Book Review: The Bone Jar by S.W. Kane

A creepy thriller based around a former asylum? Gimme, gimme, gimme!

Goodreads Blurb

The Bone Jar by S.W. Kane

Two murders. An abandoned asylum. Will a mysterious former patient help untangle the dark truth?

The body of an elderly woman has been found in the bowels of a derelict asylum on the banks of the Thames. As Detective Lew Kirby and his partner begin their investigation, another body is discovered in the river nearby. How are the two murders connected?

Before long, the secrets of Blackwater Asylum begin to reveal themselves. There are rumours about underground bunkers and secret rooms, unspeakable psychological experimentation, and a dark force that haunts the ruins, trying to pull back in all those who attempt to escape. Urban explorer Connie Darke, whose sister died in a freak accident at the asylum, is determined to help Lew expose its grisly past. Meanwhile Lew discovers a devastating family secret that threatens to turn his life upside down.

As his world crumbles around him, Lew must put the pieces of the puzzle together to keep the killer from striking again. Only an eccentric former patient really knows the truth—but will he reveal it to Lew before it’s too late?

The Bone Jar Book Cover


I couldn’t get enough of The Bone Jar. I was afraid I wouldn’t finish it in time for this review but, once I started, I just flew through it.

What really drew me was the murder location of this book: a former asylum. I love any book set in some kind of abandoned building, especially one where bad things happened in the past. You just know that it will give the story a chilling, haunted vibe, and The Bone Jar didn’t disappoint. Of course, Blackwater Asylum and what happens there is completely fictional.  However, it feels totally realistic based on the stories we have heard regarding what went on in places like this.

Although the plot presented enough twists and turns to keep me on my toes, it wasn’t what carried the book. The characters were also great. The best thing about them was that they didn’t fit the stereotype I often come across in these kinds of books. Connie was brave and smart and she didn’t make stupid mistakes. Kirby was pretty normal for a detective, and by that I mean he wasn’t an alcoholic, moody, adverse to other people (you know the usual characteristics), he was just the average person. However, while these characters stood strong in The Bone Jar, it was the unpredictability of Raymond Sweet, a former patient, that gave the book its edge.

I really hope this becomes a series. But, don’t wait around to find out. Pick up your copy of The Bone Jar today.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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