The Kingdom of Bones
can be the most wondrous force in our lives, or the mechanism of
our worst nightmare. Regrettably, we can't choose who we love, even
when the object of our desire might be the cause of our ultimate
destruction. Spanning nearly two decades, from the late 1800s to
the early 1900s, THE KINGDOM OF BONES tells the story of
how one man's obsession changed a multitude of lives.
Tom Sayers, a once-great prizefighter, has hopelessly lost his
heart to Louise Porter, an actress in the theater troupe with which
he now travels. Beautiful, sweet Louise. But her affections lie
elsewhere. Despite Tom's gentle wooing, Louise thinks of him as
merely a friend. Before Tom has much of a chance to try to win her
over, an anonymous informant tips off the London authorities about
a series of murders ranging across England in towns the troupe has
played. The anonymous tipster points the finger squarely at Tom
Tom's protests of innocence fall on deaf ears, and he is forced to
flee for his life. Someone has set him up well, and he thinks he
knows who that someone is. He may not have had much before, but now
he has nothing, not even his good name. If he is ever again to find
an ounce of happiness, he must stop the killer. It is a huge task
he has set for himself, but his very life depends on his success.
Somehow, he manages to survive, despite the unwavering attentions
of Sebastian Becker, the resolute policeman intent on collaring the
man he believes to be a serial killer.
Becker is as determined to catch Tom as Tom is determined to find
Louise. Across continents, seas and years, the chase continues.
Louise has made herself as diaphanous as the costumes she once
wore. Hers is not an easy trail to follow, but difficulty never
stopped him before. Besides, what else has Tom to live for
Louise has told Tom she can never love him. It is not in her heart
to do so. She has given her love to another, a man who trifled with
her and robbed her of her soul, she now has come to believe.
Despite her declaration of love for that man, Tom Sayers pursues
Louise with near-superhuman resolve. At the very least, he wants to
restore her faith in herself. At best, he hopes to win her love. It
is a dangerous game he is playing, for the actors aren't what they
seem and the man shadowing him has much to make up for.
Stepping up to help him is an old acquaintance, Bram Stoker, who
knows Tom from the theater. He believes unwaveringly in Tom's
innocence as he always felt him to be a forthright and honorable
man. Stoker's help proves invaluable.
Beautifully written and tenderly portrayed with a depth not often
found in thrillers, THE KINGDOM OF BONES melds history
and mystery for a spectacular result.
Reviewed by Kate Ayers on January 22, 2011