BookBrowse Reviews Valley of Bones by Michael Gruber

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Valley of Bones

A Novel

by Michael Gruber

Valley of Bones by Michael Gruber
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jan 2005, 448 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2006, 432 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


Second Novel By Highly Praised Author (and Robert Tanenbaum's long-time ghost writer). Thriller

Comment: This is Michael Gruber's second book writing under his own name (see sidebar). The first, Tropic of Night (2004), a literary thriller set in Miami starring Cuban-American police officer Jimmy Paz, was one of the most talked of 2004 debuts. In Tropic of Night Jimmy Paz investigated a series of ritualistic murders. There are witnesses, but they can recall almost nothing of the events, as though their memories have been erased -- as if a spell has been cast on each of them. Equally bizarre is the string of clues Paz uncovers: a divination charm, exotic drugs found in the bodies of the victims, a century-old report telling of a secret place in the heart of Africa. In Valley of Bones, Gruber continues to explore the supernatural. Arab oil trader Jabir Akran al-Muwalid, has been thrown off the balcony of his hotel room. Inside his room, Paz finds Emmylou Dideroff kneeling on the floor, having a one-sided conversation with St. Catherine of Siena. Emmylou is put into a mental hospital where she writes her confession. It tells a horrifying tale of her life - insane mother and a molesting stepfather, as well as her time spent as a prostitute, drug dealer, a battle-field medic for the 'Nursing Sisters of the Blood of Christ', and a tribal leader in Africa.

As Kirkus Reviews (giving it a starred review) says, 'no second-novel slump here. Gruber has drawn even with John Sandford and has power to spare.'

Personally, I find Gruber's adult books to be rather disturbing reads - that's not to say they aren't good but simply that the supernatural elements take me to the limit of my comfort zone. However, I endorse wholeheartedly his children's book, The Witches Boy! As the Washington Post says, 'Valley of Bones is equally fascinating and even more troubling because its subject is the power of Christian faith, as embodied in a woman who may be a saint or may simply be delusional. Either way, the tormented, painfully candid Emmylou Dideroff is one of the great characters in recent popular fiction.'

This review is from the March 2, 2006 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.



This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The End of Eddy
    The End of Eddy
    by Edouard Louis
    The End of Eddy has been a publishing phenomenon in Édouard Louis' native France, where it...
  • Book Jacket: If We Were Villains
    If We Were Villains
    by M L. Rio
    22 out of 28 of our reviewers rated If We Were Villains four or five stars, giving it an overall ...
  • Book Jacket: The Islamic Enlightenment
    The Islamic Enlightenment
    by Christopher de Bellaigue
    In this comprehensive and well-researched history, de Bellaigue examines the evolution of Islamic ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Scribe of Siena
    by Melodie Winawer

    Equal parts transporting love story, meticulously researched historical fiction, and compelling time-travel narrative.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Chalk Pit

The Chalk Pit:
A Ruth Galloway Mystery

A string of murders takes Ruth underground in the newest book in the series.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T's A S B Every M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -