The Skeleton Key-9781473680890

The Skeleton Key

Kelly, Erin

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'Moody, propulsive, and one of the most intriguing set ups I've read in years' GILLIAN McALLISTER
'I completely lost myself to this book for a few days' LUCY FOLEY
'Unputdownable' HEAT
'There's layer upon layer of mystery in this frankly brilliant read' BELFAST TELEGRAPH


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.

From the bestselling author of He Said/She Said and Watch Her Fall, this is a taut, mesmerising novel about a daughter haunted by her father's legacy . . .

'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

'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

'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 MARRS

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