One rainy night in the woods outside of Portland, Dr. Victoria Peres is called to the site of a haunting crime scene. Six beautiful young girls—all in white dresses and arranged in a perfect circle—have been left for dead. Only one girl, fighting for her life at a nearby hospital, has survived the carnage.
Things get stranger still when Victoria and the police discover that the disturbing arrangement of the bodies—as meticulous as it is mysterious — is straight from the pages of a decades-old cold case. Victoria is called on to do what she does best, read the bones of the dead for clues…while dealing with the surprise return of her first love, medical examiner Seth Rutledge. Only this time she must figure out how the two cases, fifty years apart, are connected.
In the fourth book in her heart-pounding 'Bone Secrets' series, best-selling author Kendra Elliot sends readers on a dark and thrilling journey as forensic anthropologist Victoria Peres races to solve a horrific new case while confronting the secrets of her past.
***Small Spoiler Alert***
Dr. Lacey Campbell, her father, Dr. James Campbell and Dr. Victoria Peres are out to dinner... a dinner that is interrupted when James gets a call saying their are multiple bodies found in the woods. Victoria and Lacey accompany him to the site and what they see makes it really hard to stay focused. There are 5 girls laying on the ground in a wagon wheel. heads together, feet towards the woods. They had been staged. Their white dresses and bodies were clean. They laid on a bed of fern leaves and from what Dr. Campbell -the chief medical examiner- can see just in a quick exam they’ve been dead 6 to 7 hours. But who could or would do something like this? One of the girls, the 6th victim, had been alive but barely so she was rushed to the hospital. It wasn't looking good for her. Detectives with major crimes -Callahan and Lusko- are there to get their investigation started.
The next morning Dr. Peres’ is leaving her home when her neighbor’s kid comes up to her, She had seen the news and knew her friend Brooke was going into the park last night. She explained what she knew as to why and Dr. Peres took her with her so she could talk to the police. They needed to know what was possibly going on in there last night. The girls’ bodies are back at the medical examiner's office they start the process of finding out what happened to the girls. While parents of missing kids waited in the lobby to find out if their child was there the detectives and the doctors talked about the findings.
To keep Trinity busy Dr. Peres asks her to help her look over some things from the old cold case that happened in the park in the 60’s. Same layout, same number of females and it was just too creepy. At the end of the day there was nothing concrete to go on. They needed more tests to see what they could find. All of the bodies had now been identified. Trinity’s friend was the girl in the hospital fighting for her life. Now its a waiting game.
One man comes in after seeing the news of the murder. His sister had ‘run’ off many years ago but after all of this time why hadn’t he come in before? There was something off about it but the cops got him to agree to a DNA test. But the next morning the man was found brutally killed in his home. Could someone be upset that he came forward finally? Seth had lots of questions after he finds a time of death on scene. Though he would need to do more at the medical examiners office. As the investigation starts on the mans death things at the medical examiners office go from good and calm to chaos and aggravation in a matter of minutes. Just after Lacey and Victoria think they have found a true match to the man's sister there is a break-in. Someone comes in and mixes up the bones in the 3 boxes of old remains and takes the skulls with them. As they try to piece the bodies back together our ‘bad guy(s)’ start planning what they can do next. They want to throw Victoria for a loop. Make it so she is so rattled they can strike.
So one night coming back from Lacey’s after a mishap at a memorial for one of the dead girls Victoria sees her house on fire. Someone had set her house on fire… but what they find inside throws them all off. A skull, one of the ones that was stolen from the ME’s office? Or was it a different Skull? What the hell? (So now its a game of cat and mouse, just not sure who is who yet.) Trinity and Katie -Trinity’s adoptive mom- are there with her by the time the skull shows up so things get real dicey. They really need to find answers and quickly. Victoria will be staying down the street at Katie's until her home is livable again. That means lots of cleaning and having people come in to do that. Not something she wants to think about right now.
The morning after the fire Trinity comes into the kitchen to find Victoria baking. As they sit to enjoy the baked goods Trinity asked Victoria what she would do if she had a friend that asked her for something but wasn’t sure what to do. Seems Jason -a friend of Brooke’s and an acquaintance of Trinity’s- is avoiding his parents. trinity is torn as to what to do to help him. Victoria tells her she should tell him to talk to someone. An adult, the police and left it at that. Thing is Trinity feels a need to help so she goes to get Jason and give him a ride like he asked. After they have lunch he gets a message to come to his grandfather’s home. Trinity reluctantly agrees to take him. Worry eating at her the whole way.
Meanwhile, Victoria and Seth enjoy some time together; talking and trying to reconnect. Victoria and Seth are readying themselves to leave his hotel when she receives a call. Its from a man that say Michael Brody contacted him about finding records of her birth parents. He claims to have some information from the church during that time and that they are welcome to come and take a look at it. Of course she agrees and they set off to the address he gives them. As they near the location of the man’s home they come across a car pushed into the trees and the water that is running across the road quickly getting higher. With all of the rain they are having flooding is happening all over. Water fighting to get to the lowest points around.
Victoria is shocked when she realizes its trinity’s car. Her mind races. Why is she out here? Quick thinking on Seth and Victoria’s parts gets Seth to the kids -because of course Jason is still with her- and they are pulled to safety. Victoria has called 911 to inform them of the car in the water but is unable to call them back. No signal now. Come to find out Trinity was taking Jason to his grandfather’s. The same place Victoria and Seth were headed. they all pile into Victoria’s SUV and go to the house. The old man comes out, shooting at them -or above them as it turns out- until Jason yells at him. Apparently they don't like trespassers either. (lol) But soon there is a shot from behind them. Jason’s father is now in the mix with a double barrel… Seth is reminded of Deliverance.. (And I cracked up then shuddered cause.. just yeah)
The old man has NO idea why they are all there but Leo -Jason’s dad- does. He is the one that set this all up. Things go from crazy to chaos to get us out of here in a nanosecond but it’s too late. things end with gun shots, sirens and screams… just the way you would expect it to.
But I can't say more. There is a whole story to be told in the last few pages of this book and I have to say I never saw it coming. What happens completely blew my mind. Kendra has an EPIC way of making you go.. What?!?! And, I never figured out what was going on until it was in front of me. (laughs) That is not such an easy feat most days. But as with the others in this series I am elated and realllllly wish there was more! I loved it!