The Bones of the Story
By: Carol Goodman
Narrator: Elisabeth Rodgers
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: 07/11/2023
My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC)
One by one their pasts will reveal the deadly truth . . .
The twisty locked-room mystery from two-time Mary Higgins Clark Award–winning author Carol Goodman is 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 terrible storm that caused the double tragedy. Now, the college President—who has his reasons for drawing attention to the notorious incident—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 winter 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?
Carol Goodman (a favorite) returns following The Disinvited Guest with her latest spine-chilling brilliant locked room campus suspense mystery, THE BONES OF THE STORY —when the past and present collide in this dark academia thriller infused with literary elements.
A tragic event occurred at the small Briarwood College campus in the Catskill Mountain area twenty-five years earlier with a death of a legendary teacher and an aspiring student. It has urban legends, caves, and stories.
Hotch, the college president, brings the tragedy from the past to the present by commemorating the 25th anniversary of the death of Hugo Moss, the first writer-in-residence and the last—with donors, faculty, and alumni to honor the victims.
In addition, Moss's last class of students is invited to stay at Wilder House for the weekend. They gather on campus in the same rooms from years ago.
It is a cold, snowy December weekend after the fall semester has ended. But as a storm descends, people begin to depart, leaving a group of alumni who were the last ones taught by the esteemed professor. They share chilling horror stories they wrote about their fears.
Then 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? Who will make it out alive?
Could the killer be among them? What about the body in the caves? Is it revenge, or what is happening?
Who doesn't love campus mysteries? They are nostalgic, dark, and mysterious with the claustrophobic atmospheric settings, the brick facade, the quads, the libraries, and in this case, the caves, the bones, snow blizzards, secret societies, spirits, ghosts, with Agatha Christie and Edgar Allen Poe literary references.
As always, Goodman is a pro at twisty locked-room mysteries with this group of former classmates trapped on their college campus with a murderer among them. A dangerous twisty cat-and-mouse game where decades-old secrets collide with the present.
From past to present, a chilling whodunit that keeps you guessing with jaw-dropping twists and turns and a satisfying conclusion. Goodman fans will enjoy this one, as well as new fans!
Thanks to William Morrow for a gifted ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
Pub Date: July 11, 2023
My Rating: 5 Stars
“Superior… Goodman is superb at doling out reveals gradually, and toggling between past and present to build ample tension. Admirers of Riley Sager’s The Last Time I Lied will be enthralled.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Carol Goodman's The Bones of the Story deftly and intriguingly combines a decades-old campus mystery, a powerful winter storm, and a batch of suspects and potential victims to create one of the best and smartest locked-room mysteries I've read in a long time. A page-turner with both heart and brains. Don't miss it!"
— David Bell, New York Times bestselling author of Try Not to Breathe and She’s Gone
“Carol Goodman's The Bones of The Story delivers the perfect mix of dark academia and locked-room thriller vibes in a tense cat-and-mouse game where decades-old secrets haunt every page and lead to deadly consequences.”
— Darby Kane, #1 International bestselling author of Pretty Little Wife
“The Disinvited Guest is a tense, fever dream of a thriller in an extraordinary, atmospheric setting, gripping from first page to last. In a world under attack from a new virus, seven friends take refuge on a private, fog-drenched island where memories are both long and unreliable, illness lurks, the terrain is treacherous and even the island’s history has claws. Carol Goodman is a brilliant writer, and she shines here. Loved it.”
— Gilly Macmillan, New York Times bestselling author
About the Author
Carol Goodman is the author of twenty-four novels, including The Lake of Dead Languages, The Seduction of Water, which won the 2003 Hammett Prize, The Widow’s House, which won the 2018 Mary Higgins Clark Award, and The Night Visitors, which won the 2020 Mary Higgins Clark Award. Her books have been translated into sixteen languages. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her family and teaches literature and writing at The New School and SUNY New Paltz. WEBSITE