THE BONES OF AMORET
Genre: Mystery /Suspense
Publisher: Stitched Smile Publications
Date of Publication: April 1, 2022
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In this enigmatic follow up to his critically acclaimed debut novel The Cuts that Cure, Arthur Herbert returns to the Texas-Mexico border with this saga of a small town’s bloody loss of innocence.
Amoret, Texas, 1982. Life along the border is harsh, but in a world where cultures work together to carve a living from the desert landscape, Blaine Beckett lives a life of isolation. A transplanted Boston intellectual, for twenty years locals have viewed him as a snob, a misanthrope, an outsider. He seems content to stand apart until one night when he vanishes into thin air amid signs of foul play.
Noah Grady, the town doctor, is a charming and popular good ol’ boy. He’s also a keeper of secrets, both the town’s and his own. He watches from afar as the mystery of Blaine’s disappearance unravels and rumors fly. Were the incipient cartels responsible? Was it a local with a grudge? Or did Blaine himself orchestrate his own disappearance? Then the unthinkable happens, and Noah begins to realize he’s considered a suspect.
Paced like a lit fuse and full of dizzying plot twists, The Bones of Amoret is a riveting whodunit that will keep you guessing all the way to its shocking conclusion.
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“One should die proudly when it’s no longer possible to live proudly.” This quote from Nietzsche exemplifies the character of Noah Grady, both as a physician as well as a man who cares deeply about the dignity of humanity in general. Noah quotes the great philosopher while talking to a young man who’s dying and doesn’t want to spend his final days in the hospital. Not only is that a statement about dying with dignity, it’s also an acknowledgement of the challenges the young man has faced up to this point. Francis has AIDS, back when the disease was just being understood across the country, and the young man has not come out to his family.
I liked Francis as a character a lot. He reminded me of Mike, the character I wrote about in my screenplay “A Question of Honor.” Mike, too, lived in West Texas and was the son of a prominent rancher during that same period of history, so I understood. I could relate. But, this isn’t about me or my story. It’s about this wonderful novel, The Bones of Amoret.
Noah is a true heroic character, from the work he does in helping immigrants across the border to his compassion for his patients. He also has great wisdom, as displayed in the scene with Francis, as well as one with a Mexican man who could be blamed for Blaine’s disappearance. “Injustice is the default human condition, and human nature was going to have a lot of people in town ready to blame a poor Mexican who looked like an ogre.”
With the exception of one blip in the narrative, the plotting and writing is believable and thoroughly engaging. That blip occurs when Noah has discovered a dead man in a truck and wants to search the glove box. Instead of walking around the truck to open the passenger door to do that, he reaches from the driver’s side and across the body. I didn’t immediately fault the author for that. I wondered why the hell Noah didn’t tell me why he had to do the search that way. That’s how real the doctor was to me as I read his story.
The setting plays an integral part in the story, from the typical small town dynamics to the countryside. The scenic descriptions were so vivid, I could see the land through Noah’s eyes as he rode his horse to the small cabin on his ranch. Noah loves the land almost as much as he loves his family, and that was a real heart-connection for me on both counts.
From the great descriptions, dialogue, characters, and intricate plot, I agree with the last sentence of the book blurb. “The Bones of Amoret is a riveting whodunit that will keep you guessing all the way to its shocking conclusion.”
And boy-howdy, what a conclusion.
Arthur Herbert was born and raised in small town Texas. He worked on offshore oil rigs, as a bartender, a landscaper at a trailer park, and as a social worker before going to medical school. For the last eighteen years, he’s worked as a trauma and burn surgeon, operating on all ages of injured patients. He continues to run a thriving practice.
He’s won multiple awards for his scientific writing, and his first novel, The Cuts that Cure, spent ten days as an Amazon #1 Best Seller. His second novel, The Bones of Amoret, will be released on April 1, 2022 through Stitched Smile Publishers. Arthur currently lives in New Orleans, with his wife Amy and their dogs.
Arthur loves hearing from readers, so don’t hesitate to email him at email@example.com And visit him on all of his social media outlets.
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Autographed Copies of The Bones of Amoret
(US Only. Ends midnight, CDT, 4/15/2022.)
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