A great setting is important to any book, but in a work of crime fiction it is particularly so. In this, Sandra Ireland’s Bone Deep doesn’t disappoint: it has atmospheric locations in spades.

A disused watermill lies at the heart of the book, a place suitably immersed in history and legend and bound up in the story of two long departed sisters, their loves, rivalries and betrayals.

It’s their story that informs the book, capturing the attention of both Mac, an elderly writer who lives on a neighbouring property with her son, Arthur, and Lucie, her newly arrived assistant. Slightly arcane, Lucie is a woman with her own secrets.

Bone Deep is told from the alternating perspectives of Mac and Lucie whose lives unfold against the backstory of the two sisters. Lucie’s changing relationships with Mac and Arthur, and her true reasons for coming to work for Mac provide extra strands to Ireland’s main theme.

Paying more than a nod to the Gothic tradition, Bone Deep is a well-written and suitably eerie novel, albeit one that perhaps doesn’t hold that many surprises. That said, it’s engaging – a perfect holiday read.


Bone Deep | Sandra Ireland | Polygon | 5 July 2018 | paperback | £8.99


Acknowledgements: This review is published as part of the virtual book tour. Many thanks to Kelly Lacey for arranging it and to the publisher, Polygon, for kindly supplying a review copy of the book and the cover image. All thoughts and opinions are our own.


Also of interest: ‘The not-so-invisible woman: 150 greats in their own words’;We should all be feminists’; ‘Teresa Solana’s darkly funny Catalan noir – women in translation’; ‘Beauty in translation – Roxanne Bouchard’s French Canadian noir’; ‘Meet Gina Kirkham – The Literary Lounge Q&A; ‘Johana Gustawsson’s Keeper – indie publisher Orenda does it again’;  ‘Finlay’s last stand – Matt Johnson’s End Game’;  ‘I am have agony, half hope …‘; ‘20 books this summer challenge.


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