Welcome to my stop of the A Baby’s Bones blog tour hosted by Titan Books! Keep reading for my review and a giveaway!
“It was a secret burial. Maybe even murder…”
Archaeologist Sage Westfield has been called in to excavate a sixteenth-century well, and expects to find little more than soil and the odd piece of pottery. But the disturbing discovery of the bones of a woman and newborn baby make it clear that she has stumbled onto an historical crime scene, one that is interwoven with an unsettling local legend of witchcraft and unrequited love. Yet there is more to the case than a four-hundred-year-old mystery. The owners of a nearby cottage are convinced that it is haunted, and the local vicar is being plagued with abusive phone calls. Then a tragic death makes it all too clear that a modern murderer is at work…
Please highlight blank space to see triggers: infant death, emotionally abusive relationship, terminal illness
I took a little bit of a risk with this novel because although it was advertised as a historical fiction and mystery all wrapped up in one, I didn’t get super positive vibes from the book cover straightaway… but I’m pleasantly surprised! What is it they say about not judging a book by it’s cover again?
I loved how this novel was told through dual perspectives, one from the past and one from the future. It was interesting to watch both stories play out separately, the mysteries unfolding as different stories, until they come together in a big crescendo at the end.
I thought the story for this one, and it’s characters, were pretty unique! The story is based around a historic crime rather than a current one, so (for the most part) the characters are attempting to solve the mystery of abandoned bones from 500 years ago. Until a present murder happens, and they have two unsolved mysteries to deal with!
I can imagine writing a dual plot like this is pretty difficult, but I think Alexander did well to keep you interested in both time periods. I can’t say I was itching to read either past or present more than the other. As for how the plots conjoin at the end, I’m half happy, and half skeptical. I feel like the link between the two time periods is pretty flaky, but at least they did actually join together.
I found a couple of the moments in the novel a little unbelievable, and sometimes the conversations felt very fictional, however, none of this really took away from my enjoyment. I just thought “pfft yeah, right” and moved on.
Our main character Sage is a successful archaeologist! I’ve never come across an archaeologist in a novel before, and it’s so rare to find a strong career led female character with no male superiors. (Sage does have important male colleagues, but none of them boss her around or think themselves better than her).
I loved Sage as a character. I thought she was a decent person, always responsible for her actions. Like with lots of main characters in these kinds of books, she does have some troubles, but all the way through she’s actively trying to get past them, rather than wallow in self pity. I could definitely see myself reading another book with her in. As for secondary characters, I think they were all pretty well developed as people, and I enjoyed getting to know them.
I did have my suspicions about who our present day murderer was as there were only a couple of characters who weren’t particularly focused on, whereas the rest were all too well known to the reader. So I did end up being right about our modern day killer, but that wasn’t really an issue as I found I was more interested in why and how their motive connected to the bones down the well.
One thing to add, this is quite a romantic novel – not something I expected! If you know me and my choice in books, you know that romances icks me out and I always avoid it, so it came as a bit of a shock when it started in this dark thriller. Personally, I felt the romance was pretty cringey and a little cliche, but that could just be because I find lovey dovey things really… well, cringey and cliche!
Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. Even though it deals with some very dark themes and crimes, I kind of felt this a bit of a cosy novel, and that seemed to be exactly what I needed in this reading slump!
Thank you to Titan Books for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
I’ve partnered with Titan Books to give 1 UK reader the chance to win a copy of A Baby’s Bones by Rebecca Alexander! Enter with the link below;