Audiobook Review – The Skeleton Key

Title: The Skeleton Key

Author: Erin Kelly

Genre: Mystery & Thriller

Goodreads Rating: 4.08

My Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Source: ARC



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…

My Review:

I’d like to thank NetGalley and Hodder and Stoughton for approving me for an ARC of this book. I’d also like to thank Tandem Collective UK for inviting me to take part in my first listen along. This is the first book of Erin Kelly’s that I have read and I was excited to dive in.

The story centres around Nell (Elinore) and the upcoming 50th anniversary of her parents popular children’s book, The Golden Bones. The story flicks back and forth between current day events and moments from the past, spanning many decades. It’s through this story telling that we learn just how much Nell’s life has been affected by her parent’s book.

I loved Nell as a main character and admired her need to create distance between herself and her family. The legacy her parents set her up for was something no child should have to bear and I often found myself angry and Frank and Cora’s lack of parenting. The saving grace in Nell’s family was Billie and I loved watching their bond grow from strength to strength.

The obsession with the book, The Golden Bones, is very dangerous and shows just how quickly people can form groups and become obsessed with the latest trend. The ‘Bone Hunter’s’ were willing to sacrifice anything to find the missing pieces of Elinore and some even paid with their lives. The much anticipated celebration of the book only brings one question. Where is the last missing piece?

This a a slow burn, highly addictive, psychological thriller that is seeped in history and family drama’s. There are plenty of twists and turns, quite a few of which took me completely by surprise. It will leave you trusting no one and guessing up until the last turn of the page.

I enjoyed the audio so much that I went and got myself a copy because the book itself is just too pretty to leave behind. It was so much fun to participate in the listen-along and chat to other readers as we went, I hope this will be the first of many. I’m now off to read the rest of Erin Kelly’s collection!


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