On an isolated farm in southern Ireland, a decades-old grave houses the dismembered bones of 11 women. Detective Superintendent Katie Maguire of the Irish Gardai is used to bloodshed, but these white bones speak of unimaginable butchery.
Not far away, a young American tourist is at the mercy of a sadistic killer. His tools are a boning knife, twine, and a doll fashioned from rags, nails, and fish-hooks. The murder of his victims is secondary only to his pleasure at their pain.
As more and more victims are ritualistically murdered, Katie Maguire finds that she must solve an ancient Irish mystery to catch a terrifying present-day killer.
©2013 Graham Masterton (P)2014 Audible Studios
Gruesome but good. enjoyable. Unique story, well narrated. Will read more from this author and listen to other stories narrated by Caroline Lennon. Great combination.
""I want more""
Mr. Masterton's imagination is full of darkness and he is not afraid to show it. Love it!
No comparison at all.
"Love Katie Maguire. Compelling if imperfect story."
Graham Masterton is a really masterful storyteller, and the twists come fast and furious. A few choices are more over-the-top than I like in my mysteries (prefer them slightly more real,) but I can't imagine he'd ever be a wasted listen. Love his ability to set up Cork as a place in time, and to draw a series of interesting characters.
Katie is a great character. She makes unique moral choices - more interesting than a lot of authors would allow- and her morality is very particular to her as a character. I like her doggedness. Masterton isn't afraid to let her screw up, either, which makes her all the more real. The ultimate villain of this piece is interesting too. Not entirely unexpected when revealed, but still worth it.
The narrator's voice is dramatic but also soothing with its Irish lilt. It's honeyed and unique. HOWEVER, I really feel that she hams it up awfully with the American characters. Their accents are SO BAD that it unfortunately ruins some really important scenes. Seriously. A suggestion of an accent often works better than when narrators try to fully do an accent (this must happen to British listeners all the time, but my ear is tuned to North American. Sorry, British listeners! Wow!) The end of the second book implies that there are more American characters to come so I hope this is fixed.
Masterton shows his roots as a horror author - BOY is there some gore in here. Just a warning. I'm not squeamish by most measures, but something about listening to the torturous scenes in here was pretty difficult... He also likes supernatural subjects a lot.
Some lesbian stuff in both books so far has been kinda gratuitous from where I sit - much more a male fantasy than a true female experience. Not enough to wreck anything, just a little silly.
I listened to the second Katie Maguire book first. If you think you might listen to it, you might want to do this one first. It doesn't matter much in a lot of series, but there is some serious story arcing from book-to-book here, and the journey of this one was a little spoiled by listening out of order.
"Could be great book instead of great disapointment"
Sexual scenes and scenes of torture.are GRAPHIC. The sexual scenes are so detailed that that they could be used in an OBGYN text book. I needed a shower after reading one chapter. The scenes of torture including details of being skinned alive and legs amputated
in minute detail are stomach turning.
.I found myself skipping chapters. This is a well written book take out the scenes of torture and sadism I would be hooked if it turned into a series. Believe me I am NOT easily offended, I am not squeamish, sex, when its part of the story is just great. Torture in detail is another story.You need a strong stomach, not prone to nightmares and enjoy porn to enjoy this book
Broken Angels by same author.
Excellent pronunciation of the Irish language. Caroline is great.
Anger and disappointment. Terrible ending great story, ruined by unnecessary scenes of sadism, crudity and violence
Dont buy this book if you are easily unnerved.
"Gruesome but great"
I loved the character of Katie Maguire, and the story was a real page turner
I have a fairly strong stomach, but the descriptions of torture were quite harrowing. But don't let this deter you from listening to this book. It's a ripper.
None in particular. Caroline Lennon is a talented performer and all characters were well differentiated.
There is a great deal of "Irishness" in this book, and I found it thoroughly entertaining. I loved the dialogue, the turns of phrase, and throughout, there was a real sense of being right there in the thick of it.
When you start on a series, and enjoy it, it's lovely to know there are more in the series. However, knowing this also takes away some of the suspense when the main character is in real peril. I mean, there are three more books, so how can she possibly die? But I guess it's a small price to pay when you also know there are at least three more adventures for our heroine to (and us) to enjoy.
The graphic descriptions of sadistic violence were distracting and seemed unnecessary. I find stories that leave some of these details to the imagination and focus on the forensic analysis to be far more interesting.
As stated above, there were elements of the story that were interesting; however, I found the descriptions of the sadistic acts to be unnecessary.
Several of the characters were interesting.
I recommend against downloading this book if you are sensitive to butchery and extreme suffering. I have read six of Chelsea Cain's Archie Sheridan/Gretchen books and found them to be gruesome, but enjoyed the series. White Bones far exceeded my threshold for gore.
"I should have heeded the reviews!"
I will be returning this one. However, its my own fault. I should have believed the earlier reviews. The book has some of the most graphic violence I have ever read. I am not easily shocked or a prude but just found it horrible and gave up after a couple of hours. Its a shame as I found the book really engaging otherwise. I also dont agree with some reviewers about the narrator. I thought she was great and would listen to her again.
If you like really, really graphic and detailed horror - this may be for you.
"Good story but some graphic torture scenes"
The story and main characters are good but interspersed with chapters of torture that are graphic and gruesome. I'm about a quarter through and wondering whether I can finish it.
I sincerely hope not.
I'm appalled by the method and description of torture which is in contrast to an otherwise good story. I think the different aspects of the book would appeal to different audiences. Unfortunately one audience would be serial killers .......
"An Uncomfortable Story Brilliantly Read"
The pacing of the story was good but the excessive, Repetitive gore made for an uncomfortable read. Once the picture was painted of the fate of the girls the author could profitably have left things to our memory. Gore for gores sake does not make for a good book. Unless you like large amounts of detailed violence, give this a miss.
The most disappointing was his over-reliance on detailed description of torture. Suspense and atmosphere can be built up quite effectively without going into intimate detail, especially when an element of repetition of scenes creeps in. As it is it created a one-dimensional story of horror and depravity when the author has more tools in his armoury, which he could deploy.
Katie was a sound character around whom other books can be centred. However, she would lose credibility if every book presented her with sick repetitive violence. One hopes that the author has it within him. Otherwise - see the last section.
Be very careful about reading, or listening to, anything by this author.
The only reason why I stayed with this book was the reading by Caroline Lennon. If it had been read badly, I would have given up upon it. Ms Lennon's skill lay in her ability to create her own tension by avoiding histrionics. Diction was good, pacing was excellent and she created tension by, at times, an almost matter of fact reading, detached might be better, which allowed the story to unfold naturally. I don't mean to suggest that it was flat and uninvolved, anything but. The real skill lies in creating tension, holding the listeners attention, in a seemingly effortless, understated, way. That takes real talent.
A brilliant reading.
"Sinister thriller not for the faint-hearted"
White Bones introduces Detective Katie Maguire. When the bones of 11 women are found on an isolated farm in County Cork in Ireland, Katie is initially told to drop the case as the deaths date back to 1915. But then a young American tourist goes missing and her body turns up on the same farm.
I've been hesitant for a while now to start this series because of the mixed reviews and mentions of 'supernatural', but it turned out to be a really solid Irish crime procedural and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The plot centers around old Irish folklore/myths rather than the paranormal elements I was expecting and that added a really interesting aspect to the story. Mr. Masterton has previously written horror novels and while this certainly shines through, I didn't find any of the details overly gory, but I think more sensitive readers may.
The author also provides plenty of background on the main character of Katie Maguire. By the end of the book, you really feel you have a good picture of her as a person. She has to work hard as a female in a very conservative, male dominated environment and her personal life is under scrutiny which isn't helping her marriage.
The audiobook narration was done really well, and I appreciate that the narrator must have had a very difficult time switching from characters with Irish dialect to American accents. I loved the Irish lilt, the American accent felt a bit off (sorry).
If you enjoy rather sinister thrillers in an Irish setting and would like to explore some Irish history and Celtic mythology, I would definitely recommend White Bones.
"Inspector McLean meet Superintendent Katie Maguir"
This is how you mix the supernatural with the modern detective, horror with procedurals, location and personality. If you like James Oswald books this should be an easy transition or addition, Especially if you wanted more of that other side feeling.
This is a very violent and bloody story with lots of twists and good characters, the superintendent has so much on her plate it feels like the pressure escalates with every chapter, the politics of her work feel real and acceptable, no crazy over the top bosses, that do not know anything, just tention and demands from the normal sources. Making the story more plausible, even when things get downright strange and mystical.
Well executed and very absorbing if a bit too descriptive of the horrible murders, I would have give it four of five except that there was one glaring mistake that the editor should have noticed, it does not change the outcome or detract from the story but it felt like a bump in a very smooth story.
"Scary but captured my interest"
Bordering on the supernatural, this story kept me enthralled on a few dog walks! It was believable even though I don't hold with such nonsense! Quite horrific but tantalised me to try anticipate the ending. Super narration
"Fast forward the gory bits..."
Liked the narrator. Story was okay but not as compelling as some of his other bits. Had to fast forward the gory chapters in the end - they were just too much for me and also rather repetitive.
I really disliked the main female character - her Catholic beliefs and other traits which I can't mention without spoiling the story. I'm not sure I can read more books in this series but I enjoyed the basic story so may try one more in this series. I really dislike people who have animals when their lifestyle isn't suitable and as a rescuer wouldn't entertain giving this woman a dog so the end of this book irritated me no end! The religious aspects weren't too bad I suppose, the other elements of the story were worthwhile so I could ignore the Christian beliefs reasonably well but they do annoy me in books. I much prefer my central characters to be atheists/agnostics or at least nonChristian, nonMuslim but accept that for many readers/listeners the religious beliefs of the characters wouldn't be a problem. Overall this novel was interesting although the "baddie" was perhaps too much of what would be anathema to Catholics and therefore too blackened to be very believable to the rest of us.
"Great revisit of GM"
Love the accent of the narrator, and she has a great reading style. Graham Masterton's stories are as good as I remember. I enjoyed this.
"Thomas Harris style thriller"
This would make a good tv 3 parter, it's a well written 'serial killer' thriller, well narrated, set in a believable Irish town. The killer has that Thomas Harris 'nasty but somehow beautiful' quality that makes you squirm. The problem, and it's a biggy, is that the narrator is forced to 'fake' the killers voice so that we will not recognise them - perfectly understandable and wouldn't be a problem in text form - but here (and I can't really explain without spoilers, and I won't spoil it) it is uncomfortable and kind of blows the ending.
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