Friday, October 21, 2022

Writers to Watch: Anna Bailey


Let’s do a shout-out to the debut authors. What’s a wonderful book by a first time crime fiction author you’ve read in the last six months?


One of the joys of this job is that you get to discover new talented writers before they become world famous. It’s always great to find a new author, a debut or just someone who’s work is new to you, whose writing is different and fresh. It always leaves me buzzing.


The world of crime fiction is vibrant. Every year, new, remarkable authors appear on the scene, pushing the boundaries of the genre, enhancing it in ways that you couldn’t dream of even ten years ago. I truly believe that crime fiction writing today is in the midst of a golden age in terms of the depth and breadth of stories being published.


Every now and again, though, a writer emerges who stands out, combining a deep, touching narrative with beautiful prose. For me, one such writer is Anna Bailey. Her debut, TALL BONES is simply a masterpiece.


Set in a claustrophobic and remote Colorado town, it’s the story about the disappearance of a teenage girl, Abigail and how her disappearance impacts and fractures the local community.

Abigail’s best friend Emma, compelled by the guilt of leaving her at a party in the woods that night, sets out to find the truth. But as the details of that night unfold, the festering secrets and resentment of both Abigail’s family and the townspeople begin to surface with devastating consequences.


Now the subject matter has been covered before, but what’s remarkable is the insight that Bailey brings to her characters. They are all three dimensional and wonderfully constructed. And then there's the prose - it's up there with some of the greats of the genre. It’s hard to believe that this is a debut. What’s more, Bailey is still only in her mid-twenties.



I must admit, I’m slightly late to the party. Tall Bones came out in the spring of 2021, but I only discovered it this summer, but I’ve been raving about it ever since.


Trust me, folks. This is a book you’ll want to read from a writer whose work, I hope is going to astonish and delight us all for many many years to come.


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