Tall Bones opening line: The roar of the bonfire is hard to distinguish from the sound of the trailer-park boys and the schoolgirls who holler and dance in the shadow of the Tall Bones.
Abigail Blake is everything Emma is not. She is white, and accepted by the locals. And that is because her father is a staunch Christian who follows the Church. In a small town where race and religion are more important than anything else. Emma wants to fit in. But when her best friend disappears and the only other outsider has fingers pointed at him, she does not know what to think. Alcohol clouds her judgement and there is nothing her mother, the town’s Doctor, can do, to prevent what happens in the place she calls home.
When seventeen-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….
At the same time as reading this book, we watched Mare of Eastown. And what struck me most is how small towns tend to have drug and alcohol problems. Well, at least the appear to in the world of novels and TV. Even though the reason why Abi went missing was hinted at during the unravelling of the novel, it is never quite confirmed. I found this a good read, even if the ending was tied up a little too quickly.