“The Bone House” by Brian Freeman:
Here's a psychological thriller done by someone who knows how to write one. While basically a story of a man and wife, the plot bleeds out to include a detective and and CSI analyst, some troubled teenagers, and a terrible tragedy from the past. The tragedy, portrayed in the breathtaking prologue, reaches lethal tentacles into the future and threatens almost everyone involved.
Mark Bradley is having a tough time. He and his wife, Hillary, moved to an idyllic island in rural Door County, northern Wisconsin, from a Chicago suburb to live on their salaries as teachers and raise a happy family. Mark, however, was accused of sexual harassment when the mother of shy teenaged student, Tresa, read the torrid accounts of an inappropriate affair in Tresa's diary. Tresa insisted her writings were all fantasy, but Mark was fired anyway and has been out of a job for a year. His wife, Hillary is still a dance coach at the high school, but her reception by the locals has become increasingly chilly.
Mark accompanies his wife and her dance students to Florida for a competition. It's supposed to be a relaxing getaway, but Mark is accosted on the beach by Tresa's younger sister, Glory. When Glory is found dead, a witness is found that saw Mark kissing Glory very late at night. He insists they didn't kiss, and that he didn't kill the girl. Hillary wants to believe him, but she's exhausted from standing by him during the ordeal of the past year. And she's not quite sure he's telling the truth.
Cab (Born In One) Bolton, the unusual detective assigned to the case, fights against his attraction to the lovely CSI analyst, Lala. Like Hillary, he doesn't know who to believe. But he's Mark's only hope. And he carries a horrific secret of his own from the past.
Reviewed by Kaye George, Author of “CHOKE: An Imogene Duckworthy Mystery” for Suspense Magazine