bones in the wellstars-4-0._V192240704_


Patrick Flanaghan and his wife Djamila Larbi both had haunting memories from earlier times in life. Patrick had grown up in Belfast and his parents had been IRA sympathisers. One morning their home had been raided by RUC officers who broke down the door and ransacked the house, looking for something that wasn’t there to find. While his parents were struggling to get the door back in place a motorcycle drove up and a man dismounted and shot them both while 10-year-old Patrick and his sister watched.

Life fell apart for Patrick after that. By the time he was 16 the IRA had recruited him as a spotter, then he moved to France and fell in love with a little Basque girl who was later revealed to be an active militant of Herri Batasuna and probably ETA.  One morning their home had been raided, the two of them arrested. They had been held in preventative custody for two years. When they finally went to trial his wife was extradited to Spain. The judges had cleared him of wrong-doing and gave him a not guilty verdict, but the French police still harboured suspicions about him, convinced that Patrick was a sleeping IRA agent in charge of links with the ETA.

He had lived quietly and cleanly, but he had still been harassed by them through the years, letting him know that in their minds the case was not closed.

Twenty-five years earlier Djamila had lived with her family in Marrakech. One early morning security agents had stormed the family home and it had been terrifying.

So when the French police arrived in the darkness of morning on January 1, 2014, pounding on their door and waving a search warrant it stirred painful memories, fear and anxiety.

Someone had phoned the station anonymously, leaving a tip, telling them that they had information that would help them solve a 20 year old murder, as well as two recent ones. The tip took them to Flanaghan’s well house, where they discovered a plastic bag filled with human bones in the well.

Convinced that they had finally caught up with Flanaghan, he and his wife are taken into custody and interrogated. There was no enough conclusive evidence to arrest Flanaghan, so they were released but it was clear that he is still under suspicion.

Gradually it becomes evident to the police that there is probably a lot more to this story, and as it unfolds we learn that fanatical hatred can lay in wait for an opportunity to strike for many years.

The plot of this book is strong and I had no idea, until close to the very end, how it was all going to go down. I was distracted by some of the errors that showed up on my Kindle fire. Much of the time << replaced quotation marks. Also, the story is written in English, but in a stronger foreign (probably French) expression. I say this, not to fault of the author, but I am only English speaking, so I was more aware of it.

I am giving Bones in The Well 4 stars. I encourage anyone who enjoys a murder mystery to read it.