Novel fails to convince mystery fans

Mable's 11-year-old daughter, whose first appearance in the book has her spewing such lines as, "You're always thinking of something," "I guess I'm too boring for you" and "I'd rather drink blood."

Ana was responsible for the accidental death of her brother when she was three, but does not remember it. She also likes to reenact the scenes of her mother's book, Bone, with her Barbie and Ken dolls. The albino reporter and the gluttonous police detective, add to the ridiculous cast of characters. The initial meeting of these two, who investigate Mabel's disappearance, has them proving who can crack the most body joints. Their ridiculous behavior takes away from the story's flow because it seems so unimportant and unreal.

Mable Fleish's Bone is a complicated novel with the main characters modeled after people in her past. Bone, himself, is based on Mable's first love who, she believes, committed suicide when he was 16. Bone is a ring leader of a cult of boneriders who perform rituals complete with drugs and bizarre sex acts. It is a man claiming to be Bone that kidnaps Mabel. Her husband, Percival Furnival, uses slides of a rundown shack in the woods and a Ouija board message to find Mabel.

This book seems to explore the importance of spirits in the world, but at the same time discredits the people who have the most contact with these spirits. For example, Percival talks to his dead mother, but he also is addicted to cocaine and other drugs. Another woman talks to her dead son, but she believes that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach and is too blind to notice the way her husband drools over Mabel.

Mabel's captivity scenes are rather X-rated and disturbing. They could have been downright horrifying if Golub had a more convincing writing style.

Marcia Golub's Wishbone strives to be a terrifying mystery of fictional characters coming to life and reenacting scenes of a novel, but it is clouded by choppy writing and characters that are melodramatic and a little too smart for their age.

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