Nothing But the Bones
February 3, 2024

Book Review

Nothing But the Bones

reviewed by Eric Ellis

Nothing But The Bones is the fifth installment in Brian Panowich’s novels and short stories set in McFalls County, Georgia, focusing on the fictional Burroughs family and Bull Mountain.

While the novel takes place earlier in the Bull Mountain timeline and could be considered a stand-alone novel, reading the previous installments first will enhance the enjoyment of Nothing But The Bones.

In his latest novel, Panowich focuses on the previously introduced character Nelson “Nails” McKenna and his life within McFalls County, detailing how he became known as “Nails” and as an enforcer for the local crime boss, Gareth Burroughs.

After Nails intercedes during a horrific incident in a local nightclub, the ensuing events initiate a whirlpool of violence and the introduction of increasingly malevolent characters in the hunt for Nails as he goes to great lengths to rectify his earlier actions and protect those who are important to him, even if that means crossing paths with the fearsome Gareth Burroughs.

Revealing more of the plot would involve spoilers best left for the reader to discover.

Among contemporary writers of the Rural Noir/Southern Noir/Grit Lit genre, Brian Panowich stands out as a leading author, consistently producing tales that are far from clichéd or repetitive. He crafts stories brimming with intriguing characters and compelling plotlines, and with Nothing But The Bones, Panowich continues this trend.

Like so many skilled writers of rural themes, Panowich writes with precision, ensuring no word is wasted. He shares the common ability to vividly describe people, places, and times, making reading his work feel almost like walking alongside the characters within his stories.

For those who enjoy this genre, Nothing But The Bones is highly recommended. Panowich’s stories and novels are also highly recommended to those interested in starting a new series or exploring the works of a different author.

Nothing But The Bones is set to be published in April of 2024.

Netgalley provided an ARC in return for a fair review.

Nothing But the Bones available at:

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