The Bones of the Story by Carol Goodman delivered a locked door mystery in the middle of a snowstorm at Briarwood College. Come see what I enjoyed about this suspenseful thriller.
by Carol Goodman
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The twisty locked-room mystery from two-time Mary Higgins Clark Award–winning author Carol Goodman, about a group of former classmates trapped on their college campus—with a murderer among them.
It’s been twenty-five years since the shocking disappearance of a female student and the distinguished Creative Writing professor who died while searching for her. The Briarwood College community has never forgotten the double tragedy. Now, the college President is bringing together faculty, donors, and alumni to honor the victims from all those years ago.
On a cold December weekend after the fall semester has ended, guests gather on the vacant campus for the commemoratory event. But as a storm descends, people begin to depart, leaving a group of alumni who were the last ones taught by the esteemed professor. Recriminations and old rivalries flare as they recall the writing projects they shared as classmates, including chilling horror stories they each wrote about their greatest fears.
When an alumna dies in a shockingly similar way to the story she wrote, and then another succumbs to a similar fate, they realize someone has decided at long last to avenge the crimes of the past. Will the secret of what they did twenty-five years ago be revealed? Will any of them be alive at the end of the weekend to find out?
I enjoy locked door mysteries from Agatha Christie, Ruth Ware and Lucy Foley, so I was curious to dive into The Bones of the Story. The tale takes place in both the then and the now at Briarwood College.
Twenty-five years ago, a student went missing in the caves, and a Creative Writing professor perished while searching for her. Now, the current president of the college has gathered faculty, donors, and alumni to honor the victims. It’s December and days before the event, a student accidentally discovers the body of the missing student.
The tale is told from the perspective of Nell Portman, the Dean of the college. This was a slow-building suspense thriller with characters who have changed from college students to adults. Not all were likeable, and Nell’s perspective wasn’t always reliable.
All those years ago, Nell was a scholarship student who never felt like she belonged. Imposter syndrome. She worked hard to become a part of the creative writing group who worked with the deceased professor.
This was a clever tale, that shared college life, the friendships and the pressures of being part of Hugo Moss’ fellowship. In the then we built towards learning what happened twenty-five years ago and getting to know all the players. In the now, we have the unearthed body and the realization that this group of alumni have a secret pact.
As the snowstorm builds, the group finds themselves cut off from the outside world. That is when the murders begin… each more gruesome than the last and seemly tied to stories they wrote their senior year. It seems everyone involved in the secret all those years ago is being picked off, one by one.
The story took a while to gain traction and had quite the cast of characters to keep track of. Goodman entertains, though, with clever twists and reveals. While I don’t think it offered anything fresh in terms of a locked door mystery, I enjoyed the tale that unfolded and will read Goodman again.The Bones of the Story by Carol Goodman delivered a locked door mystery. #NewRelease #mystery #suspensethriller #bookreview Click To Tweet
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