Date published: September 2007
Reviewed by Gina
Obtained by Library
Kate Stanley isn’t exactly living her dream, but close enough. She’s directing Hamlet at the Globe in London. That would be today, not back in the 1600’s and in the midst of Shakespeare’s hey day. Things are going quite well until her former mentor, Roz, arrives bearing a gift Kate isn’t all that sure she wants because of the strings that will inevitably surround it. The box Roz hands her isn’t all that curious in and of itself. Rather it is the strange message Roz gives Kate with the box. With barely any explanation at all, Roz tells Kate to meet her later and all will be explained. But Roz never shows at the appointed time and place. Instead, the Globe burns…on the anniversary day of the original theatre’s burning to the ground.
When Roz’ body is found, DCI Sinclair asks Kate if she knows anything and not to leave town. Kate denies any knowledge and then promptly leaves town to try to unravel the mystery of the box left in her care. Thus begins a run for Kate’s life. Death dogs Kate’s footsteps and stalks her from England to Harvard to the Southwest and back to England. With each clue that is revealed, another body turns up. Rather than give up, Kate follows the clues to one of Shakespeare’s darkest secrets.
I was enthralled with the idea of Jennifer Lee Carrell’s INTERRED WITH THEIR BONES. Imagine finding a lost and long forgotten play by William Shakespeare! And why not? After all, decades after Alexander Dumas’ death The Cavalier was found. Is it impossible a lost Shakespearean play could not be found?
But I struggled with this book. As I’ve said before, I’m not a fan of first person point of view. All too quickly they deteriorate into a monologue about what someone has done and often their story isn’t well told. Well done first person point of view is harder than one would think. In this case, while some of the emotions and insights germane to the characters is well done, unless the reader knows Shakespeare almost as intimately as the author, they will feel lost. Written in the third person the ins and outs of the various plays cited throughout the story could have been explained. Instead I felt like an outsider who wasn’t part of the in crowd who could follow what was going on. I was utterly lost in the scenes that took place at Harvard, even after pulling up information on the university to get a feel for what was going on. It became more of a research project than an enjoyable read.
Kate embarks on this journey but it seemed like she was looking for something but didn’t know quite what.
I didn’t feel like the characters really connected with each other. Again, this is a downfall of first person point of view because you have the main character telling you things, but unless that character has some emotion, the others are two dimensional.
Ms. Carrell did a marvelous job painting the various venues in the story. Especially in the cave scenes I had a great sense of being in that dark and hidden place, watching a hidden treasure be revealed.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.