The Bone Cutters: Renee S. DeCamillis
Reviewed By Miranda Crites
Dory finds herself in her closet with a bed, a mental institution, under the care of a redheaded nurse with a nametag reading Nurse Hatchet.
Dory doesn’t understand why she has been committed to this odd place. The staff seems shady. She’s being overly medicated for a condition she doesn’t believe she has, but she’s crazy or she wouldn’t be here, right?
She is thrown into group therapy where she quickly realizes she doesn’t belong. This group is full of addicts. She can see their scars, but she doesn’t completely understand what the scars mean, not yet. It doesn’t take long to find out what those scars mean, what the addiction is that the other patients crave. Dory has never heard of such a thing as getting high from dust of human bones. Cutting deep down into the bone and scraping the dust to get the world’s most intense and dangerous high, and the most coveted bones are those who’ve never been cut, those who have never been dusted. And Dory has never been dusted. The other patients can smell that of Dory, and they yearn to cut into her body to feed their addictions. She believes all the other patients are the crazy ones, and along with a new friend, tries to save herself from the dusters and the seemingly shady nurse.
The first thing I realized about The Bone Cutters was that it was written in first person, and we have a lot of broken thoughts from Dory in the beginning. She is, after all, medicated and committed to a mental institution, and I feared we could end up in the world of psycho-babble. That was not the case. I immediately fell in love with Dory, the writing style, the story, and I was glad she made a wonderful friend in the most unlikely place. This is a terribly heart-wrenching story with a bit of a haunted house/ghost vibe where you’re also being chased by a bunch of crazy people who want to devour your bones. I didn’t want to put this book down. For me, it was one of those stories you constantly think about while you’re doing chores and all the things that keep you from being able to get back to reading. I read about half one evening in small snippets between jobs I was working on and finished the next morning. It’s a quick, fast-paced read and could easily be read in one sitting.
The Bone Cutters
Dory finds herself involuntarily committed to a mental institution and has no memory of how she got there. She is assigned to a counseling group where she doesn’t belong. The people in this group have a very peculiar addiction. The addiction to getting high by carving into their own bodies. They slice themselves open, down to the bone. Then they chisel and scrape the bone into dust and snort it, smoke it, or cook it and inject it. It’s called Dusting and it is the most intense and dangerous high known to man.
Dory’s never heard of Dusting. The thought of someone mutilating their own body just to get high disturbs her to no end. She thinks these people are sick and wants nothing to do with them. But when the Dusters start to see her as a drug, Dory realizes that she’s become a target. They want to use her. They want to get to her bones. Fresh bones give the most intense high and Dori has never been dusted. The hospital staff doesn’t believe her. She’s crazy, remember? It doesn’t matter what she tells them. They keep her locked in a padded room and force her to keep going to the group. But Dory is not as crazy as they think and she must find a way to escape before it’s too late.
Like Girl Interrupted and The Yellow Wallpaper, The Bone Cutters is one woman’s dark and surreal experience with a madness that is not necessarily her own.
Miranda Crites is a reader, book reviewer, photographer, writer, and lover of horror. Miranda is from the ghostly woods of rural West Virginia, where she resides with her husband and two teenagers. They enjoy spending time together hiking, camping, and off the grid where they are building a cabin in the woods.
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