Click to listen!
The Bone Jar (Detective Lew Kirby, #1)

Title: The Bone Jar

Author: S.W. Kane

Published: 1st of July 2020 – Thomas & Mercer

Format: eARC Netgalley – 328 pages

Hello Hello! How are you?

I’m home today, already, let’s just say that my trip to my grandparents’ didn’t work out, lol. But, thankfully, I had this book to distract me during my meltdown, so I’m really glad I decided to take part in this tour. Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


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?


The Bone Jar by S.W. Kane is a mystery novel set in the UK, in London where a murder has been committed in an abandoned asylum and no one knows why. I love murder mysteries and I was really drawn to this book when I saw the email for it. It did take me a while to read it, but I was getting easily distracted and life was generally getting in the way, but I didn’t struggle to go in and out of it and it kept me hooked while I was reading it.

I thought this was actually quite an original mystery plot so far as mysteries go. I’ve read quite a few mysteries, but I thought the backdrop of the asylum and the different subplots with the different characters and the police investigating the murders was really intriguing. I did have my suspicions about a few people, but I was actually surprised in the end and thought that the author did a great job of executing the plot and the plot twists.

I also really enjoyed getting to know Lew, Connie and Raymond. I thought they were such brilliant characters and I liked how they all had their part to play in the investigation, while the reader also got their thoughts, their daily lives and elements from their pasts. I was also surprised to see how everything turned out because I was expecting it to be case closed and the end – so to speak – but I liked how it seemed to end with potential for more books or stories with those characters anyway. I hope there will be more books with Lew because he was a really great detective and I also liked learning about his life, especially the bombshell at the end. I want to know what happens after the end of this book, so I hope it’s going to be a detective series because they are one of my favourites.

This was a really great book with a lot of stuff happening, some great subplots, the asylum that actually nearly feels like its own character and some really intriguing secrets interwoven into the fabric of this great murder mystery. I’m really glad I got a chance to read it as I really like mysteries, especially with more of an emphasis on the police investigation side of things, and I’m really glad I am broadening my horizons with more books out of my comfort zone.


Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It did take me a while to read but that was because of my life taking over, otherwise, I found the plot and writing style to be captivating and I was hooked from the start to the end. I liked how everything turned out and I definitely wasn’t expecting that person to be the murderer! It definitely seems like this story is not over and I’d love there to be more books from this author with these characters!

I gave this book 4.5 stars, it was just missing that little spark for me, but I did really enjoy it, it was a great murder mystery and such a great reading experience, it definitely took my mind off things. I would definitely recommend this book.

That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed this review, see you soon, stay safe,

Ellie xx

4.5-star rating


S W Kane has a degree in History of Design and worked at the Royal Institute of British Architects before taking on a series of totally unrelated jobs in radio and the music industry. She has an MA in Creative (Crime) Writing from City University. She began reading crime fiction at an early age and developed an obsession with a crime set in cold places. A chance encounter with a derelict fort in rural Pembrokeshire led to a fascination with urban exploration, which in turn became the inspiration for her crime novels. She lives in London.

If you would like to purchase this book, you can find it here: Amazon UK (affiliate link) – Amazon FR (affiliate link) – AbeBooks (affiliate link) – The Book Depository (affiliate link) – Audible FR (affiliate link) – Amazon USWaterstonesAudible UK

You might also enjoy:


    1. It definitely was, I really enjoyed it and it was different, which I really like in mysteries because they tend to often be the same! 🙂

Leave a Reply