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The Bone Garden (Hardcover) Hardcover – Import, January 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press (14 Jan 2008); First Edition edition (2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593057775
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593057773
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (278 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,267,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm a physician as well as the New York Times-bestselling author of medical thrillers and the Jane Rizzoli crime thrillers.

Readers who are familiar with my graphic autopsy scenes and forensic details may be astonished to learn that my very first published novels were actually ... romantic suspense. So why did I leave writing romances and turn to thrillers?

It was all because of a chance dinner conversation some years ago. The man sitting beside me at a restaurant one night was an ex-cop who 'd recently been traveling in Russia. Moscow cops had told him that orphans were vanishing from the streets, and they believed the children were being kidnaped and shipped abroad as organ donors.

I was horrified by the tale. Weeks later, unable to forget those missing Russian orphans, I knew I just had to write a book about them. I wanted to bring into it all the medical and autopsy details that I'd learned from my years as a physician. The sights, the smells of the autopsy and operating rooms -- everything.

My first medical thriller, HARVEST, was released in hardcover in 1996, and it marked my debut on the NEW YORK TIMES bestseller list. It was followed by my medical thrillers LIFE SUPPORT (1997), BLOODSTREAM (1998), GRAVITY (1999).

In 2001, my books took another abrupt turn, to forensic thrillers. THE SURGEON was my first Jane Rizzoli thriller. Since then, I've written THE APPRENTICE (2002), THE SINNER (2003), BODY DOUBLE (2004), VANISH (2005 -- and an Edgar Award nominee), and THE MEPHISTO CLUB (2006).

I believe my readers want me to tell them secrets. And that's exactly what I try to do. I take them into the autopsy room, and show them what I've seen. But most of all, I hope I'm revealing what lies in the hearts of my characters. Jane Rizzoli and Dr. Maura Isles are real people to me now. I hope they're just as real to everyone who becomes acquainted with them!

Customer Reviews

Popular Discussion Topics

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  • "Writing" 43
  • "Characters" 26
  • "Suspense" 20
  • "Romantic" 14
  • "Emotional" 9
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Steven Sabin on November 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I've read most of Gerritsen's medical thrillers, but avoided her more recent installment of books dealing with serial killers.

This book was a pleasant surprise, and in my opinion, one of Gerritsen's best. Don't let the title throw you. This isn't something from the supernatural horror genre, or a book dealing with someone who kills just for kicks.

When Julia Hamill purchases a 130-year old home, she realizes the fixer-upper is going to be an overwhelming project. Toiling in the overgrown garden, she unearths a skeleton that predates the house and which appears to be a murder victim. When a neighbor connects her to an old man with boxes of letters and newspaper clippings pertaining to the house, she finds herself mesmerized by the lives of Boston's richest - and poorest - historical inhabitants whose lives hold the key to the bones in her garden.

It was a truly enjoyable read, juxtaposing the 1830s with the present. Gerristen also draws heavily on her experience writing romance novels and gives us here equal parts thriller and love story.

The adrenaline junkies among us may feel mildly let down because the story resolves itself to a large degree before the final page and then sort of winds down gently rather than building to a furious crescendo. But unlike some reviewers, I found that to be a positive in this book, not a negative.

Frankly, of all Gerritsen's books I have read so far (and that has been about 5 or 6), this has been the most enjoyable.
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67 of 74 people found the following review helpful By R S Cobblestone VINE VOICE on September 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The Bone Garden starts off with that common mystery beginning... an old skeleton is found buried behind the newly purchased 130 year old house. The verdict? Murder so foul.

How did it get there? What was its story?

Author Tess Gerritsen goes back to the year 1830 in Boston, when medical students often were responsible for gathering up their own cadavers for study, and hand-washing was not linked in any manner with the spreading of disease, including, tragically, by physicians.

This story involves one such medical student (Norris Marshall) moonlighting as a grave-robber, his fellow student and friend Oliver Wendell Holmes, senior, and a young woman (Rose Connolly), who is desperately trying to protect her late sister's baby girl from the fate of the paupers' orphanage. In the meantime, a killer called the West End Reaper seems to collecting victims known by the three. Is one the Reaper? What connects these three, and the bones of the young woman found a century and a half later?

As it turns out, not much.

This is a really engaging story until, well, it ends. The crescendo is there, grabbing your attention, developing characters you love or hate, and raising the mystery to a level worthy of your interest. Then... poof. I can't tell you about the "poof" without giving away the mystery. Needless to say, it was deflating. Hence, the three stars.

Gerritsen weaves the mysteries of today and yesterday with skill, developing characters I empathized with. The broad links tightened as the novel came to a close, but the final knot was too contrived and abrupt.

A novel should never be harmed by its ending, and this one was.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Dana Y. Bowles VINE VOICE on November 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Newly divorced Julia Hamill has struck out on her own and moved into a quaint old house. Julia is comfortable in her new home, working in her garden; that is, until she uncovers a skeleton while digging amongst the weeds in her backyard. A mysterious phone call from an old gentleman who claims to know the history of her old home soon follows; and the quest begins between Julia and her elderly friend to uncover the long history and story behind the old house.
Moving back and forth between centuries (following the people behind the home's history), it is the 1800s, and young Rose has just lost her older sister to childbed fever. Now faced with caring for baby Meggy while avoiding her sister's abusive husband, Rose finds herself homeless and despondent. But she makes her way; Rose is a survivor, and finds her niece a wetnurse to stay with, while also finding herself a place to lay her head at night. Meanwhile, Boston is besieged by a series of horrific murders, and the killer is dubbed the West End Reaper. The only two people to witness the killer are Rose and Norris--a dashing young medical student who cared for her sister during her illness. The two join together in their collective desire to see the killer caught--and in their need to protect Rose's young niece Meggy, who seems to somehow be at the center of everything.
A novel chock full of suspense and romance, in addition to being rich in detailing the history of the medical profession overall. I loved this book and found it impossible to put down.

DYB
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Stacey Conley on December 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Tess Gerritsen is one of my favorite writers. All of her books that I had read up until the Mephisto Club were topnotch. After reading The Mephisto Club I wasn't expecting much from her newest book, but after reading The Bone Garden I'll have to say this is her best book to date. I was happy to see she used new characters in this novel. Maura Isles appears briefly in the beginning, as she introduces new characters. Tess is an excellent story teller weaving between present day and the early 1830's. This a must read!!!!!
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