Book Review: Little Bones by N.V. Peacock
The sins of the father are coming back to haunt his daughter… Leigh-Ann Hendy was only eight years old when her father, notorious child serial killer Mr. Bones, was caught. Too young to understand what happened to the boys she played with sometimes… or was she?
Now with a new name, Cherrie Forrester, ‘Little Bones’ has a son of her own and a new, peaceful life, living with her loving boyfriend and working at a local food market. She’s ordinary. As ordinary as you can possibly get. Until a wannabe crime reporter podcaster ties a modern missing-child case to her father’s crimes and reveals her new identity to the public.
Suddenly, people are asking if Little Bones is following in her father’s footsteps. A stalker appears at her work… and then on her doorstep. A psychic warns her son is in danger. And then, on an innocent visit to a travelling fair, Cherrie’s son goes missing. Is it revenge? A copycat? Or a horrific coincidence? To find her son, Cherrie knows she’ll do anything. Anything at all. Including letting out the darkness she keeps hidden deep inside. With the bones.
This definitely has more than a few resemblances to Prodigal Son - who do the children of monsters become? - but it’s not as atmospherically creepy. There are definite questions as to exactly what Cherrie knew, what she did, but even so… what can an eight year old understand about right and wrong when her father is the monster teaching her that making sculptures from childrens’ bones is perfectly normal behaviour?
The only thing I didn’t quite buy into here was the behaviour of Cherrie’s partner. Discovering your partner is the daughter of a notorious serial killer on the same day your son goes missing didn’t seem to provoke the extreme reaction I’d have expected, in either case. I would have had a whole lot more questions than Leo seemed compelled to ask, just to begin with. I’m also not sure I believed in the happy ending outlined for their little family; how could you live with that notoriety in a place where everyone knew who you were? Surely a name change and a relocation would have been on the cards.
I did really like Cherrie. Despite her shocking background, she was trying so very hard to be normal, to leave it all behind her, and quite frankly, I might have reacted with exactly the same kind of murderous rage if one of my sons went missing.
I’ll give this four stars for an intriguing exploration of what happens to the descendants of the worst criminals. There were a couple of delightfully creepy little touches, but I’d have liked to see more input from Mr. Bones himself and more interaction between him and Cherrie.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.