AWRW 5 Star Book Review of Pocketful of Bones by Author @JulieFrayn! #BookReview #ENovAaW #AmReading #AWellReadWomanBlog

Pocketful of Bones, by Author Julie Frayn


Finnegan MacGillivray, red-haired, freckle-faced social pariah, finds solace in his mother’s garden, while she entertains “dates” in his home. When an accident takes the life of a friend, Finnegan buries the evidence amid the purple dead nettle and bougainvillea, and unearths a treasure trove of human remains. Did his house rest atop an ancient burial ground? Or was there a killer tucking him into bed at night?

His fascination with bones grows as fast as his obsession with his mother. She rejects his advances, and he escapes to the other side of the country. Years later, he returns to his childhood home, to the secrets and the guilt and the bones — and to fulfil his destiny.


Genre: Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Dark Fiction
Themes: Morbid Fascination with Bones, Oedipus complex, Childhood Tragedy
Published October 21, 2017
Rating 5/5 Stars


While Tibba entertains “dates” in her home, her son Finny Mac finds comfort in his mother’s garden, much like his mother had when she would hide away from her abusive father as a child. The garden is an oasis of comfort, but under the flowering beds of annuals, perfectly manicured shrubs, perennials, and the purple dead nettle are carefully buried secrets, woven together by the roots of the plants above it.

When an accidental tragedy occurs and Finny buries the evidence in his mother’s beloved garden, he uncovers human skeletal remains. This discovery fuels a new obsession — a morbid fascination with bones and collecting them. It also triggers a newfound fascination for his mother, one that morphs from adoration to desire.

AWRW 5 Star Book Review

“She wasn’t a conventional mother. Not a cookie-baking, craft-making, costume-sewing, nurturing type of mother.”

When I saw the cover for Pocketful of Bones floating around social media, I was immediately intrigued by not only the eye-catching design, but the title too. Being familiar with Julie Frayn’s writing style — her almost fantasy-like world building, dark humor, and edge-of-your-seat psychological suspense — I knew I would enjoy her latest, and once again, I was not disappointed!

The opening pages threw me into sensory overload, in the best of ways. Through Frayn’s descriptive writing, I imagined the garden setting and the comfort young Finnegan felt surrounded by his mother’s loving-tended-for garden. Being a garden enthusiast myself, I enjoyed the vivid descriptions of the perennials, annuals, shrubs, and trees. This visual will stay with me, among my favorite reading memories. It’s scenes like these that fuel my love for reading.

I loved Finnegan and enjoyed experiencing the story through his perspective. It isn’t often that I can “get into” the POV from a male, nevertheless a child, and yet I loved living through his character. Of course, Finnegan ages throughout the book, and he isn’t a child for long, but still!

Pocketful of Bones is also told from the perspective of Finnegan’s mother. Tibba is a prostitute who finds comfort in gardening, cigarettes, and alcohol. Just as her life turns around for the better, it all comes crashing down on her. While she is flawed and not exactly mother-of-the-year, she is still lovable and her ups and downs made her all the more interesting.

The story is dark, suspenseful, at times funny, and even heart-breaking. The ending made me gasp out loud. To sum up my thoughts in one word: WOW.

Highly recommended and Free on Kindle Unlimited! 5/5 Stars

Grab your copy, here! (USA LINK)

About the Author

jfBean counter by day, Julie Frayn spends her off hours penning award-winning novels and short stories that pack a punch. And a few stabs. When not working or writing, Julie spend as much time as possible with her babies. Well, they’re grown adults now, but they still think she’s cool. Right kids? Right? Hello?

In grade school, Julie was a math whiz, loved to write stories and poems in English class, and had an artistic flair for pencil drawings and pen and ink pointillism. When it came time to choose a career, she was torn between three loves. Her artistic brain ached to create. But her practical side, and the need to eat, won out. Though she’s devoted her career to numbers, she revels in the written word.

-Follow Julie on Facebook at
-Visit Julie’s blog at
-Follow Julie on Twitter at
-Keep up with Julie at enovelauthorsatwork
-Sign up for eNovel Authors At work Newsletter. It will only land in your mailbox to tell you when a books are on special, or to announce book tours, giveaways and contests.


8 thoughts on “AWRW 5 Star Book Review of Pocketful of Bones by Author @JulieFrayn! #BookReview #ENovAaW #AmReading #AWellReadWomanBlog

      1. When I read the blurb I wasn’t sure if it was for me but because I’ve enjoyed all Julie’s other books I thought I’d go for it. I’m so glad I did. She just sort of makes you fall into her books somehow. You need to know what’s going to happen to those great characters.

        Liked by 2 people

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