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