Title: Thirty-One Bones
(Daniella Coulstoun #1)

Author: Morgan Cry
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: July 2nd 2020
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Finished reading: April 18th 2021
Pages: 304

“In my world, everyone is on the con. Full stop. And the key is to stay in control.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Skyhorse Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I confess that I was drawn to Thirty-One Bones as soon as I first read the blurb. I can never resist a Spanish setting, and the story being a crime thriller on top of that? Irresistible indeed. I’ve been looking forward to dive into this story ever since it first appeared on my kindle, fully expecting to have a brilliant time with it… So I guess you can imagine my surprise when I ended up having mixed thoughts instead. Why? I’ll try to explain briefly below.

First things first and I have to say that I still love the premise of this first book of a new series. The scam, the missing money, the secrets Daniella never knew her mother had… There is a lot of potential here indeed. The Spanish setting was also a bonus for me, and I liked how the (fictional) El Descaro town played a big role in the story. Especially with the name being translated into ‘cheek, impertinence‘ which is basically a direct reference to the Ex-Patriots and what they have been up to. I always love a cheeky dose of humor along the way!

As far as the plot and its development goes though… I’m afraid I found it to be a tad too over the top and far fetched to actually see it as a credible chain of events. I can take my crime thrillers with a grain of salt, but this story would take such a high dose that would give me hypertension as a result. It felt like the story wanted to include too many drastic plot twists and surprises, and as a consequence the story fell rather flat for me. The fact that I was never able to connect to the writing style didn’t really help either; there was just something about the tone and word choice that simply didn’t gel with me. I did like the incorporation of the police interviews with multiple characters in between the chapters though.

I have to confess that I wasn’t really a fan of the characters nor how they behaved either. Most of them felt a bit like a cliche or at least underdeveloped, and I was never able to warm up the star of this new series, Daniella Coulstoun either. I didn’t really feel her actions were all that credible and I wasn’t really charmed by her personality nor the way she interacted with the others or handled the situation. The insurer background angle was neat, but as a whole she wasn’t able to convince me sadly.

In short, I had really high hopes for Thirty-One Bones as I always love a Spanish settings in my stories and the premise sounded fantastic, but sadly I mostly ended up having mixed thoughts about it. Most people do seem to enjoy this story better, so don’t give up on my account if you think it’s your cup of tea though.


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