THE BONES IN THE ATTIC

Robert Barnard, Author . Scribner $23 (272p) ISBN 978-0-684-87379-4

In this superbly written suspense novel from British author Barnard (Unholy Dying, etc.), former soccer star Matt Harper, now a television and radio personality, is the new owner of Elderholm, one of a small street of sturdy old houses in Leeds. As he and his remodeling contractor take a look around the attic, they come upon the skeleton of a toddler-sized child. The deeper Matt and Det. Sgt. Charlie Peace probe, the more certain they become that the child met its tragic death in 1969, the same fateful summer Matt had spent in this very community. A public appeal for information nets Matt an anonymous letter, confirming his suspicion that, as a seven-year-old youngster, he had seen or heard more than he was consciously aware. As Matt tracks down and talks with his old playmates from that summer, he connects fragments from his own memories with the information all of these provide. The conclusion isn't pleasant: some way, somehow, the kids he'd played alongside were involved. Some or all of them knew the truth about what had happened to the baby in the attic. Who of them had actually done the deed? Was it Rory? Drinking seemed to be his only solace. And what of Caroline? She had long since lost connection with most of reality. One by one, Matt delves into the past and present lives of his former companions. And slowly the circle narrows. Barnard quickly pulls his readers into the plot and holds them there right through the final pages, leaving them, along with his hero, pondering further possibilities. (Apr. 23)

FYI:An eight-time Edgar nominee, Barnard has won the Nero Wolfe Award as well as Anthony, Agatha and Macavity awards.

Reviewed on: 03/11/2002
Release date: 04/01/2002
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-59058-211-4
Paperback - 205 pages - 978-1-59058-172-8
Hardcover - 271 pages - 978-1-58724-200-7
Ebook - 269 pages - 978-0-7432-4395-7
Paperback - 204 pages - 978-1-4472-3987-1
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