cover image The Bones of You

The Bones of You

Debbie Howells. Kensington, $25 (320p) ISBN 978-1-61773-766-4

In British author Howells’s suspenseful and poignant debut, horse-loving 18-year-old Rosie Anderson goes missing and a few days later is found stabbed to death in the woods, much to the shock of the residents of her well-to-do Sussex community. People want to believe that Rosie’s killer was a stranger, someone who committed a crime of opportunity. Kate McKay, a horse-loving neighbor who has a daughter Rosie’s age, attempts to comfort Rosie’s bereft mother, Jo. Also devastated are Jo’s husband, Neal, who’s a famous journalist, and their younger daughter, Delphine. The how and the why of Rosie’s murder slowly unfolds across the dual narratives of Rosie, who, in death, looks over a family life that was far from perfect, and Kate, who’s battling her own demons. Savvy mystery fans will identify the culprit before the big reveal, but the increasingly tense storytelling and astute observations on mother-daughter relationships will keep readers turning the pages. Agent: Juliet Mushens, Agency Group (U.K.). (July)