Bone Music (Burning Girl #1) by Christopher Rice #bookreview #thriller #suspense

There’s more than one way to stoke the flames of revenge…

Charlotte Rowe spent the first seven years of her life in the hands of the only parents she knew—a pair of serial killers who murdered her mother and tried to shape Charlotte in their own twisted image. If only the nightmare had ended when she was rescued. Instead, her real father exploited her tabloid-ready story for fame and profit—until Charlotte finally broke free from her ghoulish past and fled. Just when she thinks she has buried her personal hell forever, Charlotte is swept into a frightening new ordeal. Secretly dosed with an experimental drug, she’s endowed with a shocking new power—but pursued by a treacherous corporation desperate to control her.

Except from now on, if anybody is going to control Charlotte, it’s going to be Charlotte herself. She’s determined to use the extraordinary ability she now possesses to fight the kind of evil that shattered her life—by drawing a serial killer out from the shadows to face the righteous fury of a victim turned avenger. – Goodreads

I’ve read two other books by Christopher Rice, The Heavens Rise and The Vines, and was enthralled by the dark, supernatural elements in both.  Bone Music takes a different, but captivating path.

Charlotte’s backstory is tragic, and yet fascinating.  Being raised by serial killers, it’s a miracle she’s a functioning adult, let alone sane.  I enjoyed watching her regain some control over her life, and renew her relationship with Marty.  Something that intrigued me was the lack of distinct definition between ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’.  Nearly every character was a murky gray, believing they were doing the right thing, or trying to atone for a past behavior.

The cohesion of the story troubled me.  I felt like there were three separate stories within the novel – Charlotte trying to maintain her privacy and escape a twisted stalker, a serial killer kidnapping and killing women, and a drug company illegally administering experimental drugs.  It all comes together in the end, but Charlie’s reasoning behind her decision to go after the serial killer is somewhat of a surprise.  Obviously, from the book description, the reader knows it’s coming, but how she gets from point A to point B doesn’t seem logical.  Don’t get me wrong – when she catches up with him, it’s a thing of beauty and highly satisfying.

Bone Music contains a fascinating and unique origin story, and I’ll be interested to see where the author takes this series.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the digital ARC.