Walking the Bones by Randall Silvis
Sourcebooks Landmark: 1/23/18
eBook review copy; 464 pages
Ryan DeMarco series #2
Walking the Bones by Randall Silvis is a highly recommended mystery, procedural, and character study.
Is the past ever really in the past? Sgt.
Ryan DeMarco plans to retire from the Pennsylvania State Police after the recent events (from in the first book in the series, Two Day's Gone)
that have tilted his world. Several months previously, his best friend
died, as did his baby son, and his marriage ended. DeMarco is also
still trying to overcome trauma from years ago in his own childhood and
His girlfriend, Trooper Jayme Matson, with the secret assistance of his
supervisor, Cmdr. Kyle Bowen, talks DeMarco into taking temporary
leave instead. Jayme takes some of her accumulated leave, and the two
head out in an RV, planning on rest, relaxation, and hopefully healing.
Instead, Jayme's grandmother dies, so the two head to the small town of
Aberdeen, Kentucky, for the funeral. What they also find is an unsolved
murder and three elderly people who want him to look into the case, a
case that the local police have given up on trying to solve.
The carefully cleaned and preserved bones of seven young women were
found four years ago behind a secret wall in the First Baptist
Church. The victims were all African-American teenagers who had gone
between 1998 and 2004. There were four leading suspects, but no charges
were ever brought against anyone. DeMarco knows from experience that
clues are always left behind; you just need to find them and a new way
to look at the case. He and Jayme decide to look at the case.
First, I didn't read Two Day's Gone before Walking the Bones,
but I was still able to follow the plot without a problem and highly
enjoyed this fine procedural/character study. Plenty of the background
information from the first novel is here, certainly enough to follow the
case and DeMarco's internal struggles.
Additionally, while the case is solved, this is more of a character
study rather than an investigation. Sure, they investigate, but along
the way DeMarco's character is revealed with scenes from his recent
trauma, to his very difficult childhood. He is a man who is close to the
breaking point, dealing with memories and regrets from the past and
present. De Marco also had a boatload of things he never really
his childhood, especially the abuse, which is surfacing after the other
The writing is really quite good and descriptive, as the chapters move
between timelines. The plot, while drawn out, held my attention,
although I did admittedly start skimming through all the sex scenes
between DeMarco and Jayme, which became a bit too much when there were
some real problems that needed to be solved and some investigating that
needed to be done. All of the characters are well-developed and
portrayed as unique individuals. This made the investigation interesting
and engaging. I was surprised at the ending.
My review copy was courtesy of Sourcebooks Landmark.