Reviewed by Chris
TITLE: The Bones of Our Fathers
AUTHOR: Elin Gregory
PUBLISHER: Manifold Press
LENGTH: 215 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 1, 2017
Malcolm Bright, brand new museum curator in a small Welsh Border town, is a little lonely until – acting as emergency archaeological consultant on a new housing development – he crosses the path of Rob Escley, aka Dirty Rob, who makes Mal’s earth move in more ways than one.
Then Rob discovers something wonderful, and together they must combat greedy developers and a treasure hunter determined to get his hands on the find. Are desperate measures justified to save the bones of our fathers? Will Dirty Rob live up to his reputation? Do museum curators really do it meticulously?
Answers must be found for the sake of Mal’s future, his happiness and his heart.
Ok. I know I said this last week, but I swear to god I did not do this on purpose. Again.
Oh, look, another book about English archaeologists! What are the odds? (I mean, seriously, what are the freaking odds that I would pick and then schedule, at random, three books about English archaeologists all in the same month? I’m just thankful that this one didn’t involve any allusions to the impending World War III. Because I would have lost my shit, people. Lost. My. Shit.)
Settling into his new job as the museum curator in a small English town not far from the Welsh border, is not all glitz and glamour. But after the last few hard hits that Malcolm Bright’s life has taken, the slow small town life is just the ticket. Plus he gets to get his hands dirty by acting as an archaeological consultant for the housing construction happening just outside of the town. He doesn’t expect much to be found, but you never know, and anything new to liven up the cluttered exhibits in the museum is more than welcome. And if he can get down and dirty with Rob Escley, a hot construction worker on the site, all the better. But when one of the construction diggers finds something no one expected in the ground, things get a whole lot more complicated for everyone.
After I got over the fact that part of me decided that August was Archaeological Month without letting the rest of me know, and settled into this book, I was quite easily lost in the story and the characters. And since my last two books on this subject dealt with history and magic, it was kinda nice to see some more modern and real-world interpretations on how archaeologist work.
If you were to ask me what is most favortist type of Anglophile books, it would be the ones set in small towns. London seems great and all, but there is something about the way a well written small-town-England book just soothes me like a warm cup of tea. Which is also probably why whenever I read those books I find myself craving a damn cuppa like no ones business. The Bones of Our Fathers is a very well written small-town-England book. (And yes, I ended up drinking like three pots of tea while reading it). I really like how the main and secondary characters interacted in this book. We kinda get the outsider’s perspective because Malcolm is a newcomer, but it is easy to see just how all these people work (or don’t work) together. It is not all picturesque, but that is kinda what I like most about it. It has a very real feel. Plus nearly all the characters end up being almost as interesting as the two MCs.
The romance was a bit low-key, but I kinda liked it like that. Them trying to figure each other out before they rush into the ILUs seems to be rather realistic. And no matter what was going on with the plot, having them together in the scene was a guarantee that it was going to at least be entertaining.
While the “mystery” didn’t end up being all that mysterious, I did find myself enjoying it nonetheless. Mostly that is just because I love Malcolm so much. He is such a great character. Plenty of flaws, but none of them are too egregious, and I’m a sucker for the more book-y types. I will say though that I was a little puzzled over why everyone was treating Malcolm so horribly at the end there. I get that they are naturally gonna be on the side of the hometown-boy, but even Malcolm’s sister was being a bit of a shit to him. Rob kinda did a shitty thing, and everyone just shrugged it off and was all pointing fingers at Malcolm for his, I think, very reasonable reaction to finding out the truth. Guess that is one of the major reasons this one ended up hovering near the 4 star range, instead of a bit higher.
This book wasn’t overly complicated, but it was very well written. This is my first book by this author, but I think I’ll check out more of her stuff. This story knew when to be light, when to be sexy, when to be funny, and when to ramp up the tension. I really like authors who can do all that while not letting the plot get out of hand. For me, this is a definite recommendation, and a book I can easily see landing on the reread pile.
(And I swear to the gods, next week with be archaeologist free….*double checks calendar*…yep. No more bone-diggers for me!)