Quiet In Her Bones by Nalini Singh

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

 

by Nalini Singh
Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Adult
Publisher: Berkley Publishing
Publication Date: February 23rd 2021
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★★

Well, damn! I'm convinced that Nalini Singh has magical abilities because how else can you explain how she excels in every genre she writes? Having loved her suspense debut, A Madness of Sunshine, I was really eager for Quiet in Her Bones. This book was very different from A Madness of Sunshine, but it was still one of the most thrilling reading experiences I've had. I'll try to keep this review as vague as possible because I would hate for anyone who is interested in reading the story to be spoiled. 

Ten years ago, Nina Rai, trophy wife of a billionaire, left her home only to never been seen again, leaving behind her young son, Aarav. Now her bones have been found in the forest area surrounding their elite neighborhood, clad only in the clothes she disappeared in. Aarav, now 26, has fuzzy memories of the night, but he is determined to find out if his abusive father was behind his mother's death.

Quiet in Her Bones is told in the 1st person POV of Aarav and wow! What a jarring experience that was! You see he comes across as an unreliable narrator with a chaotic mind as he is not only biased, but his memories were fractured as a result of his post-traumatic stress disorder from his mother's death and his girlfriend's suicide as well as his life-threatening accident that has left him on crutches. Not to mention, the man is also hallucinating. Through the therapy transcripts that the author share, we do begin to form a clearer picture of who Aarav is as a person - smart, arrogant, miserable, and deeply aggrieved - but you're never quite certain about the potential role he may have played in his mother's death. I never truly formed an opinion about his character. There were moments when I sympathized deeply with him as he had gone through the wringer, but there were also times when I was fearful and suspicious of him. Throughout the book, his love and devotion for his mother humanized him in a lot of ways, but it also turns into somewhat of an obsession as he becomes determined to figure out what truly happened that fateful night.

Socialite Nina Rai, though long gone at the time of the book, is an ever-present, living, breathing personality. It's brilliant how we get to know her as intimately as we get to know her son. I wasn't sure what to make of her at first. She seemed like a convoluted woman whose agenda was never quite obvious, but as we learn more about her and her background, it became apparent that this was a woman in an unhappy abusive marriage, but someone who cared deeply about others, particularly Aarav. Honestly, I found her to be admirable for how she handled her gross husband, and for the confidence she exuded. In the end, Nalini Singh made me feel devastated at her passing. 

Nalini Singh's mysteries tend to be slower-paced, which I actually like because it gives me the opportunity to scrutinize every character who is introduced into the tale. It also helps to build up to the reveal quite nicely, amping up that tension as the book progresses. The whole book is just very atmospheric and I was definitely flipping through the pages as fast as I could. I was convinced that I knew exactly who the killer was, but the author surprised me with the reveal, so that definitely made the book even more exciting for me.

Anyways, if you can't tell, I had a blast reading Quiet in Her Bones. It's a quiet (ha!) and intense story, and what a riveting tale it is. I can't wait to read more thrillers from Nalini Singh. I will for sure be recommending this one to my suspense-loving friends!

CW: death, murder, suicide, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, statutory rape, depression, accidents, hospitalizations, drug overdose, alcoholism, parental emotional abuse

Relationship disclosure: Nalini Singh and I are mutuals on social media.


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Have you read any good thrillers lately?
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