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The Bone Parade    by Mark Nykanen order for
Bone Parade
by Mark Nykanen
Order:  USA  Can
Hyperion, 2004 (2004)
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

The Bone Parade is as macabre as it is possible to be. Horror figures heavily, and disbelief sets in soon after the first few pages. Ashley Stassler, a sculptor of renown, has set up a compound to create works in bronze in the arid and unsettled Moab desert. That is where he takes kidnapped families to participate in the fashioning of horrific forms he calls works of art.

Stassler's twisted mind is explored from his point of view. Reading his thoughts brought chills to my spine and nightmares to my nights. Fortunately the third person voice of Lauren Reed tends to temper the ghastly machinations that surround her. She is a professorial sculptor who sends a promising student to Stassler as a summer intern.

This book kept me on tenterhooks to the end. The last chapters had me leaving moist fingerprints on the pages as I raced through them, heart in my throat as though I personally knew the people involved and hoped my intensity would save them. As the final pages wound down, my heart resumed its normal pace and I relaxed. Wrong thing to do. I read the last page! Whew! A word of caution. Don't read that last page first. Don't ruin the emotional trip.

Though the plot of The Bone Parade is unbelievably bizarre, the first rate writing carries the reader on a tide of emotion from first page to last. Though I'm not too sure I would want to count among my group of friends the mind capable of conjuring the happenings in this book.

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