The Bramble and the Rose

Book #19 in the A to Z Mystery Tour

Rating: 4 out of 5.
The Bramble and the Rose book cover

Tom Bouman 2020 – Henry Farrell #3

Henry Farrell, rural Pennsylvania police officer, has been called to the scene of a grisly murder; at least one more killing takes place, and Henry becomes a suspect – and then a fugitive.

I normally try to choose books that are the first in the series for the A to Z Mystery Tour, but the first Henry Farrell book was not available so I went with #3. I was a bit sad, upon reaching the end of the book, to find that it may be the last in this very short series, because the writing is beautiful – almost lyrical in places. The characters, including Henry, are flawed and unapologetically human.

This is not a five star book because the timeline is confusing. Since this is not the first in the series I want to be sure to avoid spoilers, so I’ll be vague: there is one ongoing event that Henry occasionally references. The way he does so seems to imply that weeks or months have passed, but then he comes back to the murder investigation and it’s clearly been only a few days. It feels almost like the author is working with two timelines, which he is not.

I alternated between my library copy of the hardcover and a Scribd audiobook. I regret not sticking to the hardcover, because the narration of the audiobook doesn’t begin to do the writing justice. I hope my suspicion that this is the series finale is incorrect.

The other books in the series are Dry Bones in the Valley (2014) and Fateful Mornings (2017).

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