The Bone Garden
A NovelDownloadable Audiobook - 2007
Recent divorcee Julia Hamill has sunk her dwindling life savings into a 200-year-old farmhouse and a twenty-acre plot of woods, fields, and stony soil in rural Massachusetts, where she hopes to recover from her failed marriage. Gardening one afternoon, her spade strikes something hard and unyielding?not a rock, but a human skull. Boston medical examiner Maura Isles quickly determines that this is no recent burial. The skeleton -- that of a woman -- dates back to the early 1800's, and the forensic evidence indicates foul play. "But too much time has passed, " Maura warns Julia. "We'll never know the whole story." Boston, 1830: It is an age of disease and pestilence, when doctors with unclean hands unknowingly spread infection as they make their rounds in maternity wards, condemning women to the excruciating death of childbed fever. It is an age when laboring mothers are crammed two to a hospital bed, on dirty sheets still encrusted with the foul effluvia of those who have died before them. This is the grim world that young Norris Marshall enters as a student at Harvard Medical School. Unlike his more prosperous classmates, Norris is a man of only modest means, struggling to support himself by any means necessary ... even the most secret and repulsive task of all: the work of the resurrectionists?otherwise known as body-snatchers. Only one among Norris' classmates has reached out to him in friendship: Oliver Wendell Holmes, who recognizes in Norris a kindred spirit with a questioning mind. Together, these two young men will track down the most notorious killer of their time: a maniac terrorizing the staff of the hospital. Aiding their efforts is a 17-year-old seamstress named Rose Connolly, witness to the first murder. As the body count mounts, suspicion falls on Norris, and the team of unlikely detectives must track a killer's trail through graveyards and autopsy suites, glittering ballrooms and luxurious Brahmin parlors, in order to clear his name. But what none of them realize is that the culprit is far closer than they think?and he has his eye on Rose. Weaving a spellbinding nineteenth-century narrative with the present-day efforts to identify the skeleton discovered in Julia's backyard, Tess Gerritsen delivers her most ambitious and satisfying work to date - a novel that blends her trademark suspense and forensic expertise with the irresistible period settings of The Alienist and The Dante Club.
Published: [New York] : Books on Tape, 2007.
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