Friday, 12 July 2019

Book review : Sea of Bones - Deborah O' Donoghue

Sea of Bones is a chilling, spine-tingling new novel from Deborah O' Donoghue, which reminds me of the highly popular Jo Nesbo books. The opening chapters are incredibly short and give brief glimpses into goings-on that the reader has no hope of understanding. The rest of the book will slowly look for truths that will uncover their meaning.

The action takes place in and around an isolated Scottish coastal region where Beth, a promising young textiles student, has been staying in her aunt Juliet's beach cottage. We see her running along the beach, then, in the next chapter, her body is found washed up on the shore. For the police, suicide seems the likeliest explanation, especially as a note is found alongside her shoes, but to Juliet, this is totally impossible and she sets out looking for clues to what really happened.

She chats with the neighbours, a group of musicians living in the nearest cottage along the beach, and digs deeper into her niece's belongings, but the truth is hard to uncover. Calling on those around her - an old friend who works on the local police force, her bi-polar sister (Beth's mother) and her ex-husband (Beth's father), her own long-suffering husband, ... - she starts to see some suspicious details and soon puts her life at risk, following them up. Chasing these hints further south leads to the discovery of some horrific events in Manchester's sordid underworld that will finally reveal what really happened.

I can't really tell you any more without giving you some serious spoilers, but it is a fast-paced, exciting novel that will take you to unexpected places. Juliet is ruthless in her quest to uncover the truth, which puts some very dangerous noses out of joint. I could really believe in the main plotline, but some of the extras - notably the political and journalistic aspects - seemed a bit excess to requirements. It's a great read though, perfect for whiling away a pleasant hour or three by the pool this summer ! 


star rating : 4.5/5

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Legend Press (1 July 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1789550025
  • ISBN-13: 978-1789550023

Disclosure : I received a review copy of the book.


  1. Sounds great. Will add this book to my 'to buy' list. Thank you.

  2. Sounds like a good read intriguing great cover too

  3. It reminded me of Jo Nesbo as well, being so dark and menacing. I need to find something similarly gripping for our long trip to Cornwall by train. Just need to look through my mountains of paperbacks, what to choose.

    1. I'm the same - we have about 20 hrs to kill to get to Alaska so I'll have to see what I can fit in my hand luggage ! :-0


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