The Bone Box: A Novel
By Bob Hostetler (reviewed by Peter DeHaan)
Set in present day Israel, Bob Hostetler’s The Bone Box relates the story of Rand Bullock, a down and out archeologist whose life is a mess: widowed, estranged from his only daughter, career in shambles, and seeking solace through alcohol.
Yet in the midst of this he is given something to hold on to, something to capture his attention and demand his expertise: a two-thousand-year-old archeological mystery to unravel – and not much time to do so. With aid from an unlikely partner, the younger and attractive police sergeant Mari Sharon, Rand’s interest is captured – in more ways than one.
Interspersed with this story line is the parallel one of Rand’s daughter, Tracy, who expelled from college for her own alcohol infractions, goes on a different adventure, attempting to track down her distant dad in an unfamiliar land. While their story lines do eventually merge, a third one, relating an intriguing historical fiction account of biblical Caiaphas seems destined to provide only background filler – or perhaps not.
Smartly written and abounding with credible, real-life descriptions of present day Israel, The Bone Box effectively transports readers to another culture, immersing them in the realities of archeology amidst a politically and religiously charged environment.
The genre of The Bone Box is part mystery, part adventure, and part thriller, with some elements of romance stirred in for added enjoyment. Its short chapters make it even more of a page turner, urging readers to read just one more chapter.
[The Bone Box: A Novel, by Bob Hostetler. Published by Howard Books, 2008, ISDN: 978-1-4165-6647-2, 366 pages; $13.99]
Read more book reviews by Peter DeHaan.