Book Review: Naming the Bones

When Professor Murray Watson was a teenager, he had the good fortune of picking up a slim volume of poetry by Archie Lunan who drowned thirty years ago. The strength of Archie’s prose struck a chord that remained one of the few constants in Dr. Murray’s unremarkable life. Just prior to Dr. Murray’s yearlong sabbatical to research Archie’s life, his supervisor’s wife ended their affair which sent him scurrying for the bottle. Meanwhile the scant clues available about Archie’s life and death raised questions about the legitimacy of Dr. Murray’s quest. When Dr. Murray begins digging into the past in Lismore, he gradually unravels a trail of murder, deception and plagiarism that spans thirty years with dire consequences.

Self-destruction and self-doubt are the central themes to this occasionally slow moving but riveting mystery with a chilling conclusion. The antagonists are strong willed and provide a good contrast to Dr. Murray’s rather milk toast personality that evolves as the story unfolds. This is an author to watch.

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