Bad Bones by Graham Marks. Book review

Bad Bones by Graham Marks, Stripes Publishing, 2015, p/b £6.99

Reviewed by Simon Ives

This is another of Stripes Publishing’s Red Eye series of YA novels and is a terrific read.

Gabe (short for Gabriel) is experiencing trouble at home where his dad’s unemployment is leading to crippling financial problems for his family.  Gabe has a potential way of earning some cash, but it involves running errands for local hoodlum and would-be drug baron Benny Gueterro.

To forget his worries Gabe heads away from LA into the surrounding hills where he stumbles upon a skeleton and a mysterious ancient bracelet, thrown up by recent storms.  Fatefully he pockets the bracelet, setting in motion a series of events that will lead to a series of vicious deaths and threaten the lives of Gabe, his family and friends.

As Gabe attempts to sell the bracelet to a local antique dealer he becomes aware that he is being followed by a strange man, a couple of coyotes and an owl which definitely isn’t Hedwig.  Then the nightmares kick in and Gabe is heading for a frantic action packed few days.

Along the way he is assisted by his best friend, Anton, and new girl in town the resourceful Stella.  She introduces him to a local Catholic priest who used to be an officer for CSI (useful coincidence), has an interest in local Aztec history and who thinks he can solve the mystery.  The characterisation is thin but the pace of the action makes this forgivable.

All in all an exciting easy read that will have its audience on edge throughout.  Try not to think too hard about a couple of the plot details, though.