Aarav Rai’s mother disappeared when he was sixteen years old. He can still hear her scream and feel the rain on his face as he watched her tail lights disappear into the dark. Twenty years later her car is found down an embankment hidden by the jungle overgrowth, her bones inside wearing the clothes she disappeared in. The $250,000 she stole from her husbands safe missing from the car. The police aren’t the only one investigating this murder. Aarav is determined to find out who murdered his mother but he’s recovering from a bad car accident, a head injury, and a broken foot. Quiet in her Bones is a dark, twisted mystery that I couldn’t put down and am still thinking about days after finishing.
When the police arrive to tell Aarav and his father that his mother was found in her car not too far from their home the scene is fraught with tension. It’s immediately apparent that Aarav and his father dislike each other and Aarav is only tolerated in his fathers home because their heritage is patriarchal and he is an oldest son. The good looking Aarav is a famous horror/mystery fiction writer who had a popular book made into a movie and whose fame he uses to his advantage. Turning on the charm when he wants to divert attention but intent upon his own self destruction, his addiction is sugar instead of pills or booze. As the narrator we are bystanders to his thoughts and this author leads us down the path of his derangement.
Set in a wealthy neighborhood in New Zealand I’m immediately enraptured by the foreign nature of pretty much everything. Aarav is Indian and so his family’s names and culture are very different, but life in New Zealand is not familiar to this southern California native and the differences seem pretty extreme. Add to that foreign setting a disturbed narrator, and a dark elite lifestyle led by his neighbors the scene is set for some dark hijinks and Nalini Singh certainly delivers. These characters were so interesting and the contradiction between their somewhat ordinary lifestyles and their bizarre secrets revealed bit by bit kept me eagerly turning each page.
It’s hard to write a review for a mystery and not reveal all the details. I don’t want to spoil this one for anyone. I will say that the author does a great job of leading the reader to think they know who the killer is at different parts of the novel. I think I ran through about six killers before the end of the book. There were a few red herring’s but part of the effectiveness of being led astray was that the mood was so dark it was easiest to follow the light of the one character you were reading about at that moment. I had fun reading Quiet In Her Bones because I just don’t get surprised too often anymore, but this time this author did it. I was surprised by the ending. You can’t help but appreciate that!
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley and the publisher for my honest review and it was honest.
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