Review - The Bone Jar by SW Kane

Title: The Bone Jar

Author: S W Kane

Publisher: Amazon Publishing

Release Date: 1st July 2020

Source: NetGalley

Two murders. An abandoned asylum. Will a mysterious former patient help untangle the dark truth?
The body of an elderly woman has been found in the bowels of a derelict asylum on the banks of the Thames. As Detective Lew Kirby and his partner begin their investigation, another body is discovered in the river nearby. How are the two murders connected?
Before long, the secrets of Blackwater Asylum begin to reveal themselves. There are rumours about underground bunkers and secret rooms, unspeakable psychological experimentation, and a dark force that haunts the ruins, trying to pull back in all those who attempt to escape. Urban explorer Connie Darke, whose sister died in a freak accident at the asylum, is determined to help Lew expose its grisly past. Meanwhile Lew discovers a devastating family secret that threatens to turn his life upside down.
As his world crumbles around him, Lew must put the pieces of the puzzle together to keep the killer from striking again. Only an eccentric former patient really knows the truth—but will he reveal it to Lew before it’s too late?

Just the name - The Bone Jar - gets those hairs on the back of your arm tingling, it conjures up creepy  places, unpleasant people with horrible agendas.  Now with a name like that this book needs to live up to its spooky name, thankfully it does!

Detective Lew Kirby is tasked with finding a murderer of a seemingly innocent elderly lady,  her body was discovered deep within the bowels of the majestic yet derelict Blackwater Asylum.  The asylum is steeped in local lore, the vast complex is full of secrets and is a mecca for urban explorers such as Connie Darke.

Connie is mourning the loss of her sister, An urban explorer, Connie’s sister was found dead at the asylum years previously, her boyfriend has tried to find out more about her death and along with Connie they have explored the asylum grounds extensively.  However her sisters boyfriend goes missing and when another body is pulled from the Thames, she finds herself working with Kirby to get to the bottom of Blackwater’s secrets.

Someone who knows a lot about Blackwater is Raymond Sweet, a former patient who has squatters rights within a house on the site, he has seen things and he remembers things, can they trust him or does he know more about deaths than he is letting on?

As they dig, they find out that the elderly victim was far from sweetness and light, they uncover a tangled web of lies and intrigue, I know that is a little cliched but it is a great web and SW Kane has done a great job of keeping you guessing until the very end.

This is a fantastic read, its perfectly set with the asylum described perfectly, the decay of the buildings inside and out comes through in the text and it gives you a definite sense of foreboding every time they set foot within the grounds.

I’m hoping there will be more stories with Lew, I have a feeling Connie will pop up again if there are more, sparks did fly between these two and as an urban explorer who knows what Connie might find the next time she is delving in to the unknown and unloved.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.



  1. Excellent review Heather! I've added the link for it to my Around the blogs feature!


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