Standalone or series
First time reading this author?
Why I picked this
The cover. The upside down church was a really striking image and it drew me in even before I read the book description.
Review copy or purchase
Thank you to the author, publishers Transworld, and online book club Pigeonhole for the chance to read this for free. This is an honest and voluntary review.
What it’s about
Sinister secrets are uncovered in small town Whistling Ridge after teenager Abigail Blake goes missing. The town residents look down their nose at the Blakes, but some of them may have more reason than others to be worried about Abigail’s disappearance.
Abi’s best friend Emma last saw her heading into the woods at a party in the shadow of the white barked trees known as Tall Bones. She feels guilty that she left her friend alone there and is determined to find out what happened that night.
Abi’s brothers and parents have their own secrets too, which might prevent them looking too deeply into where she has gone.
Racism, domestic violence, corruption and collusion abound in this small town. But, there are signs of hope too that perhaps somebody cares.
This is a really well written story dealing with quite dark issues. The complexities of the characters are revealed gradually with good reasons for suspecting many different people of being involved in Abi’s fate.
Without giving anything away the ending strikes a good balance of being hopeful while still being realistic.
A good read and an excellent debut novel.