Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Skeleton Box - Bryan Gruley - Review AND Giveaway

 Bryan Gruley is another new to me author. The Skeleton Box is the third book in Gruley's Starvation Lake series.

Starvation Lake is a quiet, small town in Michigan where nothing dangerous really ever happens, but a recent series of break-ins has the town worried.  The break-ins are occurring on bingo nights -  when most of the town's elderly residents are out. Nothing is ever taken, but their belonging are being rifled through. The pressure is on for the sheriff to solve these cases - it's a re-election year. And the stakes are upped when a break-in turns to murder.

Gus Carpenter, editor of the local paper is covering the biggest story of his career. The victim is someone near and dear to him. And as he digs deeper into the story, he finds it taking him places he never expected -  and much closer to home than he could have imagined.

Gus is Gruley's recurring protagonist. I really liked Gus - he just came across as real, down to earth and believable. He's dealing with job stress/cutbacks, an elderly mother with the beginnings of dementia and an on again off again relationship - with a local deputy. He's not painted as an infallible, intrepid reporter, but just a regular guy.

The mystery in The Skeleton Box is timely and features a good solid plot. But for me, it was the town of Starvation Lake and its' residents that took centre stage. Characterization is Gruley's strong point. I loved all the colourful citizens. My only problem was that everyone has a nickname as well. I had a wee bit of trouble keeping everyone straight.(Take note - Bryan Gruley's nickname is Grules!) Gruley has painted a vivid, accurate portrait of the town. The River Rats hockey team, their players and the town's support is so spot on I thought Gruley was writing about my small town. ( Go Irish!) The various hockey analogies used were quite effective.

Even though I have missed the first two in the series, I was able to enjoy this book as a stand alone. (But it would be definitely worth looking up the first two) Folksy is a term that popped to mind when I was trying to think of how to describe Gruley's writing. Read an excerpt of The Skeleton Box.

"Bryan Gruley is a reporter at large for Bloomberg News. Formerly the Chicago bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal, Gruley shared in the Pulitzer Prize given to the newspaper for coverage of the September 11 terrorist attacks. He has won the Anthony, Barry and Strand Awards and was nominated for an Edgar Award for best first novel." You can find Bryan Gruley on Twitter and on Facebook.

Sound like a book you'd like to read? Well, thanks to the nice folks at Simon and Schuster, I have a copy to give away. Open to US and Canada, no po boxes please. Simply leave a comment to be entered. Ends Aug 4/12.

70 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please count me in! I'm always on the lookout for a new mystery series, folksy sounds like just the thing.
Thanks, Liene @ LLucane at yahoo dot com

Bryan Gruley said...

Thank you so much for the kind words! (By the way, my nickname is Grules :)

Bryan Gruley said...

Thank you so much for the kind words! (By the way, my nickname is Grules :)

emtee009 said...

Excellant series...still need to read the newest book The Skeleton Box. Great reading Grules!

Karen Tintori said...

And who said social networking was a waste of time? I'm hooked by the synopsis and by the stellar list of awards. As a Michigan writer, sweltering on a 100+ day, I'm ready to dive into "Salvation Lake" or the Michigan shoreline this week.

Sounds like I just found me a new series to discover.

Karen Tintori
www.karentintori.com

Rob said...

First two books were fantastic. Looking forward to reading the new one.

traveler said...

This mystery sounds unique and special. Many thanks for this interesting giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

Fascinating new series which interests me greatly. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

Ken Pallante said...

I am anxious to read this book also.
kpallante@comcast.net

Dan Lenossi said...

Hey Bry, congrats again on all the great reviews. Our trip to Europe left me a little short, hopefully I will get the book this weekend.

RTHerman said...

Bryan Gruley is one of the finest writers I knew at The Wall Street Journal. He was also one of the only people on the planet whose idea of a good time was visiting northern Michigan in the winter.
--- Tom Herman
375 South End Ave., Apt. 20-E, NYC, NY 10280
rthomasherman@gmail.com

bermudaonion said...

Folksy writing with a good mystery sounds good to me!

"Auntie" sezzzzzz... said...

Thank you!!!!

Hope they come in Large Print, for my husband too.

:-)

Sebastian Clouth said...

Hi!

I am the Books editor at Before It's News (beforeitsnews.com). Our site is a rapidly growing people-powered news platform currently serving over 3 million visits a month. We like to call ourselves the "YouTube of news."

We would love to republish your blog's RSS feed in our new Books section. Every post would be accompanied by a description of you and a link back to your site. Our visitors would love to read your content and find out more about you!

You could also, if you have any, post book excerpts, and accompany them with links back to pages where your work is for sale.

It's a great opportunity to spread the word about your work and reach new readers.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Thanks,

Sebastian Clouth 
Books Editor
Sclouth@beforeitsnews.com

Karen B said...

I can't imagine knowing that someone has been in my house and moving my things around. What a mind game that would be! Have put your books on my wish list.kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

Carl said...

Love hockey and totally ready to get into the Starvation Lake series. Thanks for the heads-up. carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx

lag123 said...

Please enter me. I love mysteries and this a new series for me!

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Sue Farrell said...

I was drawn in by your saying the book is folksy and has good characterization.
suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

Martha Lawson said...

I would love to be entered to win this one, it sounds awesome! I love a good mystery.

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

slb3334 said...

I would like this.

slb3334@gmail.com

linett said...

would love to read this, thanks

Unknown said...

Murder! Mystery! Thriller!
The kind of book I would love to read. Please add my name to this great giveaway.

Timshaun said...

This sounds like a great book.
Shaunda.Eppes at gmail dot com

GALENA said...

bring it on sounds diffrent

debbie said...

This is a new series for me. I would love to see who did it. I can understand the small town in Michigan, since I live there.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

Anita Yancey said...

I loved your review on this book. It definitely makes me want to read it. Mysteries are my favorite books and this one sounds really good. I really liked your take on some of the colorful characters. I would enjoy reading it. Please enter me. Thanks!
ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Maureen said...

It looks like a book I would enjoy.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

McKim said...

I'd like to read this book!

Charlotte Padgett said...

Sounds like a great book to me too.

Anonymous said...

ANOTHER FANTASTIC AUTHOR.
I WILL START READING ALL HIS BOOKS.

jimpat34@broadstripe.net

Mrs Mommy Booknerd said...

Sounds great!
Mrsmommybooknerdsbookreviews at gmail dot com

*~Dani~* said...

Sounds like a good read! Would love to add it to my library.

dlhaley said...

Please enter me to win this book. It sounds like a good book.

skkorman said...

I would love to read this book—thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

kat said...

I would love to read this. Thanks so much for the giveaway!
kat_emerick@yahoo.com

Wrighty said...

Count me in too! Thanks to you, it sounds like I've found a great new series to read. Folksy sounds good to me as well! :)

wrights5[at]hughes[dot]net

Nancy said...

Never heard of this author but this mystery sounds good.

nanze55 at hotmail dot com

Benita said...

Great review! Thanks for the chance.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

barbara stenby said...

I have been looking for a new mystery bok to read!

Anonymous said...

Wow! This sounds like a book I couldn't put down.

Bshaw75015@aol.com

Diane52 said...

Loved the first 2 books
Diane Baum
esldiane2gmail.com

Derek Timm said...

Sounds like it would be a good book!

Renee G said...

This sounds like a book that I would enjoy reading.
rsgrandinetti@yahoo(dot)com

Karen said...

Sounds like a great read. Thanks for the giveaway.

President(dot)peaches(at)hotmail(dot)com

Melissa Shirley said...

This book sounds like a great book for my next book club meeting
melissalucky43@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the giveaway, sounds like a great read

morganowl28 at gmail dot com

Nickolay said...

The title sucked me in right away! Sounds like a rockin book!

king_nickolay(at)yahoo(dot)com

Daniel M said...

sounds interesting, like reading about other places around the country - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

Tom Shewbridge said...

Thank you for the opportunity. I found myself not giving my love of mystery its due course, this sounds like a great book. Thanks for the chance to own it!

medictom@gmail.com

Valerie Taylor Mabrey said...

If i should win this I'll have to get the first two because it sounds so good.

Celia Fisher said...

Sounds good, would love to read!
celiaafisher@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I would love to read Bryan Gruley.

theyyyguy@yahoo.com

russrpm said...

Everything I know, I learned from a mystery novel. This looks like a good way to continue my education. Thanks.

Tonya said...

Sounds like a really good book. I am always on the lookout for authors I haven't heard of yet!

Marissa M said...

Looks like a great read!
lovefreestuff17(at)gmail(dot)com

Trisha McKee said...

Thank you for the giveaway! I'd love to read this!

tridingermckee at gmail dot com

Wayne Lecoy said...

Please Enter Me In Your Book Giveaway
It Would Be Great To Win
A Copy of The Skeleton Box
by Bryan Gruley.
This Looks Like It Might Be Interesting To Read.
Thanks For Having This Giveaway!!!!!!

Lisa said...

Sounds like a book I would enjoy

Peachesncream887(at)hotmail(dot)com

Jim said...

i love a good book

jim.coyne2@verizon.net

brendaelsner said...

Love the review!! Sounds like a great book. Please enter me!! Thanks!!

Barb K. said...

The story sounds very interesting. Looks like a good read.
Me4Wrest@gmail.com

susansmoaks said...

great giveaway, i love to read
susansmoaks at gmail dot com

greenhome said...

I would love to have the opportunity to win this one

kat said...

This book sounds good!Would love it!
kat_emerick@yahoo.com

laurasloves said...

Of all my favorites mysteries are on the top of my list. This one sound so good!
lauraemerson17 at yahoo dot com

daveshir2005 said...

Awesome contest! Thanks

email/ daveshir2005@yahoo.com

liliesrnice said...

I love reading & finding new authors!

purango said...

I enjoyed your review. I love a good mystery. Thanks for the giveaway. garrettsambo@aol.com

non_amos said...

I wanna win!

yupbucket@hotmail.com

dvice12 said...

This would be great