Lovely Bones

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The story begins in Norristown, Pennsylvania in 1973. 14-year-old Susie Salmon takes her usual shortcut home from her school through a cornfield. George Harvey, a 36-year-old neighbor who lives alone and builds doll houses for a living, persuades her to have a look at an underground den he has recently dug in the field. Once she enters, he rapes and murders her and dismembers her body, putting her remains in a safe that he dumps in a sinkhole. Susie's spirit flees toward her personal heaven. The Salmon family at first refuses to believe that Susie is dead, until Susie's elbow is found by a neighbor's dog. The police talk to Harvey, finding him strange but seeing no reason to suspect him. Susie's father, Jack, begins to suspect Harvey, a sentiment his surviving daughter Lindsey comes to share. Jack takes an extended leave from work. Later, Len Fenerman, the detective assigned to the case, tells the Salmons that the police have exhausted all leads and are dropping the investigation. That night in his study, Jack looks out the window and sees a flashlight in the cornfield. Thinking that it is Harvey returning to destroy more evidence, he runs out to confront him, armed with a baseball bat. The figure is not Harvey, but Clarissa, Susie's best friend who is dating Brian, one of Susie's classmates. As Susie watches in horror from heaven, Brian—who was going to meet Clarissa in the cornfield—nearly beats Jack to death, and Clarissa breaks Jack's knee. While he recovers from knee replacement surgery, Susie's mother, Abigail, begins cheating on Jack with the widowed Fenerman. Trying to help her father prove his suspicions, Lindsey sneaks into Harvey's house and finds a diagram of the underground den, but is forced to leave when Harvey returns unexpectedly. The police do not arrest him, however, which enables him to flee from Norristown. Later, evidence is discovered linking Harvey to Susie's murder, as well as to those of several other girls. Meanwhile, Susie meets...
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