Cover Image: A Rattle of Bones

A Rattle of Bones

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Member Reviews

A well written book by an established author that kept me turning the pages. Would recommend to others as it was captivating, and intriguing.

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.A Rattle of Bones: A Rebecca Connolly Thriller by Douglas Skelton is a character-driven gem with intriguing history and intriguing multiple plots. The pacing of the story felt just right based on that plot and character. The setting in Inverness and the Highlands added atmosphere and the weight of history to the tale.
Overall, this is a good book, the underlying mystery of who murdered Murdo Maxwell, and the innocence or guilt of James Stewart, makes for a compelling read. This book deserves a four-star rating.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a copy of the book for my unbiased review.

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This has been one of the best mysteries I have read in a long time and it all comes down to the wonderful writing of the author. There’s a potentially innocent man in prison, a dedicated journalist and a cast of characters who provide very interesting POVs. I’m not interested in spoiling this one any further, just know that the atmosphere it sets is spectacular and it comes highly recommended from me!

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Atmospheric crime thriller set in Scotland, in which a crime reporter investigates an old murder in which the perpetrator was probably innocently sentenced
In the process, she encounters people who would rather not see her dig deeper.

I haven't read the first two volumes, but this can be read as a stand alone without any problems. This was a new author for me, I would definitely like to read subsequent volumes in this series.

Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for this review copy. This opinion is my own.

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This is the second thriller I read featuring Rebecca Connolly and I enjoyed even if it's not a favourite.
The start is exciting, the mix of politics and crime works but I found it less gripping than the previous.
Rebecca is a clever and well developed character, the setting is intriguing.
Many thanks to the publisher for this arc, all opinions are mine

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I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This is the third book fin the Rebecca Connolly series. It was a solid installment, but not my favorite of the books. Rebecca Connolly is with an independent news agency (after the events of the previous book). She begins reporting on and investigating an alleged miscarriage of justice from ten years ago: James Stewart was convicted of killing his lover Murdo Maxwell but has maintained his innocence. As Connolly begins to look deeper, the threads begin to unravel and reveal the seedy underbelly of society and how prejudices can tear lives apart.

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Rebecca Connolly is an investigative journalist working for a small independent news agency. She investigates the events leading to the conviction (wrongful?) of James Stewart ten years prior for murdering his love, lawyer and activist Murdo Maxwell. The mix of history with the present atmospheric setting lend an interesting backdrop to the current investigation. There are of a lot of competing and intersecting interests at play among the media, politicians, law enforcement and the criminal underworld. Very interesting and well-written story.

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Part of a series, this book reads fine as a stand alone, enough references to previous occurences, without being too irritating. This reads easily even though the plot is quite complicated. Rebecca, a reporter, is the main character and is investigating a possible wrongful conviction for murder. She is an acquaintance of a police officer, Val but they are not closely involved and Val is not a main player in this story.
I like the setting, in Scotland, the reporter and her co-workers at the press agency. Val is seen from Rebecca's point of view and parts of the book are written from her own viewpoint which does add balance . The characters are realistic and the descriptions of the criminal underworld seem realistic (and quite nasty). I enjoyed the book.
My Thanks to Net Galley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review

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This book was sent to me electronically by Netgalley for review. Thanks to the publisher for the copy. Mystery and intrigue. Characters who are likable and some not so much. Mystery and intrigue…friendship…enemies. This is a talented and gifted author at writing a cannot put down book. From the beginning, the book was full of red herrings and themes such as family…friends…murder…history…frightening characters…stalking…a good whodunit it…the story did move slowly at times…that being said, it would make a good movie.

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A Rattle of Bones, third in the excellent Rebecca Connolly series, mixes mystery with Scottish history in a deftly plotted, compulsively readable thriller. Three James’ with the same last name are part of the story. There’s James Stuart, the King Over the Water and Jacobite supporter James Stewart, wrongfully accused of murder and hanged in 1752. And today, there is James Stewart, languishing in prison for the murder of Murdo Maxwell.

Enter Rebecca Connolly, now with an independent news agency. A recent campaign to proclaim the 1752 James innocent has led to renewed interest in the jailed James. Rebecca hopes that discovering what really happened on the night of Maxwell’s death will lead to a major news story and publicity for her small agency. But the case is complicated. Maxwell was found beaten to death with a poker. Stewart was asleep upstairs, the bloody poker on the floor next to him. Stewart’s father is Sir Gregory, a wealthy land owner and developer. Maxwell was a politically connected environmentalist. Adding to the mix is Mo Burke whose hatred of Rebecca grows each day that her son is in prison. Other local gangsters and right wing nationalists are also in the picture.

Douglas Skelton describes the Rebecca Connolly series as his attempt to “adopt a more lyrical, slightly gentler tone to tell the story of a young reporter’s attempts to uncover the truth.” However his years as a journalist and true crime writer give his novels a gritty backdrop and his obvious love of Scottish history adds depth. I would read a car manual if Douglas Skelton wrote it. 5 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley, Skyhorse Publishing and Douglas Skelton for this ARC.

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Thank you NetGalley and Skyhorse Publishing for the eARC.
This 3rd in the Rebecca Connelly series is a wonderful read, set in Inverness and the Scottish Highlands, wonderfully descripted You really get a strong feel for the area, which I was lucky enough to visit.
Rebecca is threatened by a thug who leaves some nasty 'presents' for her, not helping her general anxiety still coping with past horrors. But getting heavily involved with a case of possible injustice helps focus her mind on work. A man has been in prison for 10 years, found guilty of murdering his lover, but all signs point to him being innocent and Rebecca starts digging.
The settings, the characters and Rebecca's unrelenting search for the truth despite the dangers facing her, make for an impossible to put down book. The underbelly of Inverness, be it politics or mobsters, is quite dark and the ending of the story had me riveted and a bit surprised... I didn't see that coming!
Definitely recommended!

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Great Scottish tale of the highland underbelly reaching its tentacles into local politics. You take your private interest brigade, your amenable politicians, lackadaisical police force and your major crime families; pour then into a shaker and shake it up good! What seems like an obvious crime is anything but! None of the players is 'the good guy.' Everyone is suspect, alliances shift, motivations must be questioned. And caught in the middle is a young man that lost it all when he fell in love. The author weaves Scottish history and lore (some fiction, some fact) into the tale brilliantly. It is a woeful but engaging tale - much more than just a whodunit!

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I would like to thank Netgalley and Skyhorse Publishing for a review copy A Rattle of Bones, the third novel to feature Rebecca Connolly, a reporter based in Inverness.

Banners go up at the site of a historic hanging declaring James Stewart innocent, but they referring to the historical figure or his modern day namesake who was found guilty of the murder of his lover, Murdo Maxwell, ten years ago. Rebecca senses a story, but there are so many possibilities. Murdo believed he was being followed and his phone tapped just before his death, then there is the interest a Glasgow gangster is showing in the case and all the time Mo Burke is hovering on the periphery, determined to get revenge on Rebecca for the havoc she wreaked on her family.

I thoroughly enjoyed A Rattle of Bones, which is a rattling (?) good tale set in my home country and that is always a bonus as it offers a level of cultural and linguistic familiarity.

The novel is told from various points of view. Rebecca has the main role, with many of the players with skin in the game contributing, although the reader doesn’t always know what skin or what game. I’m not always a fan of multiple points of view, but it is well done here with each character having something to offer and pushing the narrative forward, even if their exact involvement is a bit hazy. I would note, however, that this lack of clarity is neither confusing nor frustrating, rather it is a hook to keep the reader turning the pages to satisfy their curiosity.

The plot is interesting and builds gradually. There is no way of guessing the solution early on because it depends on knowledge accumulated over the course of the novel, not that I was able to guess anything anyway. I found this steady build up absorbing and moreish as there is a steady stream of reveals and developments that got my brain working. I think the solution is neat and has a certain elegance of thought in the way it comes together.

The author likes to build the location and its history into this series so there are historic facts, lovely geographical details and some atmospheric descriptions that imply something other worldly in the air that frankly left my unimaginative self unmoved and slightly baffled.

A Rattle of Bones is a good read that I have no hesitation in recommending.

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A Rattle of Bones in set in the Scottish Highlands which Skelton brings to life as surely as one of the book's characters.

This books is a bit "the sins of the (great great great.... grand)father visit the son." In the 1700s James of the Glen was executed for the murder of a government man despite all evidence pointing to his innocence.

Two hundred years later a young James has been in jail for 10 years for the murder of his lover/lawyer Maxwell. A banner appears at the grave of James of the Glen proclaiming the younger James' innocence piques the interest of a reporter who digs into the meaty case.

Maxwell believed he was under watch before he died - evidence that James is indeed innocent. Soon the local crime boss seems implicated which puts the reporter under scrutiny and in danger.

An enjoyable mystery set in a magnificent location. The mix of mystery in a country long in it's history was especially delightful.

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Thanks to Douglas and NetGalley for allowing me to read A Rattle of Bones before the publication date.
This is the first of his books which I have read and it won’t be the last.

It is a carefully crafted story, which weaves the stories of the feuding Scottish clans in the 1700s with the warring crime families of the current day and the thoughts of a young man imprisoned for a crime which he did not commit.

The description of the scenery is superb and the use of humour adds to the book.

Douglas has created a range of characters, many with connections both in the corridors of power and in the underworld.
The secrets, lies and misdirection throughout the book make this a real page turner.

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