Bone Saw Serenade by Cody J. Thompson – Book Review

Bone Saw Serenade by Cody J. Thompson – Book Review

Bone Saw Serenade by Cody J. Thompson

Bone Saw Serenade

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Everyone loves running into and reconnecting with an old friend. Someone you have lost touch with for any number of reasons over the years. It can stir up a cocktail of euphoric emotions through feelings of nostalgia, amusement, hope and love. That is exactly how Emma Goodwin felt when she ran into her high school best friend Charlie Claymore after they found one another randomly after a decade of not seeing or speaking in a small coffee shop in Seattle.

Soon after their reunion, Emma’s husband Eddie goes missing without a trace of evidence linking anyone to the disappearance. Anguished, she spirals into her old ways with Charlie. When Detective Angus Pratt is assigned to the case, Charlie is determined to stay by Emma’s side, casting a dark veil over her he calls protection.

As they close in on the truth, a sinister plan is revealed that is darker and more terrifying than the vast, uninhabited woods that lay on the outskirts of town. Angus will stop at nothing to find the truth, and Emma may learn the hardest truth of them all. That the flames you hold the closest always burn the worst.

Review by Julie

‘Bone Saw Serenade’ is the debut novel from Californian-based author, Cody James Thompson. The book is written in the third person and the past tense. A dramatic first chapter certainly whets the reader’s appetite for what is to come. We are given a descriptive overview of the surroundings before being plunged into the situation. We see the action from the perspective of several of our protagonists.

Shortly after a chance meeting by old school friends, Emma and Charlie, Emma’s husband goes missing. This unexpected and unexplained event throws the friends together as Charlie tries to support Emma and her daughter, Sophie, through the nightmare as it unfolds. Detective Angus Pratt, an honest and straightforward coffee-loving career police officer with 25 years’ experience, is assigned to the case. His frustrations with slow progress and dead ends start to take their toll, causing his objectivity and effectiveness to be called into question.

Without doubt this was developing into a tense and gripping psychological thriller. About three quarters of the way into the story, the plot shifts and we start to see the action through the eyes of a sadistic sociopath. We witness with increasing horror as a twisted mind spirals out of control and loses the ability to separate fact from fantasy. We are given some explanatory backstory but there is very little mitigation offered for why the desire to inflict pain becomes more and more extreme. Developments come thick and fast as the story hurtles towards its climax.

I was surprised by Emma’s behaviour towards Charlie and Sophie. Emma seems happy to drift into an overly-tactile dependency on Charlie. She also allows her daughter to be looked after by a variety of off-script characters. Yet who is to dictate how anyone would react in such a situation? I would question some obvious omissions in the investigation by Angus and his colleague, Detective Frank Mckenna.

Nevertheless, the book is rich in similes and metaphors which help paint an atmospheric picture as the author builds his story with dramatic precision. This book isn’t for the squeamish or faint-hearted as the title implies but if you enjoy a fast-paced thriller with a bit of blood and gore along the way, then you’ll enjoy this story. A tantalising snippet at the end potentially leaves an opportunity for a follow up. I award four-and-a-half stars.

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Cody J. Thompson


Cody James Thompson is a writer from San Diego, California. He has been writing for many years and is finally diving into the world of novels and story telling. Previously, he wrote as a columnist with his work featured in San Diego CityBeat, San Diego Weekly Reader, The Westcoaster Magazine, San Diego Downtown News and he was the staff columnist for San Diego Uptown News writing about the beverage industry.

With storytelling, he focuses mainly on thriller inspired work. When he is not writing or reading, he spends time with his wife and their two pit bulls, cheers on his Golden State Warriors and San Diego Padres and can be found writing, producing and hosting the first and longest running beer podcast in San Diego, Beer Night in San Diego.

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