BONE BY BONE
With the opening line,
"A batty old man of the cloth had once described the Hobbs boy as a joke of God's: an archangel of the warrior cast and a beacon for women with carnal intentions," it's easy to see why O'Connell has been called one of America's best mystery writers. This tight suspense unfurls majestically, almost lyrically. It's the story of two brothers and the community that spawned them.
Twenty years ago, two Coventry, Calif., brothers walked into the woods -- but only one walked out. Searchers never found a trace of teenager Josh Hobbs, but suddenly, Josh is coming home -- one bone at a time. Big brother Oren, an ex-investigator for the Army CID who's home for the first time since in years, sets out to solve his brother's murder. Coventry is full of secrets. Everyone from the housekeeper who raised him, the deputy who had a reason to hate Josh, the town drunk and the young woman who may have been Oren's destiny have something to hide, but the biggest secrets may be buried with Josh. (PUTNAM, Jan., 352 pp., $24.95)