Valley of Bones

  • by Michael Gruber
  • Narrated by Kate Forbes, Jonathan Davis
  • 6 hrs and 19 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The setting is Miami. Rookie cop Tito Morales arrives at the Trianon hotel to investigate a routine disturbance call and, to his shock and horror, watches as a wealthy oil man plunges ten stories and impales himself on a nearby fence. Soon Morales is joined by detective Jimmy Paz, famous throughout the city for solving, or at least providing a plausible solution to, the so-called Voodoo Murders that left Miami burning months earlier.Together Paz and Morales enter the hotel and discover in the dead man's room a most unusual suspect, an otherworldly woman by the name of Emmylou Dideroff. She emerges from a prayer-like state and says she wants to confess and asks for a pen and several notebooks.What Emmylou writes is nothing like what Paz expects. He enlists psychologist Lorna Wise in an effort to make sense of things that go beyond Emmylou's explanation of the murder: details of childhood abuse, of other crimes committed, of regular communion with saints and with the devil. Is she mentally disturbed? Does she really believe herself to be an instrument of God? And why is it that so many people, including Paz's biological father, are suddenly interested in the contents of these notebooks and in preventing them from becoming public?Emmylou's "confession" leads Jimmy Paz, Lorna Wise, and Tito Morales down a series of unexpected and dangerous turns that forces them each to confront questions about faith, love, and the possibility of the miraculous.

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What the Critics Say

"Evocative prose, an erudite author, spellbinding subject matter, and totally original characters add up to make this one a knockout." (Publishers Weekly)
"The characters, especially Emmylou, spirit readers along toward a richly rendered Joan of Arc meets Lawrence of Arabia climax. The endearing odd-couple romance that simmers between Afro-Cuban ladies' man Paz and sexually repressed hypochondriac Lorna offers further pleasure." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Spies Thugs in a World of Intrigue, Mystery

Audible books are different than reading the novel. SO it is important that the ingredients of the story, narration and abridgment mesh to not frustrate a dedicated or casual "reader". Listening to or even creating abridged versions can be risky -- I never buy one unless it is the only version available. This abridged version frustrated me sometimes, but even though there are times this abridged version obviously skips over material and facts -- this abridged version even refers back to sections that were omitted -- I enjoyed this novel. The key to this one's success is the narration. The narrators are great in their inflections and emotion. It helps too, that Gruber's book is peopled with interesting and even weird personalities who feel real. It has something to do with his descriptions and the fact that even in their imperfections, the author likes people. I found the story really enjoyable, and the fact that Gruber had no fear of approaching spiritual issues in a murder/spy mystery novel shows he doesn't want to run away from any issue that may affect a man or woman in their endeavor to solve problems. Ok, so this is a lot about the sytle and not the plot... you can read the plot summary, but I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to be entertained AND challenged to explore new worlds. Reads better than a Bond movie, and more depth than an action picture, and has just the right amount of romance to keep the focus on the story and the mystery.
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- Timothy

Hagiography: "A Book About The Life Of A Saint"

Haven't read one of these stories since Sunday school. OK, this is a fictional saint, but then again, most hagiographs are probably as fictional as this one. So Gruber's made one up that's as fit into our modern moment as the writers of the early Christian era fit their stories into their moments. How'd he do that? Well that's what makes this an unusual book. Any more description will kill this complex story's mystery.

And like every hagiograph... There have to be miracles, and blood, and martyrs, and bad... bad... satanically baaaad villains. They're all here. Oh, and there's a murder along with detectives and sex.

And had I known this was going to be a hagiography, I'd not have bought it. But, it was weirdly interesting particularly since Gruber's a terrific writer and Forbes and Davis are pros. And of course it all comes together in the end because, well... God works in mysterious ways :-)
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- Ted

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-03-2005
  • Publisher: HarperAudio