Book Reviews of The Bone Garden

The Bone Garden
The Bone Garden
Author: Tess Gerritsen
ISBN-13: 9780345497604
ISBN-10: 0345497600
Pages: 368
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 228 ratings
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

54 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Bone Garden on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
This was a great book, Tess Gerritsen, as always does a great job of giving you all of the details needed to paint the picture of the settings and characters. Some parts seemed to slow down for a bit but keeps the reader wanting to keep turning pages. Bounces back between the Present Day and the 1800's. I enjoyed it very much.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Like everyone else, I agree that this book is not the usual Tess Gerritsen style. Dr Maura Isles makes a brief appearance, but this book falls away from Gerritsen's medical thriller style that initially drew me to her books. Having been compared to Robin Cook and Michael Palmer-this book shows that she can extend past her medical thriller genre and write a historical based book. I found myself stuck in bed, reading when I should have been asleep, unable to put the book down and reacting to the appropriate scenes with fear, nausea and sadness. Excellent break from her usual books!
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 170 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This is the first Gerritsen I've read but it won't be the last! I flew through it in a single day. Romance plus suspense plus history--I could ask for nothing more. With Oliver Wendell Holmes as a character (a man I know very little about), I am now intrigued enough to read more about him and his life. To me, an author who leaves me thirsting for more is a great writer and Ms. Gerritsen accomplished that quite easily.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 238 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I'm not sure how I feel about this book. It is certainly NOT the Tess Gerritsen I am used to reading! Was it good? Heck yeah! I think I am just used to the gore/thrill factor that is so prevelant in her books. This book was more in line with Historical Fiction. But if you are excpecting the usual TG story (as I was)--you'll be in for a suprise. A pleasant suprise, but a suprise none-the-less.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 40 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
What a wonderful surprise. This was the first book I have read by Tess Gerritsen and Im very pleased I did..This book was wonderfully written, the characters were believable and well written. I really enjoyed the plot and the way the whole story came together. I was sad when it came to the end. 400 some pages and I wanted more. I am excited to read more of this author. I really recommend this book for someone who enjoys a good suspense and a fast read.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 77 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Tess Gerritsen expertly weaves a tale between present time and Boston of 1830's. Julia Hamil has found bones buried in the garden of her newly purchased home and we go along with her as she discovers the identity of the deceased female and we learn of the horrifying medical practices of those times. I liked this one much better than The Mephisto Club.
reviewed The Bone Garden on
Helpful Score: 3
This was an excellent book. The best so far by Tess Gerritsen. But for the fact that I have so many books to read, I would have read this again, it was that good. Truth be told, I am not one to read books over. I highly recommend this book. Loretta
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 1037 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
The discovery of a hundred-year-old skeleton in the garden of her newly purchased home sends a contemporary woman searching through local history to uncover a tale of murder and deception. Scariest thing about this novel was the nonfiction descriptions of early 19th century obstetrical practices.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I really enjoyed this book. I loved everything, beginning, middle and the ending. I hope to read more stories like this one. Highly recommend it.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 144 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Thought this a wonderful book! It will keep you reading way after you'd like to go to sleep!
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 204 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book is two stories in one. Julia in the present, buys an old home and soon finds a skeleton in the garden while working to bring the gardens back to life. The discovery leads her to explore the history of the house which leads her back to letters from the 1800s in the posession of an excentric older gentleman. In the letters, she finds Rose who has lost her sister right after child birth to a terrible infection. Rose fights to save her newborn niece from an unknown stranger trying to take her neice away from her. The story reveiles the horrors of the medical system in the 1800s. The plot was intertwined very nicely and was an enjoyable double story with a surprising conclusion. The historical content was extremely interesting.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is one of the best books I've read in quite a while. Rushed all the way to the end. I really admire Tess Gerritsen as an author. Her style keeps my attention all the way through. I'm never happy til I finish.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 66 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Wow was the first word out of my mouth after finishing, and the only one for at least ten minutes.
I find some (many?) books I can kind of guess what happens. This one blindsided me, and it's not like clues weren't there.
It's the kind of book you'd like a follow-up just to see how life goes on.
reviewed The Bone Garden on
Helpful Score: 2
Another awesome book by Ms. Gerritsen, which was a slight departure from her normal style. This book flips between the 1800's and modern day and both stories are incredibly compelling and mesmerizing. Without giving away the ending, the two stories do eventually taper to one and the ending is exciting and satisfying.
I have read everyone of Ms. Gerristen's novels, and while historical fiction is not a genre I would ever choose, I found this totally engrossing, I just could not put the book down. The only negative thing I have to say is that I wish there were more of her books out there; she is by far one the best writers out there of this genre.
Pick up this book - you will not be disappointed. Just be prepared not to do anything else for a couple of days while you read it from cover to cover!
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is one of the best books I have read in a long time, I could not put it down.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 37 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I have never read Tess Gerritsen before so I don't know if this is her normal style but this book was a back and forth of today and historical Boston. It follows a chance encounter with a skeleton back to a series of murders in early 1800's Boston. I think it was well written and skillfully done. I think Tess Gerritsen is a solid writer whom I would read again without hesitation. I did not guess the ending, which I'm usually good at, so I bet you won't either. Enjoy. It's worth the read.
reviewed The Bone Garden on
Helpful Score: 1
Absolutely loved this book! I couldn't put it down with an ending I did not see coming! I've recommended it to several friends.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 90 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was one of those books that I'd read a few chapters then put it down thinking "where is this going?" then pick it back up again to see. Not necessarily my favorite reading as I like to see a plot right up front, but once it was finished I found myself thinking "hummmm, not too bad". Probably my least favorite of Gerritsen's books for that reason.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 265 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I LOVED this book! One of the better thrillers I have read and I would love for Tess Gerritsen to write more like this. The historical and modern elements mixed were great.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 36 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Out of all Tess Gerritsen's books, I found this one to have the most "mystery." While I did enjoy the book, the "paranormal" moment at the end was a bit much. It felt thrown in and served no real purpose. Granted, she tried to weave it throughout the novel but even then it seemed out of context and the novel was no worse or better with it.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 11 more book reviews
Very interesting read, although Tess Gerritsen has yet to dissapoint me.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 17 more book reviews
Best one by Gerrittson yet. Loved it.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 45 more book reviews
I enjoyed Gerrtisen's "Body Double" so I was anxious to begin this book. I didn't enjoy this one even half as much - Antiquated autopsy scenes that were full of gore, for the sake of being gory and not lending to the story at all. A serial killer who-dunit where the author leaves no clues to a motive so there's no fun in the guessing. And a boring tie-in to present day that has zero relevance to the plot until the very predictable ending is revealed.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 756 more book reviews
This is a compelling mystery that jumps back and forth between the present and the past. The murders are violent and gruesome. There's a very realistic depiction of childbirth in the days of childbed fever, descriptions of human dissection by medical students, and a subtle overlay of reincarnation. It's not my personal preference, but if you like realistic descriptions of this sort, it's very good at that.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 4 more book reviews
First Gerritsen book I have read and after this I plan to read more of her novels. She spun a great tale.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 25 more book reviews
I enjoyed the concept of telling the story in 2 different centuries.
reviewed The Bone Garden on
My first Tess Gerritsen read and I loved it! I loved the juxtaposition of the 1830s mixed in with present day and I especially loved the medical aspect of it. So nice to learn about how medicine was practiced back before the Civil War. And the interweaving of factual events and real characters was amazing! Also the description of locality both historic and present day was refreshing and picturesque. I can't wait to read another Tess Gerritsen book!
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 4 more book reviews
The Bone Garden was an excellent book!! You go from the present day back to the 1880's and several stories tie back in together, about the medical profession in both eras. Neither my husband nor I wanted to put it down. It was fascinating. Just when you think you have it figured out, another mystery comes along. Highly recommend it!!
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 10 more book reviews
One of my favorite authors. Meticulous with her research and compelling with her text. I highly recommend this book as well as her other books. In particular the Surgeon was haunting.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 155 more book reviews
What an interesting story. Set in present day with flashbacks to a different time. I enjoyed the story and the narrator. The was my first Tess Gerritsen book, after listening to it I went on to read the rest of her novels.
reviewed The Bone Garden on
This is one of Tess Gerritsen best novels ever. I simply could not put it down. I highly recommend The Bone Garden. I could tell that Tess put in a lot of research in writing this book.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 2 more book reviews
Great book - a bit of history, but not the boring stuff. Quick read - kept my attention - one of the few I've chosen to finish - despite a busy life with 4 kids.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 58 more book reviews
Fascinating read, I couldn't put it down once I picked it up. This novel jumps back and forth between present day and the mid 1800s, between the woman who finds the skeleton in her yard, and the characters in the 1800s who's skeleton it may be . It kept me up all night reading. It brings up the macabre history of medical schools, when students essentially had to provide their own cadavers to dissect, and the ressurectionists who made a living digging up the fresh, and sometimes not so fresh corpses to sell to the medical schools. As usual Tess Gertitson keeps you guessing til the very end!
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 17 more book reviews
This is what you extpect from this author - a grab-you-by-the-neck thriller that keeps you reading into the night.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 53 more book reviews
It's not my favorite, but if you like a little history, it's quite good.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 3 more book reviews
This was the first tess gerritsen book I have read. I loved it! I couldn't put it down. It was very well written and I loved how it all came together. Can't wait to read something else from this author.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 92 more book reviews
Really interesting - story combines present day with the early 1800s and manages to do it without confusing the reader or trying to be too clever about it. I really enjoyed this book and could hardly put it down. Highly recommend.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 69 more book reviews
book reminds me of Patrica Cornwell but with a more suspense. I really like this series of books.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 2 more book reviews
I tried to read this twice. I have really enjoyed her other books but did not like this one.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 53 more book reviews
The Bone Garden is yet another gripping thriller from Tess Gerritsen. I have to admit, it was a bit weird to read a novel by her that didn't have Jane Rizzoli in it. The novel's plot is based on a woman named Julia who has bought a new home and begins renovations when its discovered there are human remains buried in her yard. Obviously she is curious to find out whose, whats, & whys of the situation. To find the answers, the novel takes you back to the 1830's. I wasn't sure that I was going to like the flipping from present day to the past, but the author was able to make the transitions seamless. I really enjoyed the characters as well. All in all, it was a good read.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 61 more book reviews
A very intriquing tale full of history, mystery, loyalty, and love. This one has it all, right down to the surprising ending.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 18 more book reviews
I truly loved this story. Oddly enough, the first half of the book took me quite some time to get through, as I didn't find it very interesting. I actually considered not continuing many times. The book is set in present times in part, but the majority takes place in 1830 during the lifetime of Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes. Although I always enjoy a mysterious murder, I, personally, must be in a certain mood for historical fiction to enjoy it. Though fiction, this tale is realistic. I did not even think about the fact that the author, Tess Gerritsen, is a physician and would, no doubt, be respectful of & knowledgeable of the accomplishments of Dr. O. W. Holmes until I had finished the book.
I originally chose this title because it listed Dr. Maura Isles of the Rizzoli & Isles series as a character. This is a little misleading, as she has an extremely small appearance in the story.
After stumbling slowly through the first half of the book, I read the last half in one quick sitting. Ordinarily, I am absolutely sickened by romantic books, yet I must describe this book as a really wonderful love story. I'm not at all a sappy, happy person, but I found the 1830s portion to be very touching. There were quite a few characters that I found interesting & to whom I grew attached; there were also characters I disliked and characters I felt sympathy for in a way that added to the story. I particularly enjoyed the historical significance of the character Wendell Holmes. I was left wanting to learn more about the actual person & his brilliance in the medical field. There was also the mystery aspect of the story that initially attracted me that helped make this story so great to me. This is a book that I could definitely see myself rereading some day.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 24 more book reviews
This book had me from the get go. I have never read a book set in this era before and it was historically descriptive. I was engaged in nearly every character, but of course, the main character was endearing. By the end, I still did not know exactly what was going to happen as you can tell in most stories. Tess Gerritsen has a real gift!
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 165 more book reviews
Great Read! In 1830s Boston medical schools are struggling to keep their students provided with (preferably) fresh cadavers so they can practice their dissection skills. At the same time a mysterious disease is claiming the lives of new mothers who give birth in hospitals. Aurnia is one of them, but her child is saved from the orphanage by her sister Rose. Rose soon realizes that somebody wants that baby and is willing to commit murder to get it.

This story is set into a present-day frame, in which recently divorced Julia digs up a skeleton in the garden of her new home. Relatives of the previous owner have saved many boxes of documents and together they piece together what happened to Rose, and also find out who the skeleton in the garden once was.

This book provides some fascinating glimpses into what anatomy lessons at that time were like - there are a few parts in here that are not for the squeamish.

I read this in two days - very well written, great characters, and a surprise murderer!
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 28 more book reviews
This was my second read by Tess Gerritsen. I enjoyed it - kept me turning pages until the very end.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 155 more book reviews
This is the very first audiobook that my husband would volunteer to let play while we were in a cross country road trip (he always thought it would be too distracting). Well, after he listened to it, he wanted more....
Julia Hamill has bought a house in rural Massachusetts. While she is digging in her yard to start a garden when she discovers the bones of a long-dead woman. The bones have been there for over 100 years. The bones start Julia on a journey to find out how the woman died and ended up in this grave in her backyard. Julia enlists the aid of Henry, an 89-year-old who has boxes of papers that once belonged to the previous owner of Julia's house. And so Julia discovers a mystery that dates back to the 1830s.
The story moves to Boston in 1830 which is an age of disease and pestilence. A time when doctors did not wash their hands between seeing patients so they unknowingly spread infections. This is the reason that many women at the time had excruiating deaths due childbed fever in the maternity wards. Norris Marshall is a a talented but poor student at Harvard Medical College. In order to pay for his education Norris steals bodies from the graveyards. Because of his seedy livelyhood, Norris becomes the prime suspect in a gruesome murder of a nurse. To prove his innocence, Norris must track down the only witness to have glimpsed the killer, Rose Connolly. They are joined by a young man named Oliver Wendell Holmes.
This really is a great story. I really enjoyed the story and the narrator. I don't think I was short changed because this is an abridged version of the original novel. After listening to it, my husband and I have read the rest of Tess Gerritsen's novels.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 2 more book reviews
Gripping mystery.
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 4 more book reviews
An interesting read. I was hesitant because I wasn't sure if this was a "period" book - I needn't have been. Tess Gerritsen wove the stories together that the transitions from present to past and back again were seamless and uncomplicated. Strong, well developed characters and an intriguing plot have assured this author a place on my bookshelf.
reviewed The Bone Garden on
It wasn't at all what I was expecting for Ms. Gerritsen but once I settled into it I found it reaching and pulling me into the past and present looking for answers that took a creepy pathway to the truth. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves old ghostly graveyards and mad doctors and all such ghoulish things; oh yes and a hero!
reviewed The Bone Garden on + 89 more book reviews
Wow! This one is hard for me to review. I love Tess Gerritsen's books, but this one was really different and I can't say for sure whether I liked it or not.

This is set in two time periods: the "present day" and "1830". It goes back and forth between the two. The majority of the book is set in "1830". The vast majority! I found that after reading a large portion set in 1830 I had difficulty picking up the thread in the "present day" sections. In my opinion, the sections could have been split up better or when it switched to "present day" a minimal review could have been provided. That's not optimal but I don't know how else this problem could have been avoided.

After saying that, I have to say that the book WAS interesting. I didn't want to stop reading it, but it was difficult for me. In the last quarter of the book, things picked up, the chapters shortened and the suspense increased. The ending was a real surprise and I loved it!

If you like books that are medicine based and especially if you are interested in "childbed fever", this one's for you.

Overall I enjoyed the read; just not as much as the other Gerritsen books I've read.
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This was such a good book. It was almost impossible to put down
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The chapters in the book went back and forth from the present day (where the main character finds bones in her garden) to the early 1800's, where you get to know the people who greatly affected the present day findings. It nicely wove the two stories together, with some surprising twists.
reviewed The Bone Garden on
My favorite Tess Gerritsen novel. The plot was great, couldn't put it down.
reviewed The Bone Garden on
yes very good book