Inherit the Bones: A Detective Gemma Monroe Mystery, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
“I couldn't put down Inherit the Bones. Small town Colorado police detective Gemma Monroe is a human and fallible heroine I can't wait to meet again, and Littlejohn's prose is lyrical and gripping - the book - is a sure bet for one of the finest debut novels of the year.” (Deborah Crombie)
Secrets and lies can’t stay buried forever in Cedar Valley.
In the summer, hikers and campers pack the small Colorado town’s meadows and fields. And in the winter, skiers and snowboarders take over the mountains. Season by season, year after year, time passes, and the lies, like the aspens and evergreens that surround the town, take root and spread deep.
Now, someone has uncovered the lies, and it is his murder that continues a chain of events that began almost 40 years ago. Detective Gemma Monroe’s investigation takes her from the seedy grounds of a traveling circus to the powerful homes of those who would control Cedar Valley’s future.
Six months pregnant, with a partner she can’t trust and colleagues who know more than they’re saying, Gemma tracks a killer who will stop at nothing to keep those secrets buried.
Beautifully written, with a riveting plot and a richly drawn cast of characters, Inherit the Bones is a mesmerizing debut from Emily Littlejohn.
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|Listening Length||11 hours and 27 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||May 02, 2019|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #55,235 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#1,353 in Police Procedural Mysteries
#1,576 in Women Sleuth Mysteries
#6,063 in Police Procedurals (Books)
Top reviews from the United States
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Gemma Monroe is a detective in a small, idyllic Colorado ski town. When the book opens, she is very pregnant and is called out to the scene of a murder. The victim is reported to be an employee of the circus performing on the fairgrounds. Nothing could have prepared Gemma for the freaky nightmare-inducing scene she walked into; the victim was a clown with his throat ripped open!!! No amount of therapy could erase that image from my head!!!! YIKES!
As Gemma begins to delve into the murder, she keeps coming across evidence that seems to link this crime to the 30 year old unsolved murder of two young boys, referred to as "The Woodsman Murders." Needless to say, this was a traumatic event for her small town, rehashing the memories makes many people uncomfortable and Gemma meets with a lot of resistance. Could to two events be related? But... on the other hand, there are several potential suspects within the circus; two women in particular who keep getting caught in lies and each seems to be pointing the finger at the other.
On the personal front, Gemma's life is kind up unsettled. Her boyfriend / baby's dad has been working for several months on a geology project in Alaska (and there may or may not be an unidentified woman there with him!!), her beloved grandmother is suffering from dementia and her grandfather may be withholding information about the Woodsman Murders from her.
Between work and her personal life, Gemma has a LOT going on and takes the reader along for a (mostly) fun, fast paced ride.
WHAT I LOVED
This story has a lot things I love in a thriller.
I love interesting characters and this story delivers. If I'm being honest, Gemma's dog Seamus was one of my favorites, he just seemed to be everything a dog should be. I liked Gemma, particularly the way she had her life together in a lot of ways yet was kind of a mess in other areas of life. I found Finn interesting, he was kind of an ass but could also be a good guy. I ended the book still unsure of my feelings about him. Her grandfather, Bull was interesting too, I would have liked more of him in the story line. The whole Bellington family made great characters and the circus people were downright fascinating. That's right, circus people!! Very original concept.
Although this book is a part of a series, either of the two books can stand on their own. I discovered and therefore read the second book first. Reading "A Season to Lie" out of order did cause an issue. I'd definitely be up for reading a third.
The plot was right up my alley. I like fast paced books with some strategic twists and a few well placed 'red herrings.' This book managed to have the exact right amount of false leads without being too much. It felt authentic as a police investigation. Not that I've ever been a part of a police investigation, but from what I've seen on TV (and we all know that's as good as real life), most investigations involve some trial and error before the correct theory is discovered.
I loved reading a book set in Colorado! Colorado is one of my favorite places. If my fantasy world (the world in which I have won the lottery) were real, I would own a house in Vail and spend as much time there as possible. Since that is still not a reality, I have to settle for reading books based in Colorado.
There are so many more things to love in this book but these are a few from the top of my list.
WHAT I DIDN'T LOVE
While I did enjoy this book, there were a couple complaints.
I'm getting tired of storylines where the bad guy goes after the person who is close to solving the case as soon as they get close. All it does is let the solver know he or she is on the right track. You would think that someone who is smart enough to pull off a complicated murder or crime wouldn't be dumb enough to give themselves away like that. It seems to happen in most thrillers, maybe I need a short break from the genre.
I felt like the final 'take down' scene wasn't right. I just have a hard time imagining that the person who was responsible for the murder would allow it to end the way it did. I cannot say more without a spoiler.
Great read for a fan of fast paced thrillers. I liked most things about it.
I would not have guessed that this is Emily’s first novel. The pace, character development and storyline exude first rate talent.
This murder mystery is told from the perspective of Colorado Police Officer Gemma Monroe. It revolves around the cold case murders of cousins Tommy and Andre McKenzie Andy who went missing in Cedar falls on July 3, 1985.
In August of 1985 a young lady’s body was found in the Cedar Valley woods, downstream and snagged in some reeds. She had been assaulted and strangled. Like the McKenzie boys case, this murder was unsolved. The unknown killer was thought to be a strong and tall male between the age of 16 and 50 that residents referred to as the Woodsman.
A few weeks after the woman’s body was discovered the mayor at the time, Silas Nyquist, died of a sudden heart attack.
Gemma was born the following year. Early on her parents were killed in a car accident. Accordingly, she was raised by her grandparents, Bull and Julia. After 40 years as a district attorney and 10 years as a judge, Bull retired to take care of his wife who suffers from dementia.
Decades later while skiing with her boyfriend, Brody in the Rocky Mountains, Gemma discovered one of the McKenzie boy’s skull on Mount James. They marked the site with GPS and reported the finding to the police.
Now a 29 year old police officer, she is pregnant and living with her basset hound, Seamus and her boyfriend, Brody. Brody is a geologist working for the federal government and is on an extended work expedition someplace in Anchorage, Alaska.
Her police chief, Angel Chavez is good friends with longtime Mayor Terence “Terry” Bellington and his wife, Ellen. Terry’s elderly father Frank lives with him. The Mayor’s sister, Hannah Watkins, also lives in their home. She has been the longtime nanny for Annika and Nicky, Terence and Ellen’s twins. Annika is now 18. Her twin brother was presumed dead 3 years ago when he went missing during the night near “Bride’s Veil” waterfall while on a camping trip on Mount Wrigley.
Three years after Nick’s funeral, Gemma receives a call reporting the murder of Reed Tolliver, a clown at Fellini’s Circus of Amazements ran by a man in his early 70’s, Joseph “Papa Joe” Fatone. While conducting interviews at the site, Gemma and her rookie partner, Sam Birdshead learned that Reed Tolliver was really Nick Bellington. This discovery opened Pandora’s Box.
Why did Nick fake his death? Who killed him? Why? Was this related to the unsolved murders? If so, how?
Hold on to your seat and brace yourself for a roller coaster ride filled with surprising twists and turns as pieces of this puzzle come together!
This was a well-written and satisfying tale. I recommend it to friends, family and others who love a good mystery.
I look forward to reading Emily Littlejohn’s next mystery novel, A Season to Lie. Enjoy!
Top reviews from other countries
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes the crime & detective genre. It's riveting and very engaging with interesting characters and the words flow. One of the best book I have read this year. I do hope it's the first of a series with Detective Gemma Monroe..