The Hidden Bones by Nicola Ford ** Blog Tour Review**
I am sopleased to bring you The Hidden Bones by Nicola Ford today. It is her debut novel and I can say that it is one of the books I have enjoyed reading the most this year. A professional archaeologist herself, her novel drips with authenticity.
Clare Hills thinks she’s discovered every archaeologist’s dream…
Instead she’s unearthed a nightmare that puts her at the centre of a murder inquiry.
Following the recent death of her husband, Clare Hills is listless and unsure of her place in the world. When her former university friend Dr David Barbrook asks her to help him sift through the effects of deceased archaeologist Gerald Hart, she sees this as a useful distraction from her grief. During her search, Clare stumbles across the unpublished journals detailing Gerald’s most glittering dig. Hidden from view for decades and supposedly destroyed in an arson attack, she cannot believe her luck. Finding the Hungerbourne Barrows archive is every archaeologist’s dream. Determined to document Gerald’s career-defining find for the public, Clare and David delve into his meticulously kept records of the excavation.
But the dream suddenly becomes a nightmare as the pair unearth a disturbing discovery, putting them at the centre of a murder inquiry and in the path of a dangerous killer determined to bury the truth for ever.
The Hidden Bones brings together crime writing and the search for the truth as it occurs in archaeology and I loved it. It is set in the Marlborough Downs in Wiltshire in an area which is a hotspot for ancient finds. It is this kind of authenticity which makes the plot so credible to the reader. This is the first novel which features the character of Clare Hills, a returning archaeologist and I found her to be well drawn and believable. I hope this is the first book of many featuring her.
As the story develops, the layers of lies and cover-ups are gradually stripped away in a forensic manner. The work of the archeologists mirrors the investigation back through the past into Gerald Hart's dig. I loved the way the author played cat and mouse with the reader and tried to shield the final answer from us.
In Short: A delve into the past gives us a solution to be savoured.
About the Author
Nicola Ford is the pen-name for archaeologist Dr Nick Snashall, National Trust Archaeologist for the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site. Through her day-job and now her writing, she’s spent more time than most people thinking about the dead.
Book link: Amazon UK
Thanks to Nicola Ford and Ailsa Floyd of Allison & Busby for a copy of the book and a place on the blog tour.
Check out the rest of the tour!