“Is the killer on the loose…or standing right beside you?
When art student, Aiden Blake, witnesses a gruesome attack on a London towpath, the police need him to identify the assailant without delay. But there’s a problem: refusing to leave his canal boat and traumatised by the shock, Aiden is rendered mute by the horror of the event and can’t speak to anyone.
In a desperate bid to gain vital information before Aiden’s memories fade, The Met call in Clinical Psychologist and trauma expert, Dr Samantha Willerby, giving her only seven days to get a result. When Aiden finally starts to communicate through his art, however, the images he produces are not what anyone expects and before Sam can make sense of them, another murder takes place.
With her professional skills stretched to the limit and the clock ticking, Sam strives to track down a killer who is as clever as she is – someone who always manages to stay one step ahead.”
I am a huge fan of A.J. Waines’ writing and her Dr Samantha Willerby series is one I return to again and again. When I heard book three, Perfect Bones, was on it’s way to us readers I knew I had to read it. I received a free eARC copy of this book from the publisher which has in no way influenced my review.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading Waines’ Samantha Willerby series then you need to change that and soon. Perfect Bones is the third book in the series and you can read my reviews of book one, Inside the Whispers, and book two, Lost in the Lake, by clicking the links. I couldn’t wait to be reacquainted with Clinical Psychologist, Samantha, and her sister, Miranda.
Samantha and Miranda are due to leave for the airport for a much-needed holiday and some much-needed sisterly bonding when Samantha is contacted by the Met to help on an unusual case. A young woman cycling along a towpath has been very nearly decapitated and is fighting for her life. There was one witness to the attack, a young artist named Aiden Blake. Aiden is so traumatised by what he saw he has become mute. Can Samantha use her knowledge and therapies to help Aiden converse with the police and find the cold-hearted killer? Or is Samantha putting herself at risk and living with a killer….?
I love Samantha. She’s such a well-rounded character and she absolutely shines from the page. Waines’ own experience as a psychotherapist adds another layer of interest to her Willerby books and Perfect Bones is a great example of this. And what a subject she has chosen for Perfect Bones! How can Aiden help the investigation when he is unable to talk? Samantha’s struggles and frustration in trying to understand what Aiden is telling her (through his art) was a total page-turner for me. The added pressure from her police colleagues to get an answer before the end of the week makes Perfect Bones a tense read.
Perfect Bones is another meticulously planned slow-burn of a book and it’s a great addition to this wonderful series. The fast-paced ending and final reveal were brilliant (particularly as this was a book where I wasn’t able to guess ‘whodunit’).
Would I recommend this book? I would but I suggest you read the first two books in the series first. Samantha has a rather complicated relationship with her sister, Miranda, and I think going straight into book three means you miss out on much of their backstory. The author does give new readers a good idea of what’s gone before but they are great books and worth the investment. A fascinating book with lots of lovely suspense and a mystery that I thoroughly enjoyed trying to solve. I can’t wait for book 4!
I chose to read and review an eARC of Perfect Bones. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
Perfect Bones by A.J. Waines was published in the UK by Bloodhound Books on 8th November 2018 and is available in paperback and ebook formats (please note, some of the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | BookDepository | Goodreads |
AJ Waines is a number one bestselling author, topping the entire UK and Australian Kindle Charts in two consecutive years, with Girl on a Train.
Following fifteen years as a psychotherapist, the author now writes psychological thrillers and murder mysteries full-time, with publishing deals in UK, France, Germany, Norway, Hungary and Canada (audio books). In January 2019, she signed a new UK two-book deal with Bloodhound Books.
The author lives in Hampshire, UK, with her husband. More on AJ’s psychology background here.