“The Bone Man” by Wolf Haas / Friday, April 26, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is The Bone Man by Wolf Haas

In “The Bone Man” by Wolf Haas, former detective Simon Brenner no sooner gets on the job than his client goes missing.  Foul play (or fowl play – pardon me) is suspected, of course, because the reason for hire was the discovery of unidentified human bones in the grinder room of a chicken restaurant.  There is more going on in this restaurant than one thinks.  The premise is about finding the daughter-in-law of the chicken shack empire owner (the woman who hired him), but the story is anything but.

Brief, sparse.  That’s the best way to describe the novel.  Storytelling style reminds me of Hemingway’s “Old Man and the Sea,” but that’s where the similarity stops.  This is a distinctively German novel taking place in the actual location of Klöch, a municipality in Styria, Austria.  I was never sure who was telling the story or the person’s relationship to Brenner, but it comes across in the tone of an old man in a bar recounting a tale to a fellow stool-holder.  It’s easy, it flows, it’s natural, and it’s packed with asides as though the narrator were inserting his own observations into the tale.  Being European (I know I’m stereotyping so my apologies), the story starts slowly by American standards, but quickly grows addictive the further you go (which is also one of the elements that interested me for today’s Book of the Day over some of our more formulaic American counterparts).  For those who are writers, this is an excellent book on how to plot, a great one to tear apart after you’ve read it a time or two.

Clay Stafford is an author / filmmaker and founder of Killer Nashville. Stafford’s latest projects are the documentary “One of the Miracles” and the music CD “XO”.

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Remember that these books are listed at a discount through Amazon. You also don’t have to purchase the version that is featured here. Many of these books are available in multiple formats: e–book, hardcover, softcover, and audio. Enjoy!