Sunday, February 21, 2021

Review: Quiet in Her Bones by Nalini Singh

Quiet in Her Bones by Nalini Singh
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Thriller 
Quiet in Her Bones cover
ISBN: 9780593099100
Release Date: February 23, 2021
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Audible
Nalini Singh Reading Order

My mother vanished ten years ago.
So did a quarter of a million dollars in cash.
Thief. Bitch. Criminal.
Now, she's back.
Her bones clothed in scarlet silk.

When socialite Nina Rai disappeared without a trace, everyone wrote it off as another trophy wife tired of her wealthy husband. But now her bones have turned up in the shadowed green of the forest that surrounds her elite neighborhood, a haven of privilege and secrets that’s housed the same influential families for decades.

The rich live here, along with those whose job it is to make their lives easier. And somebody knows what happened to Nina one rainy night ten years ago. Her son Aarav heard a chilling scream that night, and he’s determined to uncover the ugly truth that lives beneath the moneyed elegance…but no one is ready for the murderous secrets about to crawl out of the dark.

Even the dead aren’t allowed to break the rules in this cul-de-sac.

Quiet in Her Bones is a dark, evocative thriller set on the edges of the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park. Ten years ago, Aarav Rai’s mother disappeared without a trace. Now her car has been found in the dense New Zealand bush, her bones the only remnants of the once vibrant Nina Rai. Aarav, recovering from an injury at his father’s house, is determined to uncover who in their small, exclusive neighborhood killed his mother. As Aarav digs deeper into the past the suspect list grows and the ugly secrets wealth and privacy have hid come to light.

Nalini Singh takes readers on an intriguing journey filled with twists and turns. It’s hard to guess where Quiet in Her Bones will go next because Aarav is an unreliable narrator. His mind is an even bigger puzzle than the mystery of who killed Nina. I admit I’m not the biggest fan of the unreliable narrator as it feels like sometimes the red herrings that come from it aren’t as well earned; but that’s personal preference so take it for what it’s worth. The Cul-de-Sac where Aarav grew up is small but almost everyone is a suspect. Shades of Rear Window creep up as Aarav, healing from multiple injuries, watches his neighbors, searching for clues. I enjoyed learning everyone’s secrets and Singh wasn’t afraid to dive into the ugliness hidden behind the picture-perfect exteriors. Beauty can be hiding a lot of brokenness in this book.

Aarav is an interesting protagonist, scarred from his parents’ brutal marriage, tormented by his complex feelings toward his mother, and haunted by more memories I won’t spoil. The story takes a lot of switchbacks as we journey through the mystery as Aarav’s mind seems to be deteriorating. His thoughts are scattered, which is logical for all that’s going on, but it got a bit repetitive in the middle of the book, making the story drag a bit. In those moments it was the two bright spots of unreserved kindness – Aarav’s stepmother and half-sister – that kept me going. I’m glad I did; the book’s climax was exciting, sucking me in and making it difficult for me to put it down. Singh’s lush prose makes Quiet in Her Bones stand out from the crowd and I’d recommend this book to all thriller fans.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.