Bookshelf spotlight: Tall Bones

This week’s instalment of Murder/Mystery Monday is, surprise, surprise, a book I haven’t read yet. It’s only been on my shelves since 2021 though, so it could be worse.

I can’t remember how I heard of Tall Bones by Anna Bailey. I remember asking my bookshop to order it in for me because it sounded interesting (like so many of the other unread books on my shelves), but who knows where I stumbled across it.

This is a debut novel that appears to focus on the darkness that can hide within small towns. They type where everyone knows each other, but not everyone is what they seem. The type where some consider going to church every Sunday means you are forgiven to live any way you want – even if that includes evil deeds. Of course, having not read the book, this is all supposition, but the blurb has that sort of feel about it.

When seventeen-year-old Emma leaves her best friend Abigail at a party in the woods, she believes that their lives are just beginning. Many things will happen that night, but Emma will never see her friend again.

Abi’s disappearance cracks open the facade of the small town of Whistling Ridge, its intimate history of long-held grudges and resentment. Even within Abi’s family, there are questions to be asked: of Noah, the older brother whom Abi betrayed; of Jude, the shining younger sibling who hides his battle scars; of Dolly, her mother, and Samuel, her father – both in thrall to the fire-and-brimston preacher who holds the entire town in his grasp. Then there is Rat, the outsider, whose presence in the town both unsettles and excites those around him.

Anything could happen in Whistling Ridge, this tinderbox of small-town rage, and all it will take is just one spark – the truth of what really happened that night out at the Tall Bones.

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