The Skeleton Key (Hardback)
  • The Skeleton Key (Hardback)
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The Skeleton Key (Hardback)

(author)
£16.99
Hardback 512 Pages
Published: 01/09/2022

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Waterstones Says

From the author of Watch Her Fall comes a truly ingenious thriller about a decades-old literary treasure hunt and the sinister passions and obsessions that are reignited when a cult mystery picture book is reissued.

Thsi reunion will tear a family apart...

Summer, 2021. Nell has come home at her family's insistence to celebrate an anniversary. Fifty years ago, her father wrote The Golden Bones. Part picture book, part treasure hunt, Sir Frank Churcher created a fairy story about Elinore, a murdered woman whose skeleton was scattered all over England. Clues and puzzles in the pages of The Golden Bones led readers to seven sites where jewels were buried - gold and precious stones, each a different part of a skeleton. One by one, the tiny golden bones were dug up until only Elinore's pelvis remained hidden.

The book was a sensation. A community of treasure hunters called the Bonehunters formed, in frenzied competition, obsessed to a dangerous degree. People sold their homes to travel to England and search for Elinore. Marriages broke down as the quest consumed people. A man died. The book made Frank a rich man. Stalked by fans who could not tell fantasy from reality, his daughter, Nell, became a recluse.

But now the Churchers must be reunited. The book is being reissued along with a new treasure hunt and a documentary crew are charting everything that follows. Nell is appalled, and terrified. During the filming, Frank finally reveals the whereabouts of the missing golden bone. And then all hell breaks loose.

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
ISBN: 9781473680883
Number of pages: 512
Weight: 760 g
Dimensions: 156 x 236 x 42 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

An intricately plotted thriller, full of detail and invention, with impeccably realised settings and characters as monstrous as they are believable. Above all it is a completely addictive story of two families destroyed by success. Erin Kelly is a genius - Jane Casey

Moody, propulsive, and one of the most intriguing set ups I've read in years. Erin Kelly doesn't put a foot wrong in this atmospheric, original thriller - Gillian McAllister

A feat of real ambition and imagination - original, suspenseful, and with complex characters that spring irresistibly to life on the page, this is Erin Kelly at her finest - Louise Candlish

Erin Kelly excels at twisted family dynamics and toxic, compelling characters, and this glorious slice of bohemian gothic showcases all her strengths - Ruth Ware

Scary, eerie, moving and compelling: a beautifully-plotted, gorgeously-written triumph of a thriller - Nicci French

A twisted treasure hunt with a fatal family secret at its heart. Powerful, playful and deeply disturbing. I loved it - Sarah Hilary

A blisteringly good read. I simply couldn't put it down - Lucy Dawson

A unique storyteller; impossible to predict, impossible to put down - John Mars

Such a clever, intriguing read . . . There's layer upon layer of mystery in this frankly brilliant read - Belfast Telegraph

Gloriously gothic - a richly layered, utterly compulsive read. I completely lost myself to this book for a few days. This is Erin Kelly at the height of her powers - Lucy Foley

I adored this novel. Treasure hunts, an old book, puzzles & clues, and bone hunters. What more could you want? Gothic, complex, character-driven, addictive and intense. The PERFECT bookclub thriller for 2022 - Will Dean

A highly imaginative time-slip novel about vanity, arrogance, murder and deceit . . . Highly entertaining, in spite of the vividly described distress of many of the characters, this is an excellent psychological thriller - Literary Review

Like all Kelly's novels, it's pacy, brilliantly plotted, and full of complex characters and relationships . . . One of my favourite writers is back with a gripping thriller about two families connected by a devastating secret - Good Housekeeping

Although this is the kind of dark and twisted thriller we've come to expect from Erin Kelly, The Skeleton Key is also a delicious deep dive into the secrets and grievances of one of the most dysfunctional families you're ever likely to meet - Red Online

A richly imagined, multi-layered story, asking some though-provoking questions about family, art and privilege along the way - Irish Independent

Fascinatingly original - Peterborough Telegraph

Spearheading a new wave of Succession-esque fractured family tales . . . Erin Kelly's The Skeleton Key is the ultimate entertaining thriller - Evening Standard

Kelly's deftly etched depiction of human relations shows how our nearest and dearest often spark in us the most intense of emotions - The Times, Thriller on the Month

Every autumn needs a gothic mystery and this one is a twisty turny treat. Right up there with Kelly's bestselling debut The Poison Tree - The Shift

By turns a dysfunctional family drama and a deliciously sinister thriller - i

Kelly's realisation of periods stretching back to the 1960s is flawless, and her saga of sex, art, fame, money, egos and damaged children is intriguing, but it's the psychological thriller strand centred on Frank's daughter Nell that makes it moreish - The Sunday Times

A rich and fascinating puzzle - Mail on Sunday

Stands head and shoulders above the rest, for its originality, its ingenuity and its sumptuous realisation of an intensely problematic family . . . A gorgeously intricate puzzle of a book - Observer

An intricate book within a book, a two-family saga set across different timelines, multi-layered and with subplots galore, it is imaginative, intriguing and absorbing - Choice

Imaginative, vivid, TOTALLY engrossing . . . I couldn't put it down - Marian Keyes

A dark treasure hunt, family secrets and plot twists . . . An excellent reminder of why we love reading - Stylist Online

Her skills for domestic tensions and elegant writing come to the fore . . . The story that is unveiled criss-crosses the years, and intricately unveils the tensions in the author's household and its terrible consequences in a slow burn of a story that grips hard with its tragic inevitability in which no one is to be trusted - Crime Time

A deliciously involving page turner about art, ambition, toxic families and the perils of success, with meaty characters and long-kept secrets galore - Guardian

Erin Kelly is a key practitioner of rigorous psychological crime, and The Skeleton Key is well up to par . . . Kelly's customary aptitude with different time frames adds finesse to a forceful scenario - Financial Times

This imaginative novel is a gripping read, full of gothic suspense - MyWeekly.co.uk

A delight, particularly the descriptions of Nell's eccentric and utterly dysfunctional family - Irish Times

Finely crafted . . . Moving and moreish - The Sunday Times

A twisty, inventive psychological crime novel - Literary Review

a compelling story of fame, toxic families and the enduring power of love - Daily mail

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“A Family Affair Like No Other!!!”

The Skeleton Key is a spell binding family drama like no other and is built upon mystery after mystery that will have you hooked from the very first page.
Featuring one of the most compelling and imaginative stories... More

Hardback edition
3 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 40

“Truly intriguing and puzzling”

What a brilliant plot. Could this really happen and would people really gamble everything on the chance to win the prize. This book is so brilliantly plotted and as with all thrillers makes you wonder what would you... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 31

“Intriguing family drama”

I was really intrigued by the synopsis of this book; A mystery book written in the 70s is still causing repercussions for the family and friends of the author. Based on an old English folk song, Frank Churcher wrote... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 24

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