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Dry Bones in the Valley

Dry Bones in the Valley

A Novel

Book - 2014
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"The lone policeman in a small township on the sparse northern border [of Pennsylvania], Henry Farrell expected to spend his mornings hunting and fishing, his evenings playing old-time music. Instead, he has watched the steady encroachment of gas drilling bring new wealth and eroding neighborly trust. The drug trade is pushing heroin into the territory. There are outlaws cooking meth in the woods, guys Henry grew up with. When a stranger turns up dead, Henrys search for the killer will open old wounds, dredge up ancient crimes, and exact a deadly price"--Dust jacket flap.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2014].
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780393243024
Characteristics: 284 pages ; 22 cm


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Jan 27, 2019

In lyrical language, Bouman exquisitely conjures the landscape and quirky characters of sparsely populated northeastern Pennsylvania where lonely policeman Henry Farrell is hardly a match for the flood of poverty, drugs, theft, fracking and other issues that plague the township. Really not a thriller, although I can see how it might play that way if filmed, and not a typical mystery either, but definitely a pleasure. Unfortunately, the second in the series is dissappointing after this terrific debut.

Sep 08, 2018

It is a fine read.. It lacked smoothness in its story-telling! Too much going at times.. Yet, it gives clear picture of a life in that particular rural area and detail of the many characters! Fascinating descriptions!
For example, reading Fay Kellerman's style of writing is a pleasure in its ease and smoothnes, not sacrificing the story nor characters!
This book needs more polishing by the editor to make it flow better! Perhaps, it has too many characters, also? Too complex?
Still, an interesting, intriguing story!

Jul 12, 2017

Gave up halfway through: interesting writing, but as a thriller, strictly from hunger. Warns me off winners of the Edgar Awards.

JCLCourtneyS May 30, 2017

This did not read like a typical mystery. Instead, its appeals are a bit different. The setting is a character unto itself, and one that pulled me right in. I surprised my decidedly un-rural self at how much I loved the portrayal of small town life and the challenges it faces. It's the same with the main character, Henry--he and I would not get along, but I loved him just the same.

May 28, 2015

This book is all about atmosphere, an atmosphere that is somewhere between ambiance and stench. The meticulous detail in depicting life in rural Pennsylvania is what makes this story special. The unholy mix of hillbilly, Smalltown, USA, and elite summer camps and riding academies is thoroughly engaging. It’s really the story. The book purports to be a mystery, and there are a couple murders early on, which Henry, our hero, begins valiantly to solve. But, really, this isn’t a murder mystery per se. The murders are resolved at the end, but no Sherlockian analysis of the evidence will lead the astute reader to the solution. In the meantime, the author manages to keep the action going. Henry pinballs from shootout to standoff to being clonked over the head, all the time walking a tightrope between trying to do his duty and being a nice guy. Good luck with that, Henry. The actual plot is unimaginative, so just enjoy the brushwork and forget the landscape.

May 05, 2015

Probably one of the best mysteries I've read in a long while. Waiting to see where he goes from here.

Feb 18, 2015

I really enjoyed this book-the pace of the story was actually realistic (unlike the Dan Brown or Steve Berry type adventures, which I enjoy but are totally unreasonable timeline-wise). I also enjoyed the setting in a working/poor community, rather than among people so rich I can't relate. The story itself is very well written- a couple of different mysteries to solve and no real clues for the reader, so the end is fun and unexpected.

Dec 15, 2014

I found Dry Bones in the Valley
very relaxing. It took me back to my childhood wandering through countless dear trails not sure what was around the corner.
Actually, I couldn't put it down.
In last month I've read maybe 15 books.
Everything stopped till I finished this one.
Simple story really, but I liked the common sense Sheriff. Heck of a gaggle of characters.


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