Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"The Bone Garden" Review

  • Title:  "The Bone Garden"
  • Author:  Tess Gerritsen
  • Finished:  August 18, 2010
  • Synopsis:  As with the previous reviews of Gerritsen books, the synopsis is probably best handled by linking to Gerritsen's webpage.
  • Impression of the book:  This book was much different than the typical Gerritsen novel.  The suspense and gruesomeness are suppressed to some degree by the knowledge that the murder in question takes place about a hundred years earlier and the killer is not out there stalking today.  I enjoyed reading this one a bunch.
  • Read Again Scale:  7
    • Unlike the previous four Gerritsen novels, I would re-read this one if I happen across it in the library. The other Gerritsen novels were "definite maybe" re-reads.
  • Read Another Book by the Same Author:  10
    • Since I am reviewing a 5th book by this author, you have a pretty good idea that I will read her work again.
Tess Gerritsen shows a lot more range to her writing in this book. She weaves historical fiction with a modern day story.  The flashbacks that reveal the story that she is telling do not distract from the present day adventure that the main character is going through. For you "Rizzoli & Isles" fans, Maura Isles is a very small character in this one, but Rizzoli doesn't even make an appearance. So, don't pick this one up thinking that you are getting an installment of that dynamic duo.

The Bone Garden brings the modern reader into a time when "Resurrectionists" delivered cadavers to medical schools.  I think that many will find it offensive that early medical schools resorted to paying these grave robbers OR looked the other way as their students obtained their own gross anatomy specimens. It also shows us that, once doctors started WASHING THEIR HANDS between patients, the epidemics of some diseases (such as puerperal fever) were vastly reduced in scope.  Wow, what a difference a hundred years makes!

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