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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

A Guardian Book of the Month.

When 17-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....

©2021 Anna Bailey (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"A wonderfully haunting debut." (Jane Harper, author of The Dry)

"Irresistible, compelling." (Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train)

"A clever, twisting debut, about the dark side of small town America. It is packed with secrets like firecrackers ready to ignite." (Francine Toon, author of Pine)

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Good debut but kind of disturbing

When I started to read this book I wasn't sure what to think about it but after 80 pages the story captivated me making me curious of what would happen next. The performance was great.

However, I think the book should have come with wornings about triggers. In the story you will find brutal child abuse, domestic violence, racism, sexual assault, rape, incest and homophobic attitude. Also, the story is quite dark. I can't say I enjoyed every single page. It is well written but it is disturbing.

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superb twisty tale

small Rockies town and the consequences of its jealousies, religious fundamentalism and small town corruption

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A gem of a book from a new author

Wise beyond her years, Anna Bailey’s thrilling and intriguing novel is a brilliant read. Her use of language and imagery to build characters is beyond her years and the plot line weaves between time zones effortlessly. The absorbing narrative set in America unveils the lives of the community and the effects they have on each other and and how many preconceived ideas can be mistaken whilst we learn what really happened to Abigail.
Well read too…….don’t miss this!

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  • antonio
  • 11-12-21

Crime in small town America...

I could never really get into this story of a petty crime in small town America. Situations and characters are a bit of a stereotype and the plot truly never acceleretes to get the reader more involved . Not for me