Bone House by Brian Freeman

A thriller set in Door County. The book starts with a prologue. Ten year old Glory Fischer witnesses a fire that destroys the Bone family house and kills the mother and 2 sons. Daughter Jen survives because she was having a sleep-over with Glory’s older sister Tresa. The story picks up six years later. Mark and Hilary Bradley moved to Door County from the Chicago area. Both are teachers, but Mark’s job was cut after allegations that he had an affair with Tresa. Both say it is not true. Hilary and Mark are vacationing in Florida where Hilary is watching a college dance team competition. Hilary coached dance team at a Chicago area high school, and one of her favorite students, Amy, is now on the UW-Green Bay dance team. Amy’s roommate Katie has come along to report on the competition for the school newspaper. Tresa is also at the competition with the UW-River Falls dance team. Glory and her boyfriend Troy are there to watch Tresa. In the middle of the night, Mark can’t sleep so he goes for a walk on the beach. Glory is alone on the beach, drunk and singing “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” The next morning Glory is found dead. Florida detective Cab Bolton investigates. Mark, Hilary, and the dance teams are allowed to go back home after questioning. Mark is the prime suspect but other suspects are Troy, the UW-Green Bay coach Gary Jenson, and Harris Bone who was convicted of starting the fire but escaped custody. Cab goes to Door County and talks to Sherriff Felix Reich. Reich is friends with Peter Hoffman whose daughter and grandsons died in the fire. What secrets are people keeping that would lead to murder? The author does a great job in depicting Door County, and the people who live there year round and are tied together by family and relationships. I enjoyed the story and liked the way the author brought out the Door County setting.  Door County is named for the French “Porte des Morts” (death’s door) which refers to the dangerous waters between the main part of the county and Washington Island. In this suspenseful tale, Door County lives up to the name Death’s Door.

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