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The Bone Readers

by Jacob Ross

You'd think the forensic crime novel, set on a fictitious Caribbean island, would be full of drugs, obeah, absent fathers, tourists and post-colonial culture. Not here: they feature but don't dominate the very visual sense of place and the priorities of the grassroots detectives. There's a telling sidesweep at the UK where Digger is sent for training: despite being the most monitored society in Europe, more people go missing than anywhere.

Extract

'What I know, Missa Digger, is dat luv not always straightforward and woman tink funny sometimes. When Miss Longy come ask you fuh baby is because she feel dat Malan goin leave 'er alone if she carryin baby fuh you. Sh'was Malan woman before you. Mebbe she love you more, but she just don't have the strength. S'far as I unnerstan, she was a lil girl when he start interferin wid she. He plant imself in she head from small. He break 'er out. Miss Longy grow up taking orders from Malan. Mebbe she can't help it? Mebbe is better so? What happm if you an she married an Malan come round to order she about? Den is murder dat goin happen, not so? On dis islan y'all man use de law to suit y'all self. An 's'long as dat don't change, problem never absolve.'

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