Bone Rites by Natalie Bayley: Review & Book Giveaway

Bone Rites is Natalie Bayley’s new compelling literary gothic thriller. Read our review and enter our worldwide giveaway for a chance to win a paperback copy of this novel.

Bone Rites Book Synopsis

Bone Rites Book Review - Natalie Bayley

I collected the first bone when I was twelve. This fact was not mentioned in court… Such a tiny little bone, more like a tooth. I only kept it to keep him safe.

Kathryn Darkling, imprisoned in Holloway, is facing death by hanging for her vengeance killing. Haunted by a spirit, she still hopes to perform the ancient black magic that will free her soul, or her struggle to punish the mighty will have been in vain. Will the love of her life come to her aid?

Or can she find a way to escape her fate?

Winner of The Virginia Prize for FictionBone Rites is a dark, literary tale of love, loss and one woman’s obsessive fight for justice and redemption within a ruthless world.

“Completely gripping from the get-go, Natalie deftly builds such a complex story that has you rooting for a character you know you shouldn’t.” –  Literary agent Hellie Ogden, judge the Novel Prize

“A delightful twist in the murder genre – a serial killer motivated by love.” – Nicolas Mercier, writer, Call My Agent

(Aurora Metro Books, October 2023)

Genre: Literature, Thriller, Mystery, Historical, Drama

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Book Review

Bone Rites is such an absorbing read. Natalie Bayley has conjured up a leading lady whose fiercely strong-willed persona quickly draws readers in. Kathryn Darkling’s first-person narrative, woven with evocative imagery and wonderful literary description is captivating.

The day I arrive in Edinburgh it’s October – cold, blue and bright. Even the air feels different up here, sharp like a scalpel not soft and muddy like a Sussex spade. I am nineteen, ablaze with energy. As I step down from the train I feel such a sense of release I might fly up to the castle battlements and perch there like a crow, smoothing my feathers with my beak. I am still dressed in black, at Mother’s insistence, but my case is full of new clothes.

Bayley’s evocation of time and place in Bone Rites — London, Edinburgh and Paris — is reminiscent of Dickens, with more modern and accessible sentence structure.

Despite much of this tale being told in reflection, Bayley keeps the suspense levels high by alternating between the past and present-day where the hangman’s noose steadily beckons. Simmering tensions between Kathryn and multiple well-drawn and nuanced secondary characters keep readers wanting more also.

Bones Rites is a beautifully executed novel and so compelling a narrative voice is Kathryn, that readers will find themselves willing to follow her down some deceptively dark paths. Highly recommended.

My Rating: Story 4.5 / 5 ; The Writing 4.5 / 5

Get your copy of Bone Rites from:

Amazon Bookshop US Booktopia AU

About the Author, Natalie Bayley

Natalie Bayley is the author of Bone RitesLolita’s DaughterThe Secret Life of GrandmothersThe Witch Who Saved Paris and The Lady Lyttle Murder Mystery series. Her dark thriller Bone Rites was selected for the 2019 Blue Pencil long list, went on to be shortlisted for the 2021 Blue Pencil First Novel Award and was long-listed for the 2021 Caledonia Prize before becoming the Winner of the Virginia Prize for Fiction 2022. Natalie lives in NSW, Australia and enjoys ocean swimming and whispering to cats. Check out her website.

Giveaway - Bone Rites - Paperback book

Bone Rites Book Giveaway

Thanks to author Natalie Bayley and her publisher Aurora Metro Books, we have 1 paperback copy of Bone Rites to giveaway. Book lovers worldwide can enter by completing the form below, making sure you scroll down and press the submit button at the end.

Earn extra entries in this random draw by sharing the giveaway banner and a link to this post on social channels: Twitter (+2), Instagram (+3), Facebook (+4)

Update: Sorry, entries closed 20th November 2023. The winner will be announced on our Facebook page in the coming days.

* My receiving a paperback copy of Bone Rites from the author for review purposes did not impact the expression of my honest opinions.