I am probably one of the many who came to this book as a fan of the Circle tetralogy. That being said, his narrative is off in this one. The character of BoneMan never reaches the really creepy-crawly factor of his other evil antagonist. However, there are times of harried suspense coupled alongside paternal sincerity.
Ryan Ever’s character seems like a normal guy and it is that quality that makes the reader care about his ordeal in Iraq and his crumbling family life in Texas. The problem is that bouts of depression and internal monologues sounds more like whining then true self-loss. Couple this with his daughter, Bethany and you have an interesting dynamic that never really materializes because the two characters never share a scene together. On the other hand, Bethany’s moments of weakness and need for love is a great story that was never fully pushed forward. Her connection to BoneMan is revealed but also lacking in possible depth. Plus neither Ryan or Bethany are given a chance to truly reflect on the losses they have suffer.
Ricki Valentine, the FBI BoneMan expert, is missing for large portions of the narrative. I found her story and point of view to be excellent. The few times that character came into the scene and then mirror in the following chapter by a scene of BoneMan made for some great reading. Whereas Ryan and Bethsny are sinful and at time self-indulgent Ricki is a true victim that has willed herself to a better place, reminiscent of Det. Benson from SVU.
If this will be your first forrey into mystery/suspense I is a great place to start. If you’ve read Patterson, Meltzer, or Grisham skip this one and more on to another.