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  • Hodder Paperbacks
  • Hodder & Stoughton

The Skeleton Key: A family reunion ends in murder; the Sunday Times top ten bestseller (2023)

Erin Kelly

8 Reviews

Rated 0

Crime & mystery, Thriller / suspense

NO ONE WRITES CHARACTERS LIKE ERIN KELLY. The brilliant new novel from the acclaimed, Sunday Times bestselling crime writer: tense, unpredictable and utterly gripping.

*** THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLER 2023 and TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER 2023 ***
A TIMES, OBSERVER, DAILY MAIL and LITERARY REVIEW BOOK OF THE YEAR 2022: 'Flawless' SUNDAY TIMES *** 'A rich and fascinating puzzle' MAIL ON SUNDAY *** 'I completely lost myself to this book for a few days' LUCY FOLEY *** 'A deliciously involving page turner' GUARDIAN

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: 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, murderous degree. 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.

Inspired by the author's love for Masquerade, this is a taut, mesmerising novel of danger and obsession.

'The ultimate entertaining thriller' EVENING STANDARD
'With rich characterisation and intricate yet propulsive plotting' GUARDIAN
'Sparks the most intense of emotions' THE TIMES *THRILLER OF THE MONTH*
'A gorgeously intricate puzzle of a book' THE OBSERVER
'Pacy, brilliantly plotted, and full of complex characters and relationships' GOOD HOUSEKEEPING
'A dark treasure hunt, family secrets and plot twists' STYLIST ONLINE
'There's layer upon layer of mystery in this frankly brilliant read' BELFAST TELEGRAPH
'Moody, propulsive, and one of the most intriguing set ups I've read in years' GILLIAN McALLISTER
'Original, suspenseful, and with complex characters that spring irresistibly to life on the page' LOUISE CANDLISH
'Twisted family dynamics and toxic, compelling characters' RUTH WARE
'Scary, moving and compelling: a beautifully-plotted, gorgeously-written triumph of a thriller' NICCI FRENCH
'A completely addictive story of two families destroyed by success' JANE CASEY

PRE-ORDER THE HOUSE OF MIRRORS, available Spring 2024,

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Praise for The Skeleton Key: A family reunion ends in murder; the Sunday Times top ten bestseller (2023)

  • 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

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Erin Kelly

Erin Kelly is the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Poison Tree, The Sick Rose, The Burning Air, The Ties That Bind, He Said/She Said, Stone Mothers/We Know You Know, Watch Her Fall and Broadchurch: The Novel, inspired by the mega-hit TV series. In 2013, The Poison Tree became a major ITV drama and was a Richard & Judy Summer Read in 2011. He Said/She Said spent six weeks in the top ten in both hardback and paperback, was longlisted for the Theakston's Old Peculier crime novel of the year award, and selected for both the Simon Mayo Radio 2 and Richard & Judy Book Clubs. She has worked as a freelance journalist since 1998 and written for the Guardian, The Sunday Times, Daily Mail, New Statesman, Red, Elle and Cosmopolitan. Born in London in 1976, she lives in north London with her husband and daughters. erinkelly.co.uk twitter.com/mserinkelly

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