The Lovely Bones
by Alice Sebold
The Lovely Bones Chapter 4 Summary
How It All Goes Down
- After Mr. Harvey kills Susie he collapses the hole and puts her "body parts" (4.1) in a bag, which he puts in the garage, while he goes up for a shower.
- Her blood leaks out, leaving a permanent stain, while he showers.
- Susie will learn later that he killed other girls before her. In the shower, he thinks about how nice it was to kill her.
- (Wait, we thought she was "in transit" (1.44) and couldn't see this part of the story?)
- In any case, Mr. Harvey puts the bag with Susie's body parts into a safe and dumps the safe into a sinkhole about eight miles from the Pennsylvania neighborhood.
- Afterwards, he walks around an industrial park.
- He finds Susie's charm bracelet in his pocket, and doesn't remember taking it off of her, or putting it in there.
- He removes the Pennsylvania keystone charm (Pennsylvania is "the keystone state") and throws the rest of it into a manmade lake.
- On December 23, Mr. Harvey gets the idea to build a new trap, this one out of cloth.
- After Mr. Salmon breaks the ships in bottles, he happens to walk to Mr. Harvey's back yard and finds him making it. He asks him about it and Harvey says it's a tent.
- Mr. Harvey tells him, "I'm sorry for your loss" (4.41).
- Susie's dad stays and helps him build the tent. At one point, Mr. Harvey goes upstairs to look at the bloody knife he used on Susie. This makes him think of the tent as a bridal tent.
- It starts snowing, and Mr. Salmon begs Susie to communicate with him.
- Suddenly, Susie's dad suspects Mr. Harvey. When Harvey comes out of the house with a stack of white sheets Mr. Salmon asks him what they are for.
- Mr. Harvey says they are "tarps." Mr. Salmon accuses him of having information about Susie's death. Mr. Harvey denies it, and Mr. Salmon helps him with the tarps.
- Mr. Salmon accuses Mr. Harvey again, but Mr. Harvey tells him to go away.
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