For seventeen years, the English hamlet of Jude's Ferry has lain abandoned, used only for army training exercises. Before then, the isolated, thousand-year-old community was famous for one thing---having never recorded a single crime. But when local reporter Philip Dryden joins the army on practice maneuvers in the empty village, its spotless reputation is literally blown apart. Artillery fire reveals a hidden cellar beneath the old pub, and inside the cellar hangs a skeleton, a noose around its neck. No one knows---or will say---who the victim was.
Two days later, a terrified man is pulled from the reeds of a nearby river, with no idea of who he is or how he got there. The only name he can remember is "Jude's Ferry."
As Dryden searches for the secret history of the dead town, he is also witnessing a kind of rebirth: Seven years after the accident that nearly killed her, his wife, Laura, is finally emerging from coma and paralysis to begin a semblance of normal life. But will that semblance be enough for her---or for Dryden?
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January 01, 2008
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Excerpt from Skeleton Man by Jim Kelly
"This isn't a war zone, Philip Dryden told himself, it's a military exercise. And I'm not a soldier, I'm a reporter. . . .
"'This is our target,' said Major Broderick, stabbing a finger at the heart of the Fen wasteland shown on the map. 'The lost village of Jude's Ferry.' "