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By Mary Logue

Ballantine Books, June 15, 2004
ISBN: 034546222X

Reviewed by Karen Meek

This is the fourth entry in the Deputy Sheriff Claire Watkins series set in rural Wisconsin. Claire is a widowed single mother as well as the sheriff departmentís chief and only investigator. Claire is called in to investigate the theft of some dangerous and expensive pesticides from the Farmerís Co-operative. The burglar had left something behind though, some small bones.

Itís not long before the pesticides are put to ill use, starting with plants and birds being killed and ending with the human population being targeted. At each incident more bones are found.

The culprit reveals the reason for their actions in cryptic notes sent to the old owner of the local newspaper. The person wants the truth revealed about the unsolved massacre of the five children and two parents of the Schuler family, which occurred fifty years ago. With the anniversary day fast approaching Claire must spare no time to find the past and present perpetrators of evil.

Short chapters from the day of the Schuler family murders are interspersed through the modern investigation and are extremely gripping and very sad. Claire is a likeable and competent investigator who, as well as conducting the investigation, has to decide whether to marry her pheasant farming boyfriend, Rich. As the story is told from more than one point of view, the reader is able to deduce who the likely thief is but thereís still a shocking twist in store at the end.

BONE HARVEST is an enjoyable read with a good sense of place and well-realised characters.

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