Tag Archives: Mary Deal

Review of River Bones by Mary Deal


Mary Deal is one of my favourite authors. Her books  always keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat.

River Bones is no exception.


Sara Mason has returned to the town where she grew up as a poor girl in a dysfunctional family. Now, though, she is a successful computer game designer and has enough money to buy a large house in need of modernisation.

Not everything is as it seems, though. A serial killer is on the loose, and things begin to get dangerous when the killer turns their sights on Sara.

I am saying no more so as not to give anything away.


A serial killer is on the loose in Sacramento River Delta.

When Sara Mason returns to her hometown to start a new life, she learns that a murderer is terrorizing its residents. Despite battling difficult childhood memories, Sara is determined to make peace with her past.

But she soon learns that the elusive psychopath is now stalking her. Sara’s attempt to rebuild her life is hindered even more by the discovery of skeletal remains on her property. As the investigation focuses on several suspects, Sara discovers critical clues and bravely volunteers to be a decoy for the sheriff’s department.

Sara’s destiny has brought her back home, but will her decision lead her down a path lined with danger… and straight into the arms of a madman?


The main character, Sara, is a young woman who has issues left over from her childhood. She tries to overcome them while fighting her fear of living alone.

We can empathise with her as she is well drawn and has depth.

Her best friend, Daphine, is a likeable, but sensible woman who gives Sara good advice (not always taken!)

Esmeralda is the former owner of the house Sara has bought. She now runs a care home for the elderly, even though she is elderly herself. Her husband disappeared on a gold hunting trip and his body has never been found. However, she is nothing if not resilient and proves a great ally to Sara.

The town has its quota of strange characters. Crazy Ike, Frederick, who works at the care home and is strangely fascinated by death and dying, and Tripp, who is the gardener at the care home, creating beautiful gardens. Sara finds him as creepy as the other two.

Wonderful characters who remain with me well after finishing the book.


Mary Deal sets the scene of her book right at the beginning. Before I had read many pages, I was feeling on edge. She brings the people and area of The Delta to life, and I feel she has taken me there.

Typos are non-existent. Grammar is almost flawless, except for a confusion of ‘to lie’ and ‘to lay’, which, I find, a lot of people have trouble with.

Have you read River Bones, or any other of Mary Deal’s books? Did you enjoy them? Let us know in the comments section.

Review of Down to the Needle by Mary Deal


This book gripped me right from the beginning. Ms Deal ramps up the tension and doesn’t let go.


From the day her five-year-old was abducted, Abigail Fisher vowed never to stop looking until her daughter was safely back home. But despite multiple searches, twenty-three years have passed without a trace of Becky Ann. When Abigail learns that death row inmate Megan Winnaker is the same age as her daughter, she begins to wonder if the kidnapper had Becky Ann’s face surgically altered to prevent identification. Megan Winnaker maintains her innocence, but faces capital punishment if she loses her final appeal. As Abigail launches her own investigation to find out if Megan is truly her daughter, someone wants to stop her in her tracks. Even when facing mortal danger, Abigail refuses to give up her investigation. But can Megan Winnaker really be her long-lost daughter?


The story is complex. There is a sub plot involving Abigail’s partner which is equally intriguing, and impinges on Abigail’s desire to discover the truth about Megan. Is she really innocent as she insists?
If she is innocent, then how to prove it and get a reprieve in time.
Right up until the very end we are left on tenterhooks.


The characters were believable, with flaws as well as strengths. Abigail is a strong character, but has weaknesses, and several times falls apart.
Megan is confusing at times, as she is supposed to be. She is a girl who faces the death penalty for, as she says, a crime she did not commit. She has been in prison for some years, and has fought her own case through appeal courts. No wonder she’s confused and bitter.
Joe, Abigail’s partner, is well-drawn, with his own strengths and weaknesses, especially when it comes to his own sub-plot.
I loved the people in this book, and was rooting for Abigail all the way through, longing for Megan to be Becky, her lost daughter, but dreading it in case whe were put to death!


Apart from one or two typos, and incorrect use of ‘lay’, the writing was very good.


Because of the excellent plot, which kept me wanting to go back to the book quickly when I had to put it down, I have overlooked the typos and grammar, which was minor anyway, and given it 5*