The Bone Hunger

Mysterious Book Report No. 415

by John Dwaine McKenna

All novelists are bright.  That’s because writing is a craft that demands much, and promises nothing more than thousands of hours of solitary and challenging work, putting together what we hope will be a story with an engaging plot, interesting characters and a few surprises along the way that will entertain and involve our readers, maybe even get them back for more of the same character.  It’s a tough row to hoe, as my old granny used to say . . . but that, I think is what gives writing its allure.  It’s hard to do well.  Damned hard.

Then, along comes a writer with such talent that she makes the near-impossible look easy . . . which is a mark of genius.  Her name is Carrie Rubin.  She’s a physician-turned author, whose newest, The Bone Hunger, (Indigo Dot Press, $25.99, 305 pages, ISBN 978-1-7328541-4-7) is a genre-bending medical thriller, murder mystery and paranormal hair-raiser, all rolled into one.  It features a second year orthopedic surgery resident named Benjamin Oris, who’s the star pupil on a knee and hip replacement team under the tutelage of the illustrious Dr. Kent Lock, at Philadelphia’s Montgomery Hospital.

The novel—and the trouble—begins when Ben discovers the severed leg of one of his former patients while out for a run in the park.  Not only is the leg severed, it shows bite marks, a roadrunner tattoo . . . and the surgical implant Dr. Oris helped install just two weeks earlier.  But the patient, who hadn’t been following orders to exercise, had died in front of Ben from a blood clot in one of his lungs.  The police, the hospital administration, and the surgical team all question Dr. Oris, who’s had some problems in the past.  Then, more body parts start showing up . . . and the killings and mutilations become more frequent . . . while the tension and suspense ratchets up with every page.  Each new revelation deepens the mystery and enlarges the suspect pool in this complex medical thriller.  It will leave you feeling as if you’re ready to scrub in for the next orthopedic surgery with the same team that recently survived a plane crash in wintertime in Alaska, and five days without food, while on a humanitarian mission.  The Bone Hunger has more twists and turns than the Iditarod Race.  It’ll keep you guessing until the end and hollering for more from Carrie Rubin, a woman with a special gift for writing and a serial character you’ll admire, if not love, named Dr. Ben Oris!

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