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The Skeleton Key by Erin Kelly, book review

I first heard about The Skeleton Key from Sarah’s blog. We often have a similar taste in books.

The Skeleton Key an intricate book cover with flowers, bones and a key
By: Erin Kelly
Narrated by: Helen Keeley
Length: 13 hrs and 39 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 01-09-22
Language: English
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

The Blurb

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. 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 best-selling 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….

My Review of the Skeleton Key

I really enjoyed listening to this audio book. It kept me captivated from the start. Families tend to have secrets and so do friends. Families also drift apart. The book that Frank Churcher wrote in the 70s became a real hit and also caused many problems not the least to his own daughter who was attacked on the way home from school.

Determined to live her life privately, Nell and her daughter Billie have stayed out of the limelight, but now it’s time for Frank Churcher to reveal the final part of the puzzle and all the family are summoned to be at the filming.

But it all goes wrong, and that’s when the story is revealed. Past and present all combine, secrets and lies and lots of twists and turns. I did wonder at first where it was all going as it tended to drag out a bit. By the end of it I wondered just how awful could a group of people be, young and old.

The chapters were fairly short which can be handy with an audible book so you don’t have to pause mid chapter.

I’ve not read any of Erin Kelly before but I may try some of her other books now.

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5 thoughts on “The Skeleton Key by Erin Kelly, book review”

  1. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I do love how we have such similar tastes!
    This is the third Erin Kelly I’ve read and for me it was her best, but I did enjoy the others (He Said/ She Said and Watch Her Fall) too.

  2. I love it when you find a really good book. This one sounds interesting.
    I’ve got quite a few to get through first, but I might try this one at some point. x

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