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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

When 17-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....

©2021 Anna Bailey (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"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

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What listeners say about Tall Bones

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Dull dull

I’m really over books about kidnapping or disappearing teenaged. Where’s the murders.? And the American accents drive me insane.

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Initially confusing

It took me a while to get into Tall Bones, but once I found its rhythm I enjoyed it. I was also initially distracted by having a third person narrator with a British accent telling an American story with American characters. In fact Natalie Simpson did a great job. The novel certainly doesn’t glorify small town America. It was more like an American nightmare:
One worth reading though.

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  • crazy jane
  • 29-05-2021

A gem of a book from a new author

Wise beyond her years, Anna Bailey’s thrilling and intriguing novel is a brilliant read. Her use of language and imagery to build characters is beyond her years and the plot line weaves between time zones effortlessly. The absorbing narrative set in America unveils the lives of the community and the effects they have on each other and and how many preconceived ideas can be mistaken whilst we learn what really happened to Abigail.
Well read too…….don’t miss this!

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  • Ioana Triboi
  • 22-05-2021

Good debut but kind of disturbing

When I started to read this book I wasn't sure what to think about it but after 80 pages the story captivated me making me curious of what would happen next. The performance was great.

However, I think the book should have come with wornings about triggers. In the story you will find brutal child abuse, domestic violence, racism, sexual assault, rape, incest and homophobic attitude. Also, the story is quite dark. I can't say I enjoyed every single page. It is well written but it is disturbing.

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