Cover Image: Hidden Bones

Hidden Bones

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This is book 2 in the series (I read and reviewed book 1 previously on netgalley). Sad to say, this one didn’t do it for me. Whether I’ve read too much between book 1 and 2, or I forgot too much of book 1 ... I didn’t care for the characters at all this time. The paranormal aspect was too much - it seemed irrelevant - just something added that was unnecessary. It didn’t really add any dynamic to the characters or the storyline, if anything, it took away from the story.

That being said, I think the story itself has lots of potential. I figured out the villain early on so not much of a surprise there, Unfortunately, for me, this book was just ok. I probably will not continue to read this series.

Can’t like them all. Thank you #netgalley and #thomasandmercer for the eARC.
Was this review helpful?
This second book in the series sees Eric and Susan on a road trip with Jake and his band. They end up in a small town that gives new definition to the word creepy. When a couple members of the band go missing things ratchet up. The tension and suspense surrounding the mystery is fast paced and the locals all look guilty. There were a couple twists I didn't see coming. 

There has been a lot of character growth since book one. I really enjoyed the fact that Jake was featured more in this story. Eric isn't bogged down by his past with his ex. Seeing Susan grapple with the reality of her last case and the fallout made her more relatable. I'm looking forward to seeing where things go next.
Was this review helpful?
Hidden Bones Review

2 stars. 

Vivian Barz’ thriller has some interesting ideas and dark, horror-influenced sequences but is let down by clunky dialogue and unconvincing characters.

Hidden Bones starts with an excellently chilly prologue where a corpse is hidden beneath the roots of a tree. This opening sets the tone well and helps establish some key plot points about a sinister crime organisation. The first couple of chapters build on this strong start and allude to the events of the previous book in the series in a way that is not too jarring for readers like myself who approached Hidden Bones as a stand-alone novel.

Barz has crafted an intriguing plot featuring a missing person case and the story jumps between a number of subplots which help keep the narrative engaging. However, the rising tension is often undermined by the characters making stupid jokes that seem out of place given the stressful situation that they are in. Additionally, too many chapters in the middle of the book feature unnatural dialogue where characters stand around and explain the plot to each other.

The descriptions of the scenary are elegantly written but the dialogue routinely ruins the atmosphere. An early example of this is Chapter 5 where a sinister mood is created through the behaviour of the locals in the town of Clancy. The tone is abruptly ruined by the characters commenting on how unsafe the town is for tourists. I would have preferred it if the writer trusted the reader to be able to make inferences from the descriptions rather than have the characters tell the audience how they should be feeling at every point in the story.

The dialogue so frustrating because it lets down the parts of the story which are genuinely great. Eric has psychic powers and although this supernatural element is introduced in a slightly over-the-top way for people who are unfamiliar with the series so far, his horrifying visions are a real highlight of the novel. 

Hidden Bones has some major flaws in terms of its dialogue and uninteresting characters but the fast-paced plot and well written descriptions kept me mostly engaged throughout the story.
Was this review helpful?
This book series already has one of my favorite features for a thriller--a splash of the supernatural. And then with this book, Vivian Barz adds another favorite--the strange small town. Although the explanation for all the weirdness turns out to be pretty mundane, that just makes it more believable. What wasn't believable to me is that Eric and Susan repeated a mistake they made in the last book. It made the denouement a little painful, like, come ON guys. But that doesn't mean I'm not looking forward to seeing them again.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for supplying this copy for review.
Was this review helpful?
*** ARC provided by Netgalley via the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ***
Chuck, Madison and Jake are all part of a music band.
Susan is a local cop and Eric is a professor at the community college. Eric is a clairvoyant/schizophrenic who aided in the investigation of the death farm and has received a lot of attention based on this.  He is offered a respite by his music band friends to go on tour with them for the summer. Susan has received a lot of harrassment because of Eric's death farm/clairvoyant involvement so she is up for the road trip.   

This story is filled with characters ranging from a cop to a clairvoyant to a music band all wrapped up in a small town with sketchy townspeople who are hiding a secret.  When two of their friends go missing, the remaining three band together and use their skills to combat a crooked cop, shady mayor and sketchy ranger all wrapped around townspeople who are either 'with' them or too scared to go against them.

There’s action packed in every chapter of this book and it’s awesome; there’s never a dull moment.   I would definitely read more of Barz’s stories and highly recommend this one.
Was this review helpful?
In her follow up to Forgotten Bones, cop Susan and professor Eric are still struggling to come to terms with the nightmare that was the Death Farm. Trying to put the ugliness behind them, Eric and Susan accompany their friend Jake and his band to Washington. But instead of finding a quiet spot for rest and relaxation in a small Pacific Northwest town, they find something more chilling. Eric’s visions start up again and then members of Jake’s band begin to disappear. They search the surrounding woods for the missing musicians, but instead of getting help from the locals, they are given the cold shoulder. Something is definitely wrong in this small town, but will Susan and Eric be able to find out what before it’s too late for all of them?
Was this review helpful?
Two months have passed, and the horrors of Death Farm still torment police officer Susan Marlan and college professor Eric Evans. Susan struggles to regain her zeal for fighting crime, while Eric is slowly coming to terms with his newfound “gift” of seeing the dead.

Seeking much-needed rest, Susan and Eric follow their musician friend Jake and his band to Washington State. But once they reach the cheerless town of Clancy, Eric’s murderous visions start again. Something seems wrong about the town and its aloof citizens, and suspicions turn to dread when members of Jake’s band go missing.

Eric, Susan, and Jake search deep in the dark forest of the Olympic Peninsula, where many have disappeared. But the harder they search, the less cooperative the locals become. As the case begins looking more like a murder investigation, the trio must work together to locate the lost and uncover chilling town secrets buried in the darkest of places.

This is the second book in the Dead Remaining series, I loved the premise of it when I read the first one and this one was on par with that one. It starts off a little slow like the first book but I really liked it. A few twists I didn't see coming and I like the growth the 2 main characters showed in this book. I also have a soft spot for Jake, hoping he continues throughout the series! You don't have to read the first one to enjoy this one but it will help with a few references, i.e. The Death Farm.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this book. 
The characters were all very likeable and I enjoyed their dynamics, but it wasn’t too much so it would distract the murder mystery. 
Eric‘s visions are a refreshing element which made this book quite different and added to the suspense. 
I really liked the build-up throughout the novel and particularly enjoyed the twist at the ending and the big reveal and the last couple of chapters I felt unable to put the book down. 
The only issue I sometimes noticed were that some scenes were a little slow and seemed to drag out, although the overall pacing of the novel was still really good.
Was this review helpful?
I Hayward much from this author but what I have read did not disappoint.  Will absolutely be looking for more from her.
Was this review helpful?