empire, #1)
  • Hidden (CSI Reilly Steel. #3)
  • See You Soon
  • The Room Upstairs
  • Your Only Friend
  • Dead of Winter (Jeremy Winter Thriller, #2)
See similar books…
127 followers
S W Kane has a degree in History of Design and worked at the Royal Institute of British Architects before taking on a series of totally unrelated jobs in radio and the music industry. She has an MA in Creative (Crime) Writing from City University. She began reading crime fiction at an early age and developed an obsession with crime set in cold places. A chance encounter with a derelict fort in rur ...more

Related Articles

We asked Alice Bolin, author of Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession, and journalist-turned-crime novelist Laura...
99 likes · 49 comments
“it was so quiet. Reckon I’d have heard an ant shit.” 0 likes
“Citroën” 0 likes
More quotes…