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5 Moons- I absolutely loved it, and highly recommend it!




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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Review & #Giveaway: Bone Wires by Michael Shean


5 Stars | Reviewer Favorite!
Title: Bone Wires
Author: Michael Shean
Genre: Dark, Mystery, Science Fiction,
Publisher: Curiosity Quills/Whampa, LLC
Paperback/Ebook
Pages: 380 (paperback)

Purchase:


Book Description:

In the wasteland of commercial culture that is future America, police are operated not by government but by private companies.

In Seattle, that role is filled by Civil Protection, and Daniel Gray is a detective in Homicide Solutions. What used to be considered an important - even glamorous - department for public police is very different for the corporate species, and Gray finds himself stuck in a dead end job. That is, until the Spine Thief arrives.

When a serial killer begins harvesting the spinal tissue of corporate employees all over the city, Detective Gray finds himself plunged into the first truly major case of his career. Caught in a dangerous mix of murder, betrayal and conflicting corporate interest, Gray will find himself not only matching wits with a diabolical murderer but grapple with his growing doubt toward his employers in the dawning months of the American tricentennial.

A thrilling mystery set in the same world as the Wonderland Cycle, Bone Wires is a grim trip into the streets of the empty future.

My Review:

This is actually the second time that I have read Bone Wires by Michael Shean. Though the first time I read it Bone Wires was a serialized story at the publisher’s site so it was only a part a week.

After it finished overall I liked it.

This reading I absolutely loved it! In fact I am buying the paperback ASAP!

I think I would have really liked it the first time had I read it straight through instead of it only being a part every week. I do not think I really enjoy serialized stories. Like most book lovers once I find something that I like I do not want to put it down for a moment much less wait a whole week for the next part. lol

I just thought I should explain that as most of my readers know I did a part-by-part review on Bone Wires when it was serialized, this is my overall straight through reading review.

In Bone Wires we meet Daniel Gray an officer of Homicide Solutions. The police in this futuristic world that Michael has created are not operated as they are today but by private companies. To them it literally is just business and profit margins are key. They are called Civil Protection.

Homicide Solutions is a leg of Civil Protection and though it used to be considered a great job now, in Detective Gray’s opinion, it is just a form of janitorial service and a job that the ‘citizens’ do not seem to really respect anymore.

All of that changes in Gray’s and the peoples’ perspective when a dead body of a Civil Protection officer is found with his spine removed and more murders are reviled in the same fashion the killer is dubbed by the press: the Spine Thief.

Before the killer arrived Gray was really wishing for a ‘Sexy Case’ one that would make is career. He is very much a company man and is all about advancing n his job.

What he does not count on is the gruesome murders and the following case (his first solo one, that he is given only three day’s to solve) to take such a twisting turn and drag him ever deeper into a world of deceit and horror.

Not only this but in Bone Wires everyone has a secret, something to hide and no one, most especially the companies that run things, are truly innocent. The whole world that the author has created seems to be a cesspool of sin in a way. Everyone seems so…well money and motive driven I guess. Like Gray who was all about his job, a company man, whatever is in the best interest of the company, etcetera.

We have a love interest as with most all books but this one is very…well I have to admit that I went back and forth trying to find out who the killer was and at times would have swore up, down and sideways that the girl was in on it but at other times would have sworn the exact opposite! Gray’s partner, Carter and a few other characters, was the same way! I could not figure out who it was and when everything is revealed I have to admit being shocked (even on my second reading) but it made so much sense in retrospect!

I liked the ending the most, Gray really seems to have changed his prospective on things and even if it was a hard and possibly emotionally damaging road to get there.

Bone Wires is a mystery in every sense of the word, the kind that makes to get on the edge of your seat and accuse every character at different times throughout the book that it must be them who did it or was in on it! Add in the futuristic setting and that no one is truly innocent and you have a must read! I would not be surprised if we see this book made into a move one day honestly; it is just one of those books that you can easily see becoming a movie. Of course if it was the book would still be 100 times better.  ;)

I hope we get more about Gray in the future, maybe a second follow up novel as to what he is doing now.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who does not mind a gritty book. I have never been much for Science Fiction (it just has not really been a genre that clicked with me) but Michael Shean is staying on my automatic must-buy-and-read list!

*I received a hardcover/paperback/eBook copy/ARC of this book for free to review from the author/publisher/tour site; this in no way influenced my review, all opinions are 100% honest and my own.


The scene of the crime was an alleyway behind an abandoned Roziara Deli. Crowding the street outside the deli were a pair of patrol cars, white wedges of steel with ribbon lights that stained the nearby buildings red and blue. Street officers clustered around the mouth, black body armor over blue uniform fatigues; unlike the sidearms that Gray and Carter carried, the streeties carried the blunt, brutal shapes of submachine guns close to their plated chests. A cordon had been set up; the narrow yellow band of holographic tape that stretched across the alley mouth glowed as it cycled through baleful warning messages.
“They used to have good subs here,” said Carter as they pulled up in front of the moldering delicatessen. “Slabs of capicola as thick as Annie Cruz’s ass. Just incredible.”
“Don’t know that name,” said Gray.
“Porn star,” said Carter, who produced his badge and flashed it at a streeter who was approaching them. “Way before your time. Put on your war face, here comes the Pacifier.”
Carter’s Amber Shield glowed like the very words of God Almighty in the low light. “Carter and Gray,” said Carter, keeping his identification held up so that the streeter could see it. “Homicide Solutions.”
“Lem Martin,” replied the streeter. “Pacification Officer, patrol region 927.”
“This is your beat then,” said Gray, who produced from the inside pocket of his suit coat a slim Sony microcomp and engaged its holographic display. Data from the Nexus sprang to life above the palm-sized slab. “What do you have for us, Martin?”
Martin winced a bit at the lack of ‘Officer’ before his surname – you got a lot of that with Pacification Services, of which street patrol was the biggest group. They didn’t like being talked down to. Gray outranked him, however, and didn’t give a shit besides. “Nasty stuff,” Martin said, jerking his head toward the alley mouth. “Victim’s name is Anderson, Ronald P.. Administration. His panic implant was set off about an hour ago and flatlined soon after; me and my partner were in the area, and when we found him…well. Real horror show back there, is all I can say. I called for backup. Dunno what they used, but…well. You’ll see.”
Carter and Gray looked at each other – streeters saw all sorts of things. If they said it was a nasty scene, they’d probably do well to get smocks and rain boots. “All right, Officer,” Carter said, at which Martin seemed to relax a bit. “Were there any witnesses, security footage, anything like that?”
“Nothing we could find,” said Martin. “This area’s been abandoned for years. Anyone who lives here cleared out as soon as they heard us coming. You know how it is.”
“Yeah,” said Gray. Don’t want to get arrested for just being around. “All right, thanks, Officer. If you and…”
“Conklin and Peavey,” Martin replied. “In the other car. Patel’s with me.”
“…Right,” Carter replied with a nod. “If you fellas can keep up the cordon on either side of the alley, we’ll have a look. Call the coroner while you’re at it.”
“On it,” barked Martin, who stepped away from the alley mouth while touching the side of his throat where a subvocal mic, standard issue for street patrol, had been implanted. Carter waited until Martin had backed up a few steps and was well into conversation before he gestured for Gray to follow him. The two men passed through the holographic cordon, the barrier no more solid than the air around it, and took a few steps into the feebly-lit alleyway. The space behind the deli was dark and thick with shadows, lit only by the dying bulb of a lamp set over the shop’s sealed back door. A figure slumped or lay in the cone of dim light that spilled across the building’s crumbling facade. The air was faintly tinged with the smell of ozone and cooked meat. The two men approached; Gray held his computer in one hand while Carter fished the flat, card-sized shape of a palm lamp from a coat pocket. Cupping the lamp in his hand, Carter threw a beam of bright blue- white light across the alleyway and clearly illuminated the corpse.
Lean and muscular in life, that which had been Ronald Anderson half-crouched, half-sprawled across the alleyway, his handsome face pointing down toward the filthy concrete. The corpse’s posture reminded Gray of an old girlfriend; she was a yoga fanatic and used to do something similar called the Child’s Pose. Anderson’s formerly clean white dress shirt had been cut open, straight down the back from collar to waist, and his belted slacks had also been cut down to the base of the pelvis. His back had been tattooed with a medieval Japanese wave scene.
Anderson’s flesh had been laid open. Arching upward and away in a v-shaped furrow, a deep channel now butterflied the man’s back half from the base of his skull to the top of his pelvis. Where his spine should have been there was only a bloodless, grayish-red channel. The red and ivory of cleanly clipped bone and cooked organs were clearly visible in its absence, his heart a gray and veined lump. It was as if the tattooed sea had somehow come alive, restless and roaring, and attempted to rise away from its host who could never have survived its rebellion.
Without the slightest drop of blood, Ronald Anderson had been boned like a fish.
“Damn,” muttered Carter, stepping forward so he could track with his light the awful wound. “Never seen that before. What do you make of it, Dan?” For Gray, who had only experienced the more pedestrian horrors of stranglings, stabbings and gunshot wounds in his brief career, there was no clean reply. “That’s the strangest thing I’ve ever seen,” he breathed instead, staring down at the carved gutter. Gray had said ‘strangest’ – however, what he had truly wanted to say was ‘most horrible’. Looking down at the murdered man, Gray knew that his ‘sexy’ case had arrived, just as he had wished for it, but the only thing he could wish for now was to be anywhere else.
As if sensing the truth behind Gray’s words, Carter snorted softly. “Lucky you, kid,” he replied in a wry and vaguely weary tone. “Lucky you.”


Michael Shean was born amongst the sleepy hills and coal mines of southern West Virginia in 1978. Taught to read by his parents at a very early age, he has had a great love of the written word since the very beginning of his life. Growing up, he was often plagued with feelings of isolation and loneliness; he began writing off and on to help deflect this, though these themes are often explored in his work as a consequence. At the age of 16, Michael began to experience a chain of vivid nightmares that has continued to this day; it is from these aberrant dreams that he draws inspiration.

In 2001 Michael left West Virginia to pursue a career in the tech industry, and he settled in the Washington, DC area as a web designer and graphic artist. As a result his writing was put aside and not revisited until five years later. In 2006 he met his current fiancee, who urged him to pick up his writing once more. Several years of work and experimentation yielded the core of what would become his first novel, Shadow of a Dead Star (2011). Michael is currently signed with Curiosity Quills Press, who has overtaken publication of Shadow of a Dead Star and the other books of his Wonderland Cycle.

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