cover image The Bone House

The Bone House

Brian Freeman, Minotaur, $24.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-312-56283-0

At the start of this solid stand-alone from Freeman (Immoral and three other titles in his Duluth, Minn., crime series), former high school teacher Mark Bradley is on vacation in Florida with his wife, Hilary. The previous year, accusations of an affair with a female student ruined Mark's teaching career in Wisconsin's Door County, where he and Hilary had moved to escape Chicago. Even though Tresa Fischer insisted that her crush on Mark was nothing more than that, the tight-knit community shunned the Bradleys and labeled Mark a predator. When 16-year-old Glory, Tresa's wild-child younger sister, turns up dead on a beach near Mark and Hilary's hotel, Mark becomes the number one murder suspect. Det. Cab Bolton, who isn't one to jump to conclusions, travels from Florida to Wisconsin to unravel Mark—and Glory's—complicated lives. Well-developed characters and a thrilling climax help compensate for a plot that relies on too many coincidences. (Apr.)