“I couldn't put down Inherit the Bones. Small town Colorado police detective Gemma Monroe is a human and fallible heroine I can't wait to meet again, and Littlejohn's prose is lyrical and gripping—the book is a sure bet for one of the finest debut novels of the year.”
Secrets and lies can’t stay buried forever in Cedar Valley.
In the summer, hikers and campers pack the small Colorado town’s meadows and fields. And in the winter, skiers and snowboarders take over the mountains. Season by season, year after year, time passes and the lies, like the aspens and evergreens that surround the town, take root and spread deep.
Now, someone has uncovered the lies, and it is his murder that continues a chain of events that began almost forty years ago. Detective Gemma Monroe’s investigation takes her from the seedy grounds of a traveling circus to the powerful homes of those who would control Cedar Valley’s future.
Six-months pregnant, with a partner she can’t trust and colleagues who know more than they’re saying, Gemma tracks a killer who will stop at nothing to keep those secrets buried.
Beautifully written with a riveting plot and a richly drawn cast of characters, Inherit the Bones is a mesmerizing debut from Emily Littlejohn.
At the outset of Littlejohn's engrossing debut, Deputy Gemma Moore examines the body of circus clown Reed Tolliver, who was found inside a storage tent with his throat cut. Nicky Bellington, the teenage son of the mayor of Cedar Valley, Colo., was supposedly killed in a fall from a cliff three years earlier, but no body was found. When a database search of the victim's fingerprints identifies Tolliver as Nicky, Gemma launches an investigation that reaches back three decades to a summer of crimes that continue to haunt the mountain town and to which she has a personal connection. Littlejohn effectively captures the tensions of a community struggling with its demons while seeking to attract tourist dollars, and Gemma six-months pregnant with her first child, uncertain of the future with her partner, and paired with a charming bad-boy cop she doesn't trust is a compelling lead. Readers may solve the mystery early on, but the charming setting, engaging characters, and adroit pacing will keep them turning the pages.