The Bones of Summer by Anne Brooke

Dreamspinner

Gay / Mystery

ISBN: 978-1-61581-012-3

Reviewed by Cassie

   

 

Model Craig Robertson is very surprised to get a call one night from Paul Maloney, a guy he hooked up with at a club almost two months earlier.  They meet up again, and things go very well.  Then Craig gets the news that his estranged father is missing, and things begin to spiral out of control. 

The Bones of Summer is a hard book to describe.  Before I even try to do so, my preface to the review:  I strongly recommend reading Maloney’s Law before The Bones of Summer.  While it isn’t absolutely necessary, Maloney’s Law gives the setup for The Bones of Summer, gives a detailed portrayal of Paul (who is the main character in that one), and is just a really good book.

That said, The Bones of Summer stands on its own as a romance and more so as a mystery.  Craig is a conflicted character.  He had a difficult childhood with a fundamentalist father.  After leaving home, he changed his name and tried to forget his past.  Unfortunately, the secrets of his past won’t stay hidden, even though he’s forced many of them from his own mind.  Paul is also conflicted.  He’s had a great deal of sorrow and betrayal in his past.  His job as a private investigator makes him the perfect person to help Craig look into his past, but their budding romance complicates things.  Secondary characters, including Craig’s roommates, his father, and a former neighbor, are well-drawn.  The mystery is sufficiently twisty and interesting, especially since a great deal of it is in Craig’s mind.  The Bones of Summer isn’t perfect by any means.  The villain is a bit over-the-top, and parts near the end are pretty horrifying (sensitive readers beware).  The ending is hopeful, but not as sweet as my romantic side wanted.  I also would have preferred some from Paul’s point of view as well, although I know why Anne Brooke chose to write in one point of view.  Despite those cautions, The Bones of Summer drew me in and kept me clicking the page turn button on my ereader throughout.  Little touches of humor and bittersweet emotion, likeable characters, and an interesting mystery make The Bones of Summer well worth a read. 

 

     

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