"A prosecutor and a homeless man team up
against a murderous conspiracy in
this rollicking thriller. . . .
The two settle into an entertaining dynamic as . . . Hankins surrounds them with a crackerjack cast of bristling thugs, weaselly lowlifes, and beady-eyed feds, and he ties the story together with pitch-perfect dialogue, mordant humor and action scenes poised exquisitely between menace and chaos. . . .
A complex, entertaining thriller.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review) The Best Books of 2013
A USA Today bestseller
BROTHERS AND BONES
Charlie Beckham is a rising star among federal prosecutors until, on the morning of the most important court day of his career, a deranged homeless man turns Charlie’s life upside down with a single word. He calls Charlie by a secret nickname known by only one other person in the world—Charlie’s brother Jake, who went missing thirteen years ago.
Could the homeless man have information about Jake’s whereabouts after all these years? Is it possible that the long-haired, bearded vagrant actually is Jake? Charlie has a hundred questions but the homeless man disappears before Charlie can ask a single one.
So begins Charlie’s search for answers, and for his brother, a search that leads him down Boston's darkest streets, into its blackest alleys, and, finally, into its criminal underworld. But if Charlie wants answers he'll have to get them from some of the most feared and ruthless people in the city.
Tags: Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Crime, Thriller
— Kirkus Reviews
BROTHERS AND BONES
"A prosecutor and a homeless man team up against a murderous conspiracy in this rollicking thriller.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Charlie Beckham is thrown for a loop when a deranged man on a subway platform addresses him by a nickname known only to his long-lost brother Jake. The problem is that Jake’s been presumed dead for 13 years.
Charlie scours Boston’s back alleys for the elusive vagrant and finds a grizzled amnesiac named Bonz with the grooming of a sasquatch, the fighting chops of a Navy SEAL and serious mental instability. Soon, Charlie’s life collapses:
He blows the biggest case of his career, a colleague, Angel, is found dead in his apartment, and Charlie finds himself on the run from the law with Bonz as his only ally. To get clear of the wreckage, the pair must solve a labyrinthine mystery—one that knits together Jake’s fate, Bonz’s foggy past and a missing audiotape. The two also contend with some formidable bad guys, one of whom specializes in hammering nails into his victims’ heads.
Hankins’ sly buddy adventure contrasts two unlikely comrades. Charlie’s well-ordered world crumbles into paranoia and theft, while Bonz works toward forming coherent sentences and practicing better hygiene. The two settle into an entertaining dynamic as their statuses equalize, with Charlie’s squeamish legalism playing off Bonz’s unself-conscious violence and practicality.
Hankins surrounds them with a crackerjack cast of bristling thugs, weaselly lowlifes, and beady-eyed feds, and he ties the story together with pitch-perfect dialogue, mordant humor and action scenes poised exquisitely between menace and chaos. At times the plot’s scheming and counter-scheming gets a bit over-the-top, but readers will likely be having too much fun to notice.
What Readers, Reviewers & Bloggers are Saying about BROTHERS
—Big Al’s Books & Pals
“The premise is a good one and, given Charlie’s loyalty to Jake, his single-mindedness in trying to find answers, even when his actions are clearly going to cause him trouble, are easy to believe. The character development of the major players in this story seems to go deeper than with a typical thriller, but the more complex characterization didn’t feel like it slowed the story down. It’s a rollercoaster ride as Charlie uncovers a conspiracy that goes well beyond anything he imagined.” Read More
— Judith D Collins #JDCMustReadBooks (reviewer/blogger)
“[A] roller coaster suspenseful ride– Hankins delivers a complex and riveting suspense thriller, mixed with sarcasm and humor.” (emphasis in original). Read More
Inspiration for BROTHERS AND BONES by the author
I wrote BROTHERS AND BONES, and though I'm not rating or reviewing the book, I thought I'd write about what made me come up with the idea for the story. It was a single moment several years ago.
I was working as a lawyer in Boston and every day after work, as I walked to the subway station, I would pass the same man. He was likely homeless. He dressed in rags. Long hair, long beard. He never asked for money. Most strikingly, he was usually talking to himself — or seemingly to a mailbox or a parking meter. Sometimes these dialogues were heated.
One day, I imagined walking past him and having suddenly look up and say, very clearly and lucidly, "Hi, James," before returning to his animated self-dialogue. I found the thought to be creepy and I wondered what could be behind such a moment.
And BROTHERS AND BONES was born.