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  • The Skeleton Key

  • By: Erin Kelly
  • Narrated by: Helen Keeley
  • Length: 13 hrs and 39 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)

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Summary

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....

©2022 Erin Kelly trading as ES Moylan Limited (P)2022 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Critic reviews

"An intricately plotted thriller, full of detail and invention, with impeccably realised settings and characters as monstrous as they are believable. Above all, it is a completely addictive story of two families destroyed by success. Erin Kelly is a genius." (Jane Casey) 

"Moody, propulsive and one of the most intriguing set ups I've read in years. Erin Kelly doesn't put a foot wrong in this atmospheric, original thriller." (Gillian McAllister) 

"A feat of real ambition and imagination—original, suspenseful and with complex characters that spring irresistibly to life on the page, this is Erin Kelly at her finest." (Louise Candlish) 

What listeners say about The Skeleton Key

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Awful

Terrible narration the pitch the time the constant breathlessness and terror really off putting
Characters all unlikable and unsympathetic
Story very boring and drawn out
Would not recommend

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Brilliant storytelling

Erin Kelly knows how to create a compelling tale and I found this amazing. A story of family and lies and mystery