The Bone Parade

The Bone Parade

Author’s Comment:

The Bone Parade came to me in the voice of Ashley Stassle.  He was irrepressible, and his words poured out with barely a pause.  Typically, I rewrite a great deal; but when I started buffing Ashley’s first person account, he wouldn’t hear of it.  So he appears to you pretty much as he appeared to me.  He remains one of my favorite characters.

Mark Nykanen

Praise for Mark Nykanen’s The Bone Parade:

“In the creepiest page turner since ‘The Silence of the Lambs,’ an art professor and her reporter boyfriend search for a missing student. Parts of the story are told from the perspective of a serial killer, a sculptor whose masterpieces are cast from molds of his victims. Smart and Sca-a-ary!”

US Weekly’s “Hot Book Picks: Thrillers!”

The Bone Parade is an “…irresistible suspense thriller… Outstanding is Nykanen’s deep look into modern sculpture, which gives the story its weight, relish and richness.” Ashley Stassler’s “…chokehold tale is told from his own crazed mind. Pages bronzed with horror.”

Kirkus “starred review”

“When half of a thriller is written from the perspective of an egomaniacal sculptor–cum–serial killer who methodically tortures whole families, takes casts of their bodies at the height of their terror, and turns them into acclaimed works of art–well, it’s a lot for any reader to swallow. And yet Parade goes down easy. Real easy…Diamond Girl’s brazen, perverse, and just enough of a mystery to keep her captor, and us, wickedly in her thrall.”

Entertainment Weekly

“Nykanen won an Edgar for television news coverage. That background shows. He has a great eye for description, and uses his narrator as a camera. Since his narrator is Ashley Stassler, a highly successful sculptor, that eye is highly trained and the descriptions are vivid and emotional…This novel has so many twists even the most jaded readers will stick with it.”

Globe and Mail

“…the novel is deeply unsettling and exciting–a testament to the author’s skill as a storyteller.”


“A longtime television investigative journalist…continues his impressive transition to thriller writer with a harrowing serial killer tale in which the murderer happens to be a world-renowned sculptor of bronze works featuring families in distress.”

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“You won’t be able to stop reading. ‘The Bone Parade‘ is soul-deep in nerve-wracking detail. Nykanen speaks directly to the reader–simply and without guile. He’ll scare the life out of you.”

Salem Statesman Journal

“Nykanen’s methodical killer [Stassler] shines as he feeds off the family’semotional breakdown from their captivity and body ‘shaping.’” Stassler says, “‘I give everything to my art. Everything.’ Clearly Nykanen has followed suit. What results should satisfy anyone hungry for a clever psychological thriller.”

Philadelphia Inquire

“…if you like thrillers, this one is not just chilling, but clever, insightful, and even has an eerily funny serial killer.”

Kings Features

“The outcome of this book–besides wanting to sleep with the light on–will be you’ll never let someone ‘just come in and have a quick look around…my old house.”

Portland Oregonian

“Artful and well written, the complex, macabre tale The Bone Parade, will leave the reader frozen in his chair feeling like a bronze statue. Don’t plan any trips to the museum.”

Ridley Pearson, New York Times best selling author

Publisher Comment:

What do a sculpture series and the gruesome killings of numerous families across the country have in common? In his second novel, author Mark Nykanen, whose writing has been compared to that of Thomas Harris, creates an ingenious and horrific killer named Ashley Stassler, whose penchant for identifying and tracking down certain doomed families is exceeded only by his passion for making sculpture out of bronze. Stassler has found a grisly method of combing his two interests, and the result is an extraordinarily bizarre and satisfying thriller that gives a whole new meaning to the term “family planning.” Nykanen, whose previous work was widely praised by reviewers as “well-crafted,” “sophisticated,” and “taut,” has written a novel that is as darkly funny as it is twisted and terrifying. Will Stassler get away with yet another kidnapping, yet another set of unimaginably excruciating killings? Nykanen keeps readers guessing until the very last pages.

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