ABOUT THE BOOK
‘Anna Bailey’s debut is irresistible, a compelling and nuanced psychological thriller suffused with small town prejudice and dark family secrets.’ PAULA HAWKINS, author of The Girl on the Train
‘Tall Bones is as atmospheric as it gets – a stunning debut that delivers on every level.’ RENEE KNIGHT, author of Disclaimer
‘Chilling and compulsive. Tall Bones is a dazzling debut.’ KATE HAMER, author of The Girl in the Red Coat
When seventeen-year-old Emma leaves her best friend Abi at a party in the woods, she believes, like most girls her age, 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 façade 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 brimstone 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 tinder box 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….
Anna Bailey is certainly an author to keep your eye on because Tall Bones is her debut novel and outstanding!
Whistling Ridge is a small American town that seems to have a foot planted in the past and where its people follow the word of the preacher more than that of the law. Abi, a teenager, was missing and her best friend had no intention of giving up finding out what had happened to her the night she watched her walk into the woods.
There is a lot of characters, but amongst them were the core performers that stayed individual for me in the story. All had the role that life had dealt them within their families. Abi’s home was not one to be envied, with a father that excused his unrelenting cruelty with quotes from the bible. All sanctioned and encouraged by the priest of the town.
I loved the cover of this book which summed this place up as anything but Godly. The story meanders from the present day and the hunt for Abi as the weeks begin to increase since she disappeared without a trace, and back to the events leading up to her disappearance. The toll is heavy on her family not knowing where she could be. It is a heart-breaking story of prejudice, abuse of leadership power and manipulation.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I would like to thank Net Galley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anna Bailey was born in Bristol in 1995 and spent her childhood in Gloucestershire. She studied Creative Writing at Bath Spa university and wanted to become a journalist, but ended up moving to Colorad, o and becoming a Starbucks barista instead. In 2018 she returned to the UK, where she enrolled in the Curtis Brown Creative Novel-writing course and wrote her first novel, Tall Bones, inspired by her experience of living in small-town America.