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Summary

When an elderly recluse discovers a corpse on his land, Officer Henry Farrell follows the investigation to strange places in the countryside, and into the depths of his own frayed soul.

In Wild Thyme, Pennsylvania, secrets and feuds go back generations. The lone policeman in a small township on the sparse northern border, Henry Farrell expected to spend his mornings hunting and fishing, his evenings playing old-time music. Instead, he has watched the steady encroachment of gas drilling bring new wealth and erode neighborly trust. The drug trade is pushing heroin into the territory. There are outlaws cooking meth in the woods, guys Henry grew up with. When a stranger turns up dead, Henry’s search for the killer will open old wounds, dredge up ancient crimes, and exact a deadly price.

With vivid characters and flawless pacing, Tom Bouman immerses listeners in rural northeastern Pennsylvania, a region in the grip of change. In these derelict woods full of whitetail deer and history, the hunt is on.

©2014 Tom Bouman (P)2014 Audible Inc.

Critic reviews

 

  • Edgar Award Winner, Best First Novel, 2015

What listeners say about Dry Bones in the Valley

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Dry Bones in the Valley: A Novel

I could listen to Joe Barrett read the telephone directory and so running though his back catalogue I came across Dry Bones which at the time hadn't been rated and so I thought I would give it a shot. The story I found a little confusing, probably because I have a terrible memory for names, but the characterisations and the descriptions in many instances blew me away... very well observed. I absolutely loved the writing style and look forward to the next book from Tom Bouman.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Patricia McKinney
  • Patricia McKinney
  • 11-03-15

Authentic background, excellent narration.

I come from Pennsylvania's coal country and the landscape, economic problems and alcoholism are all authentic. The more current issues of meth and fracking are new to me but handled with a resignation and understanding that seems just right. The narrator reads beautifully without acting. Reminiscent of George Guidall's handling of the Longmire stories. Very good story; hope it's the first of many.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Deborah
  • 10-08-14

Good mystery rich with character and context

What did you love best about Dry Bones in the Valley?

There may not be a better mystery writer publishing today. Mystery is well plotted without resorting to generic formulae. Characters, setting, and context are brought to life in literate prose. Rural Northeast Pennsylvania, with its methamphetamine labs and hydrofracking wells and contrast of newly rich landowners and down-and-out renters was richly described.

What other book might you compare Dry Bones in the Valley to and why?

Winter Bones, which brought the backwoods of Mississippi onto the big screen in a frighteningly realistic way. This book would make a great TV miniseries, like True Detective.

Which character – as performed by Joe Barrett – was your favorite?

Henry Farrell was the everyman- impossible not to relate to him.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Total immersion. Love a book that takes me to a new place and introduces me to characters I feel I already know.

Any additional comments?

I understand this is a debut novel- I can see the seeds have been planted for sequels, and I am looking forward to them!

8 people found this helpful

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  • Jway
  • 11-08-19

One of the Best

There are hundreds of audio books in my library but this is the first time I've written a review. Do yourself a favor and read this book. The wise and sensitive main character would appeal to anyone of any age or gender. I normally multitask while listening but the vivid descriptions of both characters and setting, and the excellent narration, held me captive and I'm better for it. I hope this immensely talented author goes on writing for a long, long time

3 people found this helpful

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  • Angster
  • 12-02-19

Joe Barrett in Pennsyltucky.

Joe Barrett narrates- What more do you need to know?

I didn’t know what the book was about. I didn’t know the author. I recognize the name Joe Barrett and I know I enjoy listening to what he reads.
An interesting novel of crime in Pennsyltucky.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Donna
  • 08-12-18

4

Four plus.... rural America. There is not much or many out there so I'm interested in reading
the thoughts and observations of those who see or imagine life outvthere. Good story although the over abundance of white males and their spitting contests
gets old. I enjoyed the yarn and I liked the narrator. who reminds me of George Guidall.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 19-06-21

I'm so bored

this was a struggle to listen to. boring and dull. hated it. never listen to this author again.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-06-21

Good story

I am always on the look for a good story and this did not disappoint. Loved the descriptions that were just enough and didn't take over the plot. Characters were real and relatable which I appreciate. Just a real good story.

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  • C Arendt
  • 29-05-20

loved it

i really enjoyed this author: the plot was not about a serial killer, the characters became people, and the protagonist was charmingly complex and flawed.

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  • RHJ_pops
  • 08-04-20

wow

I listen to, and read books, by my favorite authors. I rarely venture out but I took a flyer on this one. This book goes down as one of my all time favorites. Calling it superb doesn't come close to describing the story or the performance. This was simply outstanding.

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  • M Elkins
  • 26-02-19

ok, but not my normal type of book

struggled to finish, I think more because it was not like most books I listen to. enjoyed the story and narrator