Author: Erin Kelly
Published by: Mobius on Jan. 24, 2023
Source: Mobius Books US
Book Rating: 8.5/10
THIS 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.
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…
Intricate, twisty, and tragic!
The Skeleton Key is a dark, compelling tale that takes you into the lives of two families, Churcher and Lally, who have been tied together over the last fifty years by the successful publication of the treasure quest book, The Golden Bones. A book, whose success is now being honoured with a documentary film and a special edition release which has prompted the resurgence of all the crazed obsessive fans, also known as the “bone hunters” who are determined to discover all of the bones scattered across England, led to all the family members being reunited under one roof in a very long time, and caused all the secrets and skeletons that have been buried under lies and deception for many years to finally be unearthed and uncovered.
The prose is rich and tight. The characters are selfish, deceptive, and troubled. And the plot using flashbacks and a back-and-forth style, unfolds briskly into a murky tale full of twists, turns, surprises, familial drama, secrets, greed, resentments, deception, scandal, wickedness, tragedy, and murder.
Overall, The Skeleton Key is another sophisticated, vivid, creepy tale by Kelly that does a fantastic job of delving into all the complex, dysfunctional dynamics that can occur between family members and reminds us just how toxic and evil, and yet somehow still loyal some of these relationships can truly be.
This novel is available now.
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Thank you to Mobius Books US for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.