Little Bones: A Totally Addictive Crime Thriller (Detective Lottie Parker, Book 10) Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
She lifted up her granddaughter from the cot, clutched her to her chest, and without looking at her beautiful daughter lying dead on the floor of her bedroom, ran from the house. Only when she was outside did she let a wail escape her lips, frightening the baby who joined in her screams.
When Isabel Gallagher is found murdered on the floor of her baby’s nursery by her mother, it’s a grueling case for Detective Lottie Parker. Isabel’s pajamas have been ripped, her throat cut and an old-fashioned razor blade placed in her hand. As Lottie looks at the round blue eyes and perfect chubby cheeks of Isabel’s baby daughter, she can’t understand who would want to hurt this innocent family.
That very same day she receives a call with devastating news. Another young mother, Joyce Breslin, has gone missing, and her four-year-old son, Evan, has been abducted from daycare. Lottie is sure that the missing mother and son are linked to Isabel’s death, and when she finds a bloody razor blade in their house, her worst fears are confirmed.
Desperate to find little Evan, Lottie leaves no stone unturned as she delves into Isabel and Joyce’s pasts, and when she realizes the two women have been meeting in secret, she knows she must find out why.
But when Joyce’s body is found in a murky pond and some little bones are found on a windy hillside, it feels as if this merciless killer will stop at nothing. The bones aren’t Evan’s, but can they give Lottie the final clue to find the innocent child before more lives are taken?
This absolutely gripping crime thriller from best-selling author Patricia Gibney will leave you gasping for breath.
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|Listening Length||13 hours and 29 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||22 September 2021|
|Publisher||Hachette UK - Bookouture|
|Best Sellers Rank||
1,691 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
44 in Police Procedural Mysteries
65 in Crime Thrillers (Audible Books & Originals)
281 in Police Procedurals (Books)
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I always look forward to a new Lottie Parker book and, as the tenth in the series, LITTLE BONES doesn't disappoint. What I love so much about this series is it is not wholly procedural and we get perspectives from various other players in the story - the victims, their families and even the villain themselves. Patricia Gibney continues to keep readers guessing from the first page to the very last and I admit to being hoodwinked for much of the book.
The story opens with a graphic prologue which will leave you heartbroken as to its outcome and yet it pulls no punches. The characters in the prologue are unnamed but as the story progresses we begin to work out who they are, with the final piece revealed as the tension in the climax builds.
DI Lottie Parker has a busy professional life as well as a confusing personal one. Having partially inherited the rambling dilapidated Farranstown House from her biological mother (revealed in a previous book) with her half brother who is living in New York, Lottie and her family move in with Boyd half living there, half not. Along with her children - daughters Katie and grandson Louis, Chloe and youngest son Sean - Lottie is trying to balance renovating the place so that it is half liveable whilst juggling her busy career. Her mother Rose is a constant fixture, although she has her own place, who is often there cooking up a storm for when Lottie and Boyd return home.
And then they get a call to a murder scene in which mother Anita Boland discovers upon arriving at her daughter Isabel's place to babysit three month old Holly. Unable to raise her daughter at the door, she enters and after a search of the house, hears Holly crying from the bedroom and finds Isabel in a pool of blood, brutally murdered in front of her daughter. When Lottie arrives she learns that the SOCOs have discovered a razor blade clutched within her hand and healed cut marks on her feet. What does this all mean? Lottie enlists one of her team to find Isabel's husband, Jack Gallagher. With his abrupt and abrasive attitude, it doesn't take long for the detectives to suspect him of having committed the crime. Particularly when they learn Isabel had no mobile phone and was given a small allowance for groceries and anything else she may need.
Then another woman, Joyce Breslin, goes missing when she fails to pick her son Evan up from daycare...but how is she linked to Isabel? Then the team discover that Isabel had once worked at the daycare, Bubbles, until her pregnancy deemed it too difficult. She was apparently to have met with the owner, Sinead Foley, of Bubbles the morning of her murder to discuss Holly attending. An appointment that was never kept. Sinead keeps Evan with her into the night, hoping that Joyce or her partner long distance lorry driver Nathan would soon collect the boy. But then Evan disappears from Sinead's house while she was in preparing the daycare room for the following day. There was no sign of a break-in, so did the abductor have a key?
When Joyce's car is found abandoned by a lake revealing nothing except for an envelope stuffed down the side of the driver's seat with an address and a razor blade, Lottie is convinced Joyce's disappearance is linked to the murder of Isabel. The question is, how? How do the two women know each other?
In an attempt to find Joyce's missing little four year old boy, one of Lottie's team, Kirby, decides to look into the address found in the envelope. It had to be of some significance to have been left in Joyce's car. When he manages to gain entry to the seemingly abandoned house he discovers what looks to be an old crime scene with splatters of dried blood in the kitchen and in the cot upstairs. Further investigation reveals razor blades hidden in a scarf in a cupboard. Kirby has an awful feeling about this.
Added to that is the discovery of some old bones belonging to a child found on an ancient site by a tree on a hillside. But how are all these apparent crimes and crime scenes linked? They nearly all involve razor blades, bar those of the children. So what links them all? Lottie cannot figure it out. But time is running out for little Evan unless Lottie and her team can find the little boy before it's too late. And on top of that, she and Boyd still haven't managed to tie the knot after their failed wedding in a previous book when Boyd fell ill.
There is a lot going on in this book that makes Lottie's head spin, but it is clear from the start that each part is a piece of the puzzle that ties the two women, and their secrets, together. Tensions are high as the race is on to solve the convoluted case, or cases, before time runs out. The pace remains steady throughout which is hitched up a notch as the tensions builds to a spectacular climax. The suspect pool is huge and continues to grow, leaving Lottie and her team at a loss trying to figure out what's going on.
LITTLE BONES is a fantastic addition to the Lottie Parker series which just seems to get better and better. I just wish Lottie and Boyd would hurry up already. And Katie, her eldest daughter, really should have found her feet by now. She was living in New York throughout the last book but now she's returned having decided that Farranstown is the perfect place to raise her son Louis. Although she doesn't feature as heavily in this books as previous ones, in fact none of Lottie's children do this time, she still comes across as a little flaky.
A solid procedural-cum-crime thriller, LITTLE BONES is an enjoyable read and a spectacular addition to the series. And as to expected from previous books in the series, LITTLE BONES ends with a cliffhanger of sorts to be resolved in the next installment. I look forward to that, however I expect I will have forgotten it by then as I have where the previous one left off also.
A good solid read with a fairly likeable team, LITTLE BONES can be read as a standalone but to do so one would miss out on some important background pertinent to the series as it stands today. Perfect for fans of Carol Wyer Victoria Jenkins King and Lake series and Carla Kovach.
The book opens with a dramatic prologue, set two and a half years prior to the main body of the story, detailing an horrific episode of domestic violence and a clandestine burial. We then move forward to the present time, as Anita Boland arrives at the home of her married daughter, Isabel Gallagher, expecting to babysit her baby granddaughter while Isabel attends an appointment. She walks into a shocking crime scene - Isabel has been murdered, but baby Holly has been left alive, screaming disconsolately, in her nearby cot.
Detective Inspector Lottie Parker and her team, based in nearby Ragmullin, Eire, are called in to investigate the murder. Throughout the story, we see vignettes of widowed Lottie's rather chaotic domestic life at dilapidated Farranstown House, with her three children, young grandson and the frequent presence of her partner/colleague Mark Boyd and her judgmental but domestically-indispensable mother, Rose.
While Parker's team begin their investigation of the Gallagher homicide, another drama is unfolding nearby. Another young mother, Joyce Breslin, receives a mysterious warning - a rusty razor blade in a plain envelope pushed under her door. Joyce is clearly traumatised as a result of experiences in her past, her terror amplified when she hears of Isabel's death on a news bulletin. She reacts instinctively by preparing to flee Ragmullin with her four-year-old son, Evan, dropping him at day-care while she frantically gets herself organised. But before she can escape, Joyce disappears, leaving her car abandoned by the side of a remote road, and Evan is mysteriously abducted from his day-care centre while the proprietor is distracted.
If that's not enough drama to contend with, hiker Dervla Byrne is enjoying a solo walk on nearby Misneach Hill, a place rich in mythology, when she comes across a tiny bone, protruding from a moss-covered mound. Dervla wrestles with what she should do - could this be a human bone?
The three apparently disparate plot threads gradually come together, as Parker and her team conduct their investigations. Both Isabel's and Joyce's husbands are behaving strangely, the homicide team is further stretched by internal tensions, and a potential witness-suspect can't be found.
As readers have come to expect from Patricia Gibney, a complex, multi-layered plot is complemented by great characterisations, evocative settings and punchy dialogue (both internal and spoken). Lottie Parker is a sympathetic protagonist, barely keeping her home and family arrangements under control while balancing a demanding professional life. The supporting characters are also well-developed, both those who are recurring figures throughout the series and those whose involvement is limited to this particular case. There are so many metaphorical skeletons hidden, in addition to the one physical one, that the reader is kept guessing as to the identity of the villain(s) right up to the thrilling conclusion.
With the themes of domestic abuse, self-harm and violence against children, this isn't a book for the faint-hearted. Several of the scenes are genuinely chilling in their descriptive content. However, for readers who look for grittier content in their mystery-thrillers, Little Bones will prove a stimulating and enthralling read. This is a worthy addition to a fantastic series. Highly recommended.