The Unquiet Bones
February 21, 2024

Book Review

The Unquiet Bones

reviewed by Sandra Hoover


Goodreads | Crossmyheartbookreviews

The Unquiet Bones by Author Loreth Anne White is based on a true unsolved crime that occurred in North Vancouver, Canada in 1976 where White resided as a young teen.

A local sixteen-year-old girl disappeared after parting from her best friend and proceeding home alone.  Her murder remains unsolved today, leaving loved ones in limbo without closure.  White’s compassion and empathy for the lost and those left behind to grieve fuels her desire to highlight their plight via her books giving a voice to the emotionally distraught suffering the aftermath of trauma, loss and especially the unknown. 

The Unquiet Bones, a highly atmospheric suspense thriller involving skeletal remains unearthed during the moving of an old chapel, is book one in the Munroe and Quinn series.  Upon the discovery of the remains, speculation is that it could be Annalise Jansen, a young teen who’s been missing for forty-seven years after vanishing on her way home from a party.  RCMP Sgt. Jane Munro who’s mourning the mysterious disappearance of her finance, Matt Rossi, is struggling to come to terms with her overwhelming grief as well as her six-month pregnancy, when she’s assigned the cold case.  Having experienced unsolved loss, she’s sympathetic to families desperate for closure, and determined to give them answers.  Jane calls in forensic anthropologist Dr. Ella Quinn and together they vow to identify the remains through every means possible and bring this long-lost individual home to their family.

When news of the recovery circulates, rumors run rampant among the people in the small town.  The possibility and high probability it’s Annalise make six outstanding citizens, once dubbed the Shoreview Six, extremely nervous as they wonder if their long-buried secrets and lies are about to unravel.  Meeting in secret, they shore up old alibis and alliances.  If the truth is revealed, affluent lives are going up in smoke and someone is going to pay the price for what happened all those years ago.  If no one talks, their secrets remain buried, right?  Maybe, maybe not.  Authorities look to the recovered bones for answers while a town holds their collective breaths.  In the hands of a skilled forensic anthropologist like Dr. Ella Quinn, the long buried, unquiet bones speak.  They have a story to tell.  What do they reveal? 

Author Loreth Anne White renders another riveting, impossible to put down, page burner in The Unquiet Bones.  Her skill as a writer and the fact that this story is based on a true crime take it to another level.  Through multiple points of view and past/present chapters, a heartbreaking story emerges with dire implications for several of the large cast of unreliable characters.  As fingers are pointed and threats made, an inevitable tone of malice permeates the pages.  With each exposed secret and lie, the pace steadily increases, and White brilliantly manipulates readers and characters toward the shocking conclusion.  Layers are stripped away, skeletons rattled, and the truth finally breaks free giving loved ones left behind needed closure.  

White’s unique gift for taking real life tragedies and turning them into mesmerizing stories with grace and passion while weaving forensic science into a riveting story line is simply amazing.  No one does it better.  The level of research, time, devotion and heart she puts into her work is evident.  I can’t wait for the next book in this series.  Highly recommended to fans of mysteries, suspense and thrillers as well as lovers of crime fiction.

The Unquiet Bones is available at:

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