The Bone Fire Review
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Shortly after her second birthday, a little girl disappears. She’s thought to have been washed away after a sudden rain in one of the many dry riverbeds found in Santa Fe. Her body is never found—until a child’s skull turns up in the ashes of a yearly celebration. Everyone is thinking—and a few are saying out loud—that this could be her.

The last thing that Detective Sergeant Gilbert Montoya wants to deal with is a skull in the ashes of Zozobra—a four-story-tall figure burned during the Fiesta de Santa Fe. He can only hope that it’s not Brianna Rodriguez. But the case gets even more disturbing when bizarre works of art made from a child’s bones start turning up at religious sites around Santa Fe.

Lucy Newroe works as a newspaper editor and a part-time emergency medical technician. Ever since she caused a woman’s death, though, she hasn’t been herself—she drinks too much and brings home strange men for one-night stands. When a child’s bones start turning up around town, she hopes to help Detective Montoya solve it. The investigation takes them from the highest to the lowest of Santa Fe society, where everyone seems to have secrets—including Brianna’s family.

Written in meticulous detail, this puzzling mystery will lead you through a maze of clues, with twists and turns that will keep you guessing. Nothing is as it seems in this out of the ordinary suspense.

While I read The Bone Fire, though, it became apparent that Gilbert and Lucy had some sort of past together, which was covered in author Christine Barber’s earlier novel, The Replacement Child. Since I hadn’t read that book, I became a little frustrated because I wanted to know what had happened between them. So although The Bone Fire can stand alone as a mystery in itself, you might still want to read The Replacement Child first, to get a better understand of the relationship between Gilbert and Lucy.

Other than the above, though, The Bone Fire is an intelligent and bone-deep mystery that brings Santa Fe and its people to life. It’s all wrapped around the heart-breaking death of a little girl, and no one—except for Gil and Lucy—seems to care whether the crime is solved or not. The story is entertaining as well as beautiful, and you don’t want to miss it.

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