The Bone Clocks
by David Mitchell
I’ve read everything by Tana French so far. My favorite book by her is still The Likeness though. This book is another murder mystery. The story takes place in a private girl’s high school, where a young boy from their brother school (A private school for boys) is found killed on their campus. The case ends up closed due to lack of evidence and no one really knows who killed the young boy, who was popular and liked by all. (Supposedly) In the school there is a notice board called ‘the secret place’ where students can anonymously post secrets/confessions/etc. Kind of like Post Secret, if you’ve heard of that before. On this message board, a note card appears with a picture of the dead boy along with the words: “I know who killed him.” Causing the investigation to blow open once again.
The premise is really interesting and it really does touch on a lot of issues that high school girls face. The story makes you constantly switch who you think the killer is, and you question what everyone is saying the whole time. High School girls love to lie. The only thing that I found weird about the whole story was there was a strange supernatural (I guess you’d call it?) element to the story that was never present in her other works. It was cool, but I feel like it never really was truly explained or resolved. (Spoiler, highlight if you wanna read/spoil thing for yourself: Like, did they still have their powers as they went forward? Why did they even have powers? Were they really witches? GIVE ME SOME SOLID ANSWERS!)
It was still an enjoyable read and I like stories that make me second guess who I think the killer is. Also, the dynamics between the popular friends and the “not cool” group of friends are very interesting.
So, this book seemed really long to me. It flipped between time periods a lot, mainly jumping into the future a couple of years with each chapter. The story follows a few characters, with one girl, Holly, being sort of a pillar that everything moves around. She has what some would call a “third eye” allowing her to see glimpses of the future, hear voices that she called “radio people”, and other psychic abilities. These cause her to end up embroiled in a war between two groups, that are as similar as they are polar opposites. This war here is the main plot, but you find yourself forgetting it as you muddle through the story, what with other side plots and what have you.
I mean, the book is beautifully written, the prose is marvelous, but I just could not get into the story itself. There was too much crammed into the book that took away from the plot and after the final battle it kind of just…kept going? What I assumed was going to be the end of the book, wasn’t, and the actual end of the book just felt like I was dropped on my butt in a way that made me want to ask: “Excuse me, didn’t this end last chapter? I’m confused.” What should, or could, have been a short epilogue at the end turned into a long end chapter that didn’t really have much to do with what I assumed was the plot of the book.
I don’t know, maybe I’m missing some glorious undertone or something, but I couldn’t really get into the book, the plot was so spread out that I nearly forgot what I was supposed to be reading about, and the ending left me high and dry and so very confused on where things were going. What started out as a girl running away from home turned into psychic battles, turned into a spoiled rich boy cheating his friends out of money, turned into washed up author getting mad at a new author, turned into suddenly more psychic battles and a war apparently going on between psychics, (spoiler) turned into the end of the world? While interspersed with Holly’s life, what she’s doing, and who she’s interacting with and what not. Man, I don’t know.
Prose was great, story itself was ????? If I’m missing something, or you found the book to be the best ever and want to fight me on it, go ahead, help me to figure out what I missed.