The Family Bones
by Elle Marr
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Pub Date 07 Mar 2023 | Archive Date 21 Mar 2023
Thomas & Mercer, Thomas & Mercer
What makes a psychopath? A young woman delves into her family’s shadowy legacy in a terrifying novel by the #1 Amazon Charts bestselling author of Strangers We Know.
Psychology student Olivia Eriksen’s family is notorious among true-crime buffs. Faced with a legacy of psychopathy that spans generations, Olivia has spent much of her academic life trying to answer one chilling question: Nature or nurture?
Although she’s kept a safe distance from her blood relatives for years, Olivia agrees to attend a weekend reunion. After all, her fiancé is eager to meet his future in-laws, and the gathering may give her a chance to interview her elusive grandfather about the family traits.
But nothing is ever peaceful among the Eriksens for long. Olivia’s favorite cousin is found dead in a nearby lake. Then another family member disappears. As a violent storm isolates the group further, Olivia’s fears rise faster than the river.
And an uninvited guest is about to join the party. True-crime podcaster Birdie Tan has uncovered a disturbing mystery in her latest investigation—and she’s following it right to the Eriksens’ mountain resort. There’s a deadly twist in the family plot that even Olivia doesn’t see coming.
A Note From the Publisher
Praise for Elle Marr
The Family Bones
“With a fresh take on the locked-room mystery, Elle Marr weaves a perilous and pulse-pounding tale of nature versus nurture. The Family Bones is a clever, wild, riveting ride that amps up the tension until I couldn’t flip the page fast enough. The interconnected threads, subtle clues, and jaw-dropping twists lead to a whopper of an ending.” —Samantha M. Bailey, USA Today and #1 national bestselling author of Woman on the Edge and Watch Out for Her
“‘Dysfunctional’ doesn’t even begin to describe the Eriksen clan during this family reunion from hell. Elle Marr’s twisty plot and even more twisted characters make The Family Bones a dark, delectable, and fascinating thriller that questions how well we know not only our relatives but also our own minds.” —Megan Collins, author of The Family Plot
“Smart, razor sharp, and shocking, The Family Bones will keep you up late with all the lights on. A family of psychopaths trapped by bad weather at an isolated retreat—what could possibly go wrong? With dual story lines racing toward a chilling climax, The Family Bones is a tense, must-read thriller.” —Kaira Rouda, USA Today and Amazon Charts bestselling author
Strangers We Know
“The increasingly tense plot takes turns the reader won’t see coming. Marr is a writer to watch.” —Publishers Weekly
“Elle Marr is an author to know. Just when you think you understand the motives behind her characters and the way their story lines are being presented—bam!—Elle will hit you with twists you won’t see coming. Told from multiple points of view, Strangers We Know is about more than Ivy learning of her past and, shockingly, the serial killer within her family; it’s also about knowing who to trust and how to discern who’s telling the complete story. Because if everyone has secrets, are they truly family or only strangers? Read Strangers We Know to find out.” —Georgina Cross, bestselling author of The Stepdaughter
“Elle Marr burst onto the suspense scene in 2020 with her bestselling debut, The Missing Sister, and followed up a year later with Lies We Bury, another trust-no-one murder mystery. With her third novel, Strangers We Know, Marr firmly establishes herself as a master of ‘did that really just happen?’ thrillers. Strangers We Know has plot twists so unexpected and characters so creepy you won’t want to turn out the lights, and the ending is surprising in multiple ways. Who knew a deranged-serial-killer whodunit could leave you with all the feels?” —A.H. Kim, author of A Good Family
“Dark family secrets, serial murder, and a cult? Yes, please. Twisty and a little twisted, the highly addictive and surprise-packed Strangers We Know will have you pulling an all-nighter.” —Heather Chavez, author of No Bad Deed
“From the first page I was gripped by Strangers We Know and read through the night till the end. The novel is thrilling beyond belief, with suspense and twists ratcheting up on each page. Elle Marr is brilliant at delving into the darkness of a seemingly normal family, and by the time she pulls back the curtains on each character, the terror has built so excruciatingly, you just have to keep going till you find out every single thing—you’re afraid to know, but you have to know. This is the year’s must read.” —Luanne Rice, bestselling author of The Shadow Box
Lies We Bury
“A deep, deep dive into unspeakable memories and their unimaginably shocking legacy.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review),
“The suspenseful plot is matched by the convincing portrayal of the vulnerable Claire, who just wants to lead a normal life. Marr is a writer to watch.” —Publishers Weekly
“Marr’s #OwnVoices, trust-no-one thriller unravels with horrifying ‘THEN’ interruptions, producing a jolting creepfest of twisted revenge.” —Booklist
“In Lies We Bury, Elle Marr (bestselling author of The Missing Sister) has brought a cleverly plotted and compelling new mystery with unique characters and truly surprising twists.” —The Nerd Daily
“A deep, thrilling dive into the painful memories that haunt us and the fight between moving on or digging in and seeking revenge.” —Medium
“Elle Marr’s second novel tucks a mystery inside a mystery…The big twist near the end is a doozy.” —The Oregonian
“A twisted mash-up of Room and a murder mystery, Marr’s Lies We Bury is a story that creeps into your bones, a sneaky tale about the danger of secrets and the power the past holds to lead us into a deliciously devious present. Say goodbye to sleep and read it like I did, in one breathless sitting.” —Kimberly Belle, international bestselling author of Dear Wife and Stranger in the Lake
“Dark and compelling, Elle Marr has written another atmospheric and twisted thriller that you don’t want to miss. Lies We Bury delves into the darkest of pasts and explores the fascinating tension between moving on and revenge. This is a fly-through-the-pages thriller.” —Vanessa Lillie, Amazon bestselling author of Little Voices and For the Best
“This haunting and emotional thriller will keep you up at night looking for answers.” —Dea Poirier, international bestselling author of Next Girl to Die
“A clever, twisty murder mystery packed full of secrets and lies that will keep you turning the pages way past bedtime. Lies We Bury hooked me from page one and kept me guessing until its dramatic conclusion.” —Lisa Gray, bestselling author of Thin Air
The Missing Sister
“Marr’s debut novel follows a San Diego medical student to, around, and ultimately beneath Paris in search of the twin sister she’d been drifting away from. Notable for its exploration of the uncanny bonds twins share and the killer’s memorably macabre motive.” —Kirkus Reviews
“[A] gritty debut…The intriguing premise, along with a few twists, lend this psychological thriller some weight.” —Publishers Weekly
“Elle Marr’s first novel has an intriguing premise…The characters are well drawn and complex, and Marr’s prose offers some surprising twists.” —New York Journal of Books
“A promising plotline.” —Library Journal
“The Missing Sister is a very promising debut—atmospheric, gripping, and set in Paris. In other words, the perfect ingredients for a satisfying result.” —Criminal Element
“Brimming with eerie mystery and hair-raising details…A chilling read that shows the unique bond of twins.” —Woman’s World
“This thrilling debut novel from Elle Marr is a look into the importance of identity and the strength of sisterhood.” —Brooklyn Digest
“An electrifying thriller. A must read—Karin Slaughter with a touch of international flair. Just when you think you have it all figured out, Marr throws you for another loop and the roller-coaster ride continues!” —Matt Farrell, Washington Post bestselling author of What Have You Done
“A riveting, fast-paced thriller. Elle Marr hooks you from the start, taking you on a dark and twisted journey. Layered beneath the mystery of a twin’s disappearance is a nuanced, and at times disturbing, exploration of the ties that bind sisters together. With crisp prose, a gripping investigation, and a compelling protagonist, The Missing Sister is not to be missed.” —Brianna Labuskes, Washington Post bestselling author of Girls of Glass
“A gripping thriller. The Missing Sister delivers twists and turns in an exciting, page-turning read that delves into the unique bond that makes—and breaks—siblings.” —Mike Chen, author of Here and Now and Then