Tall Bones

Tall Bones : The instant Sunday Times bestseller; 'one of the most exciting debuts of 2021'

3.9 (1,981 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

A GUARDIAN BOOK OF THE MONTH
'A wonderfully haunting debut.' JANE HARPER, author of The Dry
'Irresistible, compelling.' PAULA HAWKINS, author of The Girl on the Train
'Vividly realised.' VAL McDERMID
'Brilliant.' SJ WATSON, author of Before I Go to Sleep

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 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 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....

'Tall Bones brilliantly conjures up the oppressive claustrophobia of the small town... Extremely well written... fantastic.' HARRIET TYCE, author of Blood Orange

'A clever, twisting debut, about the dark side of small town America. It is packed with secrets like firecrackers ready to ignite.' FRANCINE TOON, author of Pine

'[Its portrait of small-town intrigue is scarily credible.' VAL McDERMID

'Smart and compassionate, full of poetry and rage and shy hopes and shredded dreams and missing girls and family secrets and the dark, shameful underbelly of small town life.' TAMMY COHEN, author of Stop at Nothing

'Tall Bones is as brutal, as bittersweet, as tender and as tense as first love itself.' EMMA FLINT, author of Little Deaths

'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

'A terrific debut about guilt, secrets and complex family dynamics... Anna Bailey is definitely one to watch.' LUCY ATKINS, author of Magpie Lane
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Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 145 x 225 x 31mm | 465g
  • Doubleday
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 085752738X
  • 9780857527387
  • 237,821

Review Text

The best kind of small-town crime novel... one that drips with atmosphere. Bailey has penned a dark and compulsive literary crime-drama about love, guilt, trauma, intolerance and the consequences of religious devotion... an intricately weaved and haunting story that will stay with you for days after.
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Review quote

A nuanced thriller that will haunt you long after you race through its pages. * GRAZIA * This is a striking first novel, a chilling insight into an oppressive world, where bad thoughts and bad deeds ripple just below the surface, out of sight. * Alison Flood, OBSERVER * Fast paced and moving. * LITERARY REVIEW * Beautifully written and very moving, this is an assured debut. * Laura Wilson, GUARDIAN * One of the most exciting debuts of the year. * SUNDAY EXPRESS * Spellbinding and darkly beautiful.... intricately plotted and exquisitely written, Tall Bones is a stunning debut. * WOMEN & HOME * Cleverly written, Anna Bailey's debut shines a light on the darker and more oppressive side of small-town society. * INDEPENDENT * Both menacing and haunting, a compelling and atmospheric debut. * DAILY MAIL * The best kind of small-town crime novel... one that drips with atmosphere. Bailey has penned a dark and compulsive literary crime-drama about love, guilt, trauma, intolerance and the consequences of religious devotion... an intricately weaved and haunting story that will stay with you for days after. * CULTUREFLY * Bailey writes with perfect poise. She is destined for great things - I feel it in my bones. * SAGA magazine * One of the most exciting debuts of the year. * OK magazine * With Tall Bones, Anna Bailey bursts onto the scene with a wonderfully haunting debut. Small-town intrigue, exquisitely drawn. * JANE HARPER, author of The Dry and The Lost Man * 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 * An intricate and compelling thriller, beautifully nuanced and wonderfully claustrophobic. Brilliant. * SJ WATSON, author of Before I Go to Sleep * 'A clever, twisting debut about the dark side of small town America. It is packed with secrets like firecrackers ready to ignite.' * FRANCINE TOON, author of Pine * 'Anna Bailey writes like a dream about teenage love and lust, the terror of knowledge and the claustrophobia of families and of small towns.Tall Bones is as brutal, as bittersweet, as tender and as tense as first love itself.' * EMMA FLINT, author of Little Deaths * Tall Bones brilliantly conjures up the oppressive claustrophobia of the small town and I felt so strongly about some of the characters that I had to check the ending to make sure they were ok! Extremely well written... fantastic. * HARRIET TYCE, author of Blood Orange * Its portrait of small-town intrigue is scarily credible. Bailey understands that the dynamics that drive small-town relationships are the same the world over. * VAL McDERMID * A terrific debut about guilt, secrets and complex family dynamics - the writing is vivid & assured: Anna Bailey is definitely one to watch. * LUCY ATKINS, author of Magpie Lane * Bleak and haunting, Emma's troubled path to where the truth lies will carry the reader's soul along in both moving and compassionate ways. * Maxim Jakubowski, CRIME TIME * Brilliant! Could not put it down. It's utterly gripping and beautifully written. * KATIE FFORDE * Vividly captures a simmering atmosphere of suspicion and repression. * IRISH INDEPENDENT * Tall Bones is as atmospheric as it gets. Anna writes beautifully and it was so refreshing to experience a different voice - a stunning debut that delivers on every level. Reminded me of Jane Harper's The Dry. * RENEE KNIGHT, author of Disclaimer * Smart and compassionate, full of poetry and rage and shy hopes and shredded dreams and missing girls and family secrets and the dark, shameful underbelly of small town life. * TAMMY COHEN, author of Stop At Nothing * this debut ... heralds the arrival of a major novelist. * THE TABLET * Chilling and compulsive. 'Tall Bones' is a dazzling debut. * KATE HAMER, author of The Girl in the Red Coat * Simmering resentments and long-held prejudices boil over in this beautifully realised evocation of small-town America. In Anna Bailey's deft hands, brutal events are drawn so tenderly that your heart will break. I loved it. * Kate Riordan, author of The Heatwave * Gripping and so beautifully written Tall Bones is spellbinding; dark and menacing, but also so full of love and hope. I loved it. I cried. * CRESSIDA McLAUGHLIN, author of The Cornish Cream Tea Christmas * An elegant, mesmerizing debut-Anna Bailey explores festering secrets and family trauma with a sharp, yet tender gaze. This book reads like a whisper in the dark. * DANYA KUKAFKA, author of Girl in Snow * Cleverly written , Anna Bailey's debut shines a light on the darker and more oppressive side of small-town society. * Independent *
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About Anna Bailey

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 Colorado 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.

Twitter: @annafbailey
Instagram: @annabaileywrites
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Rating details

1,981 ratings
3.9 out of 5 stars
5 28% (555)
4 42% (828)
3 24% (478)
2 5% (94)
1 1% (26)
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