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3.9 out of 5 stars7
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 10 August 2001
Not me, that's for sure. The heartache, tragedy and downright agony endured by the cops of Special X in his past books are all continued here, with one of the unfortunate Members of Canada's Finest having been kidnapped by a maniac intent on retrieving a long-lost historical artefact. The narrative switches from present day to some genuinely fascinating historical scenes ranging from the secrets of Stonehenge to the Romans in Britain to the Massacre of Glencoe. It's very much a Scottish themed book, with the main villain, Mephisto, trying every technique he can think of to locate the Hoard, a treasure which will explain the secrets of Stonehenge, believed to have been taken to America by members of the Clan Campbell two hundred years ago. But its not all history. There's still enough Slade horror to make you wince (and I did more than once - male readers beware!) Overall a very enjoyable book, but not his best. I still put 'Ripper' in top spot.
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on 3 February 2008
Even as a child he accompanied his father on trips that enabled him to see many of the wonders that spice up the mundane world. He has been to Stonehenge, Salisbury, and other centers of power throughout the British Isles. He believed his father when he was told residents of Atlantis who had colonized much of their current world built these monuments. He also listened to his father who told him about the Hoard, a key that opens up the secrets that the Ancient Ones built into these artifacts. When they reach Hadrian's Wall, the boy learns finds out that the Hoard is the silver skull of a Roman soldier with a Druid medallion inside his forehead.

The boy grew into a ruthless cruel psychopath named Mephisto. His only desire is to find the Hoard in order to uncover the secrets of the Ancients. Mephisto has traced the Hoard to the Campbell clan living on San Juan Island. He abducts the members and tortures them in order to reveal their information. Though that plan fails, the clever Mephisto continues his onslaught by obtaining, through a diabolical and deadly plan, the services of the Canadian and American police forces.

Michael Slade has written an exciting, enthralling, and eerie chiller that is not for the faint of heart since it contains graphic violence. Readers who liked Harris' Silence of the Lambs will enjoy this work. The fast-paced story line is filled with descriptive details and complex heroes and villains. BURNT BONES is a complicated thriller that provides insight into Scottish and Roman history, a situation that though rare for this sub-genre, triumphantly works.
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on 27 September 2005
A brilliant book that thoroughly deserves a five-star rating. The reason I gave it only four was because in one single but important respect the author hasn't done his research properly, and has relied for his information about ebola on a single, and apparently authoritative, book by another author, who also didn't do his research.

The ebola virus, contrary to popular belief, doesn't 'attack every organ in the human body apart from bone and skeletal muscle'. This is a statement that has been widely promulgated, and it is wholly false. Ebola actually only attacks the circulatory system, and only two components of that. It targets the platelets, responsible for blood clotting, and the endothelial cells which line the inside of veins and arteries and essentially keep the blood inside. It launches, in effect, a two-pronged attack; the circulatory system begins to leak as the endothelial cells fail to function, and the blood which leaks out doesn't clot.

That criticism apart, this book was meticulously researched, very well written, and thoroughly enjoyable. Michael Slade is clearly a highly-accomplished and extremely readable author.
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on 15 January 2015
Although I enjoyed the book, it was, at times, pretty tedious.

The author's determination to add a 3 page explanation to almost every fact/idea/historical he produced made the novel a bit of a slog. I usually appreciate any extra background information, as it tends to make for a richer read, but the sheer amount of such material in this book did the opposite.
I found myself skimming page after page of extraneous stuff to get to the story.
Sometimes less really is more.
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on 13 January 2014
An excellent(if surreal )novel,well up to Slade's usual standards,a genre twisting,bizzare detective,horror crime story that's not for the faint of heart.
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on 18 November 2002
This book made my spine run cold, not because of the suspense but because of Michael Slade's writing style. A plot that is so predictable as to make the reader groan, excessively indulgent and over-descriptive passages about everything and anything Scottish (as a 3rd generation Scot I should know) and cheap tricks with the occupants of the Wicker Man. Probably a good screenplay for a movie that, upon seeing for the second time, you would say to yourself "Yes, the plot is full of holes, the violence is gratuitous and I don't think I'll bother seeing it again". Why did I read the whole book? I nearly gave up after the first chapter but I wanted to compare it with The Silence of the Lambs. No comparison. A long list of literary references and endless narrative about the islands of British Columbia, stone circles and Scottish clans do not excuse a poorly written story Mr. Slade.
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on 11 October 2014
a great read
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