“Dry Bones in the Valley is a beautifully crafted debut thriller with a powerful sense of place and unforgettable characters. Wild Thyme Township in rural Pennsylvania is where Henry Farrell retreated after his wife died, and he now serves as the town's lone policeman. The area's rural isolation is perfect cover for those who choose to live outside the law, and the discovery of a young man's body on the land of an elderly eccentric is the start of a complex chain of events that twist and turn like the hilly Pennsylvania roads where they occur. I look forward to reading more by Tom Bouman!”
— Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller
Winner of the Edgar Award for Best First Novel
When an elderly recluse discovers a corpse on his land, Officer Henry Farrell is drawn into a murder investigation that might tear his sleepy community apart. Tom Bouman's chilling and evocative debut introduces one of the most memorable new characters in detective fiction and uncovers a haunting section of rural Pennsylvania, where gas drilling is bringing new wealth and eroding neighborly trust.
Dry Bones in the Valley is the first book in the Henry Farrell series. Tom Bouman's Officer Farrell returns in Fateful Mornings.
About the Author
Tom Bouman is the author of The Bramble and the Rose, Fateful Mornings and Dry Bones in the Valley, which won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He lives in upstate New York.
You would be hard-pressed to find a finer new series than Tom Bouman’s Henry Farrell novels because of the complexity of the plots or the richness of the characters, but what it really comes down to is just damn good writing. — Craig Johnson, author of the Walt Longmire novels, the basis for the Netflix series Longmire
A tough, edgy thriller that asks hard questions about the destruction of our environment, our local communities, and our families. Readers of smart literary thrillers are going to love this novel. I wish like hell that my name were on the cover. — Wiley Cash, New York Times best-selling author of A Land More Kind Than Home
Tom Bouman is a remarkable new voice in contemporary fiction. Dry Bones in the Valley is a tightly crafted piece of rural noir that seems pulled from the earth itself, a profound look at the dark corners of rural America. Readers of Daniel Woodrell and Donald Ray Pollock will find much to love.
— Steve Weddle, author of Country Hardball
It's a mystery, yes, but it's also a love story between a man and the land and people he knows like the back of his hand. Dry Bones in the Valley is a gorgeous, lived-in novel, and Bouman's turns of phrase are chest-clutching in their beauty.
— Hannah Pittard, author of The Fates Will Find Their Way
So smooth it's as if it was written on spring water. Shadowy, swift, impossible to put down. I was enraptured. Any justice and this writer will soon be a major star. — Joe R. Lansdale, author of Deadman’s Road
Raymond Chandler said that Hammett took murder away from the manor houses and gave it back to the people who actually commit it. Tom Bouman continues that tradition. Bouman's story is deceptively simple, layered with history, bearing the promise of lightness, of redemption. — James Sallis, author of Drive
Officer Henry Farrell is a shy man, but in his own ways just as ornery and tough as the cast of rugged characters who inhabit his Pennsylvania woods, where the mysteries are as old as love and grief. A rural cop with a keen intelligence and a wounded heart, Henry’s the right man to unearth the secrets of Dry Bones in the Valley. Tom Bouman’s debut novel is one you won’t want to miss.
— Ed Falco, author of The Family Corleone
Bouman’s debut shows rural noir at its finest: a poetically written mystery about a man struggling with his inner demons and an area of great natural beauty few had heard of before the natural gas boom. — Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
[An] outstanding debut… Henry’s growth from a grief-stricken widower to a lawman with an inner resolve fuels the brisk plot, as does an evocative look at a changing landscape. — Publishers Weekly, starred review