Tall Bones by Anna Bailey

A captivating and dark story of a small town layered with secrets!

I kindly received this advanced copy from Double Day on Netgalley.

Tall Bones by Anna Bailey
344 Pages
Published 1st April

Opening Line: The roar of the bonfire is hard to distinguish from the sound of the trailer-park boys and the schoolgirls who holler and dance in the shadow of the Tall Bones.

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….


Rating: 5 out of 5.

I absolutely loved this and I was captivated completely by these characters and this small town which was full with secrets!

Whilst this is essentially a mystery as we try to find out what happened to Abigail it is so much more than that. It’s a coming of age tale, it explores those who are deeply religious, domestic abuse, assault and discrimination.

The way the author describes Whistling Ridge is fantastic! I was right there in this small town with everyone, like a fly on the wall, as I watched everything take place – it was so wonderfully detailed and atmospheric.

The story is told from a number of different characters point of view which suddenly change during a chapter which sometimes confused me a little. There are also chapters from ‘Then’ before Abigail went missing and events leading up to that day. All of these were tough to read about, especially when it came to Noah and Rat. I adored them both and the hardship that they faced was at times tough to read about but the way the author handled it was spot on and I just loved them!

Despite the situations that arise during the story which are unpleasant, I absolutely adored this book. It had me gripped from the very first page, slowly building the tension and unpicking each secret layer by layer.

Overall this was such a brilliant book filled with dark secrets, a brilliant setting and complex characters that you will become emotionally attached to. Highly recommend – a must read!

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