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Bone Deep

Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
4 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Summary

What happens when you fall in love with the wrong person? 

The consequences threaten to be far-reaching and potentially deadly. 

Bone Deep is a contemporary novel of sibling rivalry, love, betrayal and murder. It is a dual narrative, told in alternative chapters by Mac, a woman bent on keeping the secrets of the past from her only son, and the enigmatic Lucie, whose own past is something of a closed book. Their story is underpinned by the creaking presence of an abandoned water mill and haunted by the local legend of two long-dead sisters, themselves rivals in love and ready to point an accusing finger from the pages of history.

©2018 Sandra Ireland (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

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Just ok

I found the story quite boring an really disliked the characters! It wasn't the worst book I've read but wouldn't recommend.

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5 stars – The truth will only remain hidden for so

I’m an audiobook review virgin, so please be gentle with me *snorts*.

I must confess something first – I don’t listen to many audiobooks. I’m always worried I’ll miss something or zone out (i.e. nod off – it’s been known to happen *shrugs*). To ensure I didn’t do either of those things with Bone Deep, I listened to the audiobook and followed the book on my kindle at the same time. Whaaa? *blushes* Don’t judge, Judgey McJudgerson, it worked for me!

Mac and Lucie’s story really did a number on me – I didn’t want to stop my audible-readalong. I had to know what was going to happen next. The narrators were outstanding at bringing the characters to life and building the tension to nail-biting levels.

Two women consumed by secrets. One word kept reverberating in my mind. Kismet! Do you believe in fate, destiny, whatever you want to call it? *nods* Yeah, me too.

Like a loose thread, Lucie’s arrival in Mac’s life heralds the unravelling of a story/stories with far reaching ramifications. Both women have to face up to decisions made.

Note to self: For future reference Laura, please do not listen/read psychological thrillers late at night in the pitch-black. Especially when Gizmo (one of your geriatric cats) decides to walk across that wonky floorboard. Wetting the bed from fright at 40 is not a good look. Nor is waking the neighbours with your screeching. Okay?

*coughs*

Moving swiftly along...

Set amidst the atmospheric Scottish landscape and interwoven with history and folk stories, this is a story that will get under your skin and creep into your psyche to haunt your senses and thrill your imagination.

In other words, if you’re like me, you’ll be a wee bit feart but will love every minute of it as you try to put all the pieces of the puzzle together.

In my opinion, Bone Deep is a must read/listen for all thriller fans.

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Slow-burner tale of love and betrayal

Lucie is a young girl who has fallen in love with the wrong man - her sister's boyfriend.
They have been carrying on an affair behind her sister's back, but their romance is discovered by her mother and she is sent packing from the house.

With nowhere to go, Lucie has accepted a job as an assistant to a retired academic, who lives in the remote Scottish countryside, in the grounds of an old water mill. She is resigned to taking her bruised heart well away from her family, to try to forget about Reuben as best she can.

'Mac', now retired from her academic career is writing another book - this time based on the folktales of the local area. She has been struggling with failing health and the approaching deadline of her manuscript, so is persuaded by her son Arthur to hire an assistant. She does not know what to make of Lucie, the quiet girl she has hired, although there does seem to be a lot going on under the surface.

As time passes, Lucie and Mac get into a kind of rhythm. Mac is becoming obsessed with the story of the "Cruel Sister" - a tale of sibling rivalry, with links to the old mill and nearby castle - but she seems to be struggling to focus and is losing her grip on reality. Lucie finds herself being drawn into the tale too, as it resonates with her own situation, and is desperate to find out what happens in the story.

As the love triangle between Lucie, her sister and Reuben becomes even more complicated, Lucie is feeling the pressure of her guilt and is in fear of her sister discovering the truth. She has already confided in the kindly Arthur and finds herself developing feelings for him.

Mac has started to suspect Lucie's secret and wants to protect Arthur from this young Jezebel if she can. She has her own skeletons in the cupboard to hide and the the weight of what she has done is fueling her erratic behaviour.

Sometimes the past will not stay buried.....

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Bone Deep is a delicious slow burner of a story, and it works really well as an audio book.

The narration is split between Lucie and Mac all the way through, and the story develops as you go backwards and forwards between their descriptions of past events, their feelings and what they think they know about what is going on. These parts are beautifully read by Una Mcdade and Emma Hartley-Miller in all their Scottish glory.

Although Lucie is a mystery to Mac, she seems to be an open book to the reader from very early on, as you are aware of her affair with Reuben almost from the start, but she is hiding a huge secret that will not become apparent until near the very end of the book.

Mac on the other hand, is a bit of an unknown and her character and secrets are revealed over the course of the story - and she has some pretty heavy secrets at that. As she is writing her book, Lucie's romantic affairs and the events in the Cruel Sister stir up a the past for Mac, and a kind of madness descends upon her. Although both Arthur and Lucie notice Mac's peculiar behaviour, especially her fixation with a woman called Anna Madigan, they put this down to eccentricity and old age. Little do they suspect the truth.

I loved the way that they pace of the story increases as you get to the climax, and I found myself being drawn further and further into the yarn. Both Mac and Lucie's narratives become more desperate as they entwine with the chilling direction of the Cruel Sister and the brooding presence of the water mill. What starts out as a Scottish domestic drama, becomes something much more menacing and dangerous, tied up with the rich history of Scotland, as the themes of love and betrayal dominate.

I thoroughly enjoyed this Audible production and am very keen to read, and listen, to more of Sandra Ireland's work. In fact The Unmaking of Ellie Rook is now firmly in my sights!