Quiet in Her Bones, Nalini Singh
A slow burn psychological thriller, QUIET IN HER BONES is beautifully executed with a pace that seems to stroll along, focusing mostly on a range of characters that stand out from the page.
Socialite Nina Rai vanished ten years ago, along with a quarter of a million dollars in cash. Her son Aarav heard a chilling scream the night she went, but it wasn't until years later that her remains are discovered in the dense forest that surrounds their elite, privileged, secretive, exclusive neighbourhood. Aarav's desire to find out what happened on that night is compelled by his own deteriorating condition, meaning he's got a small window of opportunity, before he becomes physically incapable of doing so.
QUIET IN HER BONES is packed with atmosphere, made somehow more ethereal and exotic by the wealthy lifestyle of the victim, and the Hindu culture that are woven together. It's beautifully written, with considerable emotion and a really interesting, vivid set of characters that reader's could find utterly compelling. Some readers might also find the slow burn too much at points, perhaps because of strong empathy for Aarav's situation, perhaps because pace simply isn't the point of QUIET IN HER BONES. Place, character and situation are the focus here, as well as complexity - the reveal is itself quite something when it does arrive.
This is the second thriller from Singh - a New York Times bestseller known for her prodigious output of paranormal romance novels in particular. Her earlier thriller, A MADNESS OF SUNSHINE, isn't connected to this one, although it did exhibit a lot of the same elements - great sense of place, intermixing of the investigation and the personal, and a standout sense of place and culture. It may have been slightly more of a page-turner, but QUIET IN HER BONES delves into the experience of those left behind a lot more.
My mother vanished ten years ago.
So did a quarter of a million dollars in cash.
Thief. Bitch. Criminal.
Now, she's back.
Her bones clothed in scarlet silk.
When socialite Nina Rai disappeared without a trace, everyone wrote it off as another trophy wife tired of her wealthy husband.
But now her bones have turned up in the shadowed green of the forest that surrounds her elite neighborhood, a haven of privilege and secrets that’s housed the same influential families for decades.
The rich live here, along with those whose job it is to make their lives easier. And somebody knows what happened to Nina one rainy night ten years ago.
Her son Aarav heard a chilling scream that night, and he’s determined to uncover the ugly truth that lives beneath the moneyed elegance…but no one is ready for the murderous secrets about to crawl out of the dark.
Even the dead aren’t allowed to break the rules in this cul-de-sac.