Saturday, September 30, 2017

Bone to Pick by TA Moore

Cloister Witte is a man with a dark past and a cute dog. He’s happy to talk about the dog all day, but after growing up in the shadow of a missing brother, a deadbeat dad, and a criminal stepfather, he’d rather leave the past back in Montana. These days he’s a K-9 officer in the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and pays a tithe to his ghosts by doing what no one was able to do for his brother—find the missing and bring them home.

He’s good at solving difficult mysteries. The dog is even better.

This time the missing person is a ten-year-old boy who walked into the woods in the middle of the night and didn’t come back. With the antagonistic help of distractingly handsome FBI agent Javi Merlo, it quickly becomes clear that Drew Hartley didn’t run away. He was taken, and the evidence implies he’s not the kidnapper’s first victim. As the search intensifies, old grudges and tragedies are pulled into the light of day. But with each clue they uncover, it looks less and less likely that Drew will be found alive.

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Book 1
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Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
3.5 stars
M/M Romance mystery
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

So, this is a great mystery. It was fast paced, had a lot of developed ideas, and then there was a distinct feeling of the who did it? I think that had this been only a murder/kidnapping mystery that it would have been an overall home run.

The characters were hard for me to relate to – they were supposed to be written as strong men, however, both were whiny or kind of weak in their own way.

Cloister Witte is the K-9 officer who is the best within the closest radius to several small towns. He knows that he's good and his dog, Bourneville (Bon), is amazing. I loved the relationship and trust that they had. Where Witte falls short for me is when Javi is around. Witte becomes this character that I didn't really recognize as the best K-9 officer around. Rather, he becomes this shy, bumbling, no self-confidence guy who lets Javi insult and walk all over him.

Javi is just a bully through and through. It's like he was raised to be mean and takes pride in his ability to shake off his own guilt at treating others like they are mud on his shoe. He was not a great detective/FBI agent; he was smart enough to listen to Witte, but that was about it.

The two of them together was hard to read because I had such a disliking to Javi and thought that Witte could do so much better.

Overall, the mystery is super solid. I liked where it went, the teasing, and the result. The romance was not very successful and I think that I needed more from that aspect for it to become more successful.

This is a darker and grittier murder mystery than the blurb suggests and I really loved it. More True Detective than Rizzoli and Isles, K-9 handler Cloister Witte and FBI agent Javi Merlo are an unlikely crime solving team and their investigation into a kidnapping digs deep into a small town’s ugly and long held secrets.

Cloister and Javi are not terribly likeable antiheroes. Merlo is judgmental and abrasive. Witte’s dog is more engaging than he is. Witte plays to his dumb redneck stereotype and Merlo is a little bit emotionally constipated. Oddly, I loved these two. They are both interesting, carefully developed, and refreshingly human.

There are some crazy hot sex scenes in the book, but I wouldn’t say there’s really any romance. This is primarily a kidnapping/murder mystery. The plot is layered and complex and I followed it without guessing the whole outcome. I enjoyed the K-9 aspect of the story (Bourneville might be the only likeable character). This is an exciting, well-crafted story and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

TA MOORE genuinely believed that she was a Cabbage Patch Kid when she was a small child. This was the start of a lifelong attachment to the weird and fantastic. These days she lives in a market town on the Northern Irish coast and her friends have a rule that she can only send them three weird and disturbing links a month (although she still holds that a DIY penis bifurcation guide is interesting, not disturbing). She believes that adding ‘in space!’ to anything makes it at least 40% cooler, will try to pet pretty much any animal she meets (this includes snakes, excludes bugs), and once lied to her friend that she had climbed all the way up to Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, when actually she’d only gotten to the beach, realized it was really high, and chickened out.

She aspires to being a cynical misanthrope, but is unfortunately held back by a sunny disposition and an inability to be mean to strangers. If TA Moore is mean to you, that means you’re friends now.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Bone to Pick (Digging Up Bones #1) by TA Moore to read and review.


  1. One of my favorite anti-heroes is Lord Courtenay from The Ruin of a Rake by Cat Sebastian.

  2. Holden from Andrea Speed's "Infected and then the spin-off" series

  3. One of my favourites is an anti heros in the series "Panopolis" by Cari Z.

  4. My favorite antihero is Kane from a series of books by Karl Edward Wagner. Bloodstone, Death Angel's Shadow, and Dark Crusade are a few of the book titles featuring Kane.


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