Rural Noir in Dry Bones in the Valley

Dry Bones in the ValleyOfficer Henry Farrell is still in mourning when he returns home to rural northeastern Pennsylvania. Things have changed since Farrell had been away with the sprouting up of meth labs and newfound wealth from gas drilling, but despite the changes Farrell’s job as an officer was routine until he discovers a murdered young man.

The body was found in the woods on the property of a long time recluse, Aub Dunigan, who also suffers from dementia. The officers in charge of the case suspect Aub, but Farrell finds it hard to believe the older man is the killer. Going out on his own, Farrell buries himself in the investigation, pushing to find the killer which only leads him further into a web that opens up the past and endangers lives.

Dry Bones in the Valley by Tom Bouman is the debut novel of a new series featuring Farrell. Well written and descriptive, this mystery conveys the grit and noir of a rural area that is experiencing economic upheavel while at the same time Farrell struggles with his own inner sadness and determination to find a killer.

Christina Callison has been blogging about books for the library’s website since 2006. She has read hundreds of books that include mysteries, fantasies, horror, thrillers, non-fiction, general fiction, and some science fiction. She continues with her goal of finding new books and authors to recommend.