||Feb 9, 2009
A tale of mystery surrounded by 1960s emerging feminism in an Iowa small town. Clear, consistently readable prose, wrote a 2010 Writers' Digest judge.
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Mystery Novel A Body To Bones
"A winning plot..." Kirkus Discoveries.
"A winning character..." 2010 Writers' Digest judge.
Respected, church-going Sarah Hamilton anquishes for a decade with an emotional skeleton living in her mind's closet. The consequences to her of one act of forbidden lust do not disappear. The past sin, plus the death of her young daughter, still haunts her despite her passionate quest to live only in the future.
When a real human skeleton is found entombed in her town's old factory, Sarah is caught not only with the prospect of her secret becoming devastating town gossip, but of having her husband and adopted daughter drawn into solving a ten-year mystery disappearance in A Body To Bones.
One clue, surmised to be scratches of initials made by the skeleton before dying, implicates more than one resident as the potential killer in Sarah's town of 842, where her husband publishes the weekly Pioneer Ledger.
Village gossip, missing diverted church money, unexplained lights and footprints, tension, and unfulfilled dreams are a prelude to real life-threatening peril when Sarah finds out the skeleton's killer still resides in her town, ready to kill again.
And, she is the killer's target.
An excerpt of novel "A Body To Bones" can be found within the story section of Donan Berg's den at AuthorsDen.com.
This was an excellent book! I have always enjoyed mysteries, especially the ones from the 1940s-1970s, written by authors like Doris Miles Disney, etc. I always found them most enjoyable because it seems that the characters were more fleshed out, and the storyline was fuller; with more of the emphasis on the story and moving the plot along than with unnecessary sex scenes or graphic violence.
Author Donan Berg takes us back to that style of writing and mystery telling with this novel. A small town, where everyone seems to know everyone else's business. The town is shook to it's foundations when skeletal remains are found in an unused factory outside of town. All the mysteries of the last 20 years come to light, as people in town wonder...is it the body of a well-loved Catholic priest, who "left town" unexpectedly over 10 years ago? Or the remains of a woman who was thought to have left her husband around the same time...or maybe someone who just had wondered into town and met with trouble. The main characters include a likable newspaper editor/publisher, his wife and adopted daughter, her boyfriend, the local sheriff, and assorted town folk. The story builds well, and while the killer is a surprise, it all comes together nicely at the end. I found this to be a greatly enjoyable book, well written and filled with intrigue, suspense and drama.
I look forward to other materials by this author.
Reviewed 9/14/09 by Lauri Coates.
Motives, Twisted Plot
The plot of A Body To Bones takes many false turns and keeps the reader speculating on the identity of the suspected murdered. The characters ... add to the fun of the story.
Quill says: A Body To Bones offers a story that will have readers questioning the motives of almost all the characters caught in the twisted plot. Reviewed by www.featheredquill.com
"He (Berg) manages to create a winning character in Sarah Hamilton. Berg makes her demons believable and understandable. This is Berg's strength...." 2010 Writers' Digest judge.
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