Book Review: Tall Bones – Anna Bailey

Book Review: Tall Bones – Anna Bailey

Release Date:
April 1st 2021
Publisher: Doubleday
Pages: 352
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I received a copy of this book as part of the Tandem Collective readalong
Rating: 5/5 stars


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 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….


Tall Bones is without a doubt my favourite mystery novel of 2021. This utterly unforgettable book follows the residents of Whistling Ridge as a young girl named Abi goes missing after a party in the woods. As the search to uncover what happened to Abi begins, questions and long-held resentments are brought to the surface. Will the truth of what really happened be revealed – and at what cost?

Tall Bones is the sort of book that you read in a single feverish sitting. The tense, uneasy atmosphere that fills this book is so well executed and I loved the way the tension continued to build as the story progressed. This is a completely enthralling read, one that really focuses in on life in small-town America. The story is really well-plotted, giving you the time to get to know the different characters. All the characters are well crafted and I loved how each one dealt with their grief of missing Abi in their own way. All the residents of Whistling Ridge have secrets and it was so fascinating to see the townspeople grow suspicious of each other as they attempt to uncover what happened to Abi. The characters felt very relatable and that made the story even more chilling. Tall Bones is definitely one of those books that you still think about months after turning the last page.

Tall Bones has had a lot of hype recently, and it is easy to see why. This is a captivating read, one I think mystery fans will absolutely love. Bailey has a really engrossing writing style and Tall Bones is a very impressive debut novel and I cannot wait to see what she writes next.

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