Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Bones of You” as Want to Read:
The Bones of You
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Bones of You

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  6,727 ratings  ·  896 reviews
A stunning, wonderfully assured psychological thriller that evokes Gillian Flynn and Alice Sebold, The Bones of You revolves around a young girl’s murder and one woman’s obsession with uncovering the secrets in an idyllic English village.

I have a gardener’s inherent belief in the natural order of things. Soft‑petalled flowers that go to seed. The resolute passage of the se
Hardcover, 313 pages
Published June 30th 2015 by Kensington (first published April 1st 2015)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Bones of You, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
kare page I think this may have been a reference to Joanna's confusion about her being part Kate and part herself when she was doing the murder. 'Them' is not r…moreI think this may have been a reference to Joanna's confusion about her being part Kate and part herself when she was doing the murder. 'Them' is not really acceptable as an undetermined gender reference unless the person from whose point of view it is being written at that point doesn't know the gender themselves so it would have been a bit of a cheap trick to do that. Either way it was a deliberate and not particularly clever way to put the reader off the trail. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,727 ratings  ·  896 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Bones of You

This was a little better than okay for me...

It started off soooooooooo strong- and lost something in the last half. Whittle this down to about 275 pages and take out the Gone Girl reference in the description- and it would have been 4 stars for me...

Anyone who has followed my reviews for the last year or so- knows how I HATE when publishing companies compare books to Gone Girl...or compare books to any other books in general really. Let a novel stand on its own...and stop giving away the fact th
Apr 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Yes, oh yes, two days in a row now I have had to dish out my 5 stars that I keep for something that is outstanding, that keeps my attention, that is so enthralling I literally eat, sleep and breathe the book and cannot wait to pick it up again to finish it. Yep! This is such a book.

Rosie is 18 years old, she has gone missing. Everyone has high hopes that she is going to be found soon, found and very much alive.
As time goes on though, time is running out for such hope.

**What intrigued me were th
Dannii Elle
Wow! Just wow! Not since The Lovely Bones have I felt such an affinity with the deceased and a desire to uncover the truth in any thriller fiction!

The Bones of You expertly draws the reader into the plot by its unique use of multiple perspectives to assemble the puzzle of the murder of a teenage girl. The teenage girl in question, Rosie, also forms one portion of the perspective and her from-the-grave discoveries and flashbacks of her life make this both a chilling and sorrowful read. I love how
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
Apr 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Psychological Thriller Fans
A novel that tackles some dark undercurrents in family life in a very clever way, don't expect reveals and twists to hit you in the face, it's more like they creep up upon you until you gasp with shock as truth is revealed. This is a very steady paced book with an intricate plot that is written with great care.

There are moments in this book that are so beautifully written that I read them more than once. Poetic almost. But don't get me wrong, this is a dark psychological thriller not a poetry b
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-books
In The Bones of You by Debbie Howells, a peaceful village in the heart of the British countryside is shocked to the core when eighteen year old Rosie Anderson disappears. Time passes and soon Rosie’s body is found in nearby woods, where it appears she has been stabbed to death. This shocks the village in which horse mad Rosie hails from. In particular Kate, a local gardener who befriended Rosie and her family, feels terribly guilty. Her guilt leads her to se
May 17, 2015 rated it liked it
I give this 3.5 to 4 stars.

This book is like Sybil meets Mommy Dearest.

That being said, I feel like I need to see a psychologist after reading this. This story was all over the place and quite frankly eerie.

Rosie is murdered, her mother is falling apart, her dad is some big shot reporter, and her sister is just there. Kate who was like a second mother to Rosie tries to help Jo, the mother of Rosie, through this time weird things start to happen.

Jo is strange to say the least, Neal is all about
Jun 07, 2015 rated it did not like it
The Bones Of You is the story of events surrounding the disappearance and murder of a young 18 year old, Rosie. The main characters are Rosie herself, and her parents Neale and Jo. Neale is a world renowned TV reporter and we are told millions of women around the world are in love with him. I have to say that I didn’t buy that at all, to me he just comes across as a smarmy git. He is the sort of man who my husband would walk to the other end of the bar in the village pub, to get away from. Mothe ...more
Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing this ARC.

“THE BONES OF YOU”, is a dark psychological suspense thriller debut by Debbie Howells.

A small village in Sussex, England, a body of an eighteen-year-old girl, Rosie Anderson, is discovered, murdered. Who would do such a thing?

The novel opens with after we learn that Rosie has gone missing, Rosie describes what it is like, in the final moments of her life. She describes the images flashing in front of her at record speed, like wa
Elyse  Walters
May 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Rosie Anderson - 18 years old, is murdered.
Who killed her?
"If you have two equally convincing stories from two people who love each other, how do you know what's true?"

Rosie was a typical teenager, she was quiet, she was sweet. She also had a boyfriend, named Alex, that she kept secret.... Or at least tried to. Did the boyfriend kill her?

She had a younger sister named Delphine whom she loved very much and felt protective of. Rosie's close friend was named Grace. Did her Delphine or Grace kill
Liz Barnsley
The Bones of You is a beautiful slow burner of a novel that you might think is a crime novel - and yes it does involve a crime and yes you will be lead slowly but surely to the resolution of that crime - but the heart of this story is about families and the secrets they keep.

When Rosie goes missing, the small community in which she lives is shocked, then horrified when her body is discovered. There is very little evidence to point to a suspect and through the eyes of Kate, a friend of Rosie's mo
Diane S ☔
Jun 26, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 This suspenseful and psychological thriller can be representative of many things. Dysfunctional families, keeping problems in the home, alcoholism, narcissism, how two damaged people can come together to create a nightmare of a life. The disastrous effects of a emotionally empty childhood, showing us how little we actually know about what goes on behind closed doors even if we consider them good friends. The many masks people can wear and how easily we can be deceived by charm.

Yes, all thes
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, suspense
This was a fun read for me- I love books that let you 'think' you know who did what, only to pull the rug out from under you and cause you to change your mind, over and over! The pace of the storyline was spot on-giving just enough to keep you turning the page long after it was time to go to bed.
That was the only thing 'fun' about this read though...the storyline is one fraught with disfunction, abuse, manipulation, deception, and murder. You won't like a lot of what you read, but you won't know
Jun 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Bones of You is a messy book about an oh so tidy family, full of "keeping up external appearances" while no one else knows what goes on. Everything takes place in what appears to be a fairly well off English suburb, where the Anderson family, Neal, Jo, Rosie and Della, live a life somewhat cut off from their neighbors, in wealthy splendor. Until the bottom falls out; until Rosie dies. This is no secret. It happens almost immediately and will be known to anyone who reads anything at all about ...more
May 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015
Thank you to Netgalley and Kensington books for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

2 stars and I know I am in the minority on Goodreads.

We are introduced to two families – the first is Kate, her husband Angus and daughter Grace, an average family; the second family is Joanna, her husband Neal, and daughters Rosanna (Rosie) and Delphine (Della), they are the perfect family. But something goes wrong. Rosie disappears and everyone fears the worse. Kate befriends Joanna to support
Jülie ☼♄ 
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of this genre
Recommended to Jülie ☼♄  by: Self

Here is a Psychological Thriller that will have you guessing all the way to the end, you will question everyone's motives...

Who did it?
Who could have done it?
Who would want to do it?

When eighteen year old Rosie Anderson doesn't return home after a visit to her friend Poppy's place, the small village where she lives goes into shock. They band together and search the local woods and surrounding areas looking for her, hoping against hope that ...they won't find a body.

Few people know Rosie v
Trish at Between My Lines
This review was originally posted on [Between My Lines]

This book had me so jumpy from the very beginning.  The atmosphere was menacing and I could feel evil hiding around the pages just waiting to grab me!  Well maybe not me but definitely some of the characters!

First Line of The Bones of You by Debbie Howells:
"I put down the phone and just stand there, completely still."

Five reasons to read The Bones of You by Debbie Howells:

Beautiful writing:  Seriously the prose wa
Kim Ebner
Apr 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Please visit my book blog at:

This is by no means a new release, having been released in 2015 but it has been one that I've been meaning to read for some time. Boy, am I glad that I decided to get to it. It took me a few pages and chapters before I was totally hooked, but by the time I reached page 50, I was a goner.

The novel opens with an absolutely captivating chapter and I knew right from the start that I was going to enjoy this book. The story alternates between the
Dana ****Reads Alot****
Thank you Netgalley and Kensington Books for this Arc copy to read for an honest review. Graces's school friend goes missing. The unthinkable doesn't creep into their minds right away but slowly they Rosie's family Neal and Joanna come to realise she may never come home. She was found in the woods dead of course.

Grace's family try to comfort the family after Roseanne's death but Grace's mother soon sees the family just may have some secrets after all and something is not as "perfect" as it seems
Margaret Madden
Jul 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A teenage girl has disappeared. Just who is the most concerned?
Her mother, Jo, a waspy housewife with a penchant for the finer things in life? Kate, a fellow mother of a teenage girl who suddenly becomes Jo's lifeline? Delphine, the younger sister of the missing girl? Neal, the girls father, a television journalist who is adored by all? When a body is discovered in the local woodland, the small rural village is shocked and secrets begin to seep through doorways and through the trees. All the wh
Philomena Callan Cheekypee
May 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loved-it, net-galley
I haven't read any other books by this author. I was super excited to read her first psychological thriller. She certainly didn't disappoint me. I found this to be a gripping read. When I wasn't reading it I was thinking about it.

Rosie's gone missing. Throughout the book we read flashbacks from Rosie's perspective. She also tells us of her not too pleasant past.

Another point of view is Kate's, a neighbour with a daughter the same age as Rosie. Kate's point of view lets us know what is happenin
Carmen Blankenship
5 stars from cover to cover. Debbie Howells is a wordsmith of the highest caliber. I started The Bones of You last night and tore myself away only after I thought my corneas would separate from eyes! It was 2 am and I'd been up since 3 am the following day. The slow intense building of the story and getting to know these characters was worth every minute.

I know this book will draw many comparisons to Alice Seabold's The Lovely Bones because both are narrated my a young murder victim. The Bones
May 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
When 18 year old Rosie Anderson goes missing, secrets about her seemingly perfect family come to light. I wasn't able to put The Bones of You down--I highly recommend! ...more
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Every parent's nightmare, their daughter goes missing and is later found dead. This tightly written dark psychological thriller ticked every box for me. It had me enthralled from the first to the last page and I devoured it in a day.
The book is set in the present day and we see the day-to-day effect Rosie's disappearance and ultimate death has on her family, friends and the entire village where she lived. In among this story we hear from Rosie herself who slowly uncovers and reveals the backstor
Judy D Collins
A special thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

THE BONES OF YOU, dark psychological suspense thriller debut by Debbie Howells, a haunting novel of deceit and lies. A young girl’s murder and one woman’s obsession with uncovering dark secrets in this idyllic English village, drawing you into this intriguing world of mystery. A taunt chilling novel which will keep you page-turning into the wee hours of the morning.

“Stars are the souls of dead po
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
My View:
The perfect example of domestic noir.

After I finished reading this book I sat back and went WOW and then went to bed exhausted, it was after all past 1.30am but I could not put this down till I had read every single last word. I devoured this book. I savoured the words. This intimate portrait of manipulation and domestic violence – physical, emotional and psychological, is intense and accurate and is handled superbly and gently – which I think is a very effective way to treat the pow
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
4 1/2 stars for this psychological thriller.

The murder of Rosanna is the catalyst for the carefully presented facade of an extremely dysfunctional family falling apart.
This is not a who-dunnit in as much as a "why-it-was-done".
The progress of the story can be compared to a rail journey - a slow pulling out from the station with a gradual increase in speed until you are rocketing along at great speed and feeling that you are in danger of leaving the rails. The more of this book I read, the more u
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Debbie Howell's The Bones of You presents us with a deeply profound and often disturbing story of a young woman's savage murder in Sussex, England.
The story is narrated via four distinct voices---perhaps the most outstanding point of view comes from Kate, a down-to-earth, likable mother, wife and horse woman who adores gardening and seeks truth. She is compelled to befriend Kate's grieving mother, and through her eyes, we begin to view a sordid side of family perfection; in fact, we learn a grea
Charlotte Ashcroft
What a great book couldn’t put it down 😊
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In a small English village, a young girl has gone missing. Rosie Anderson’s eighteen years flash before her eyes, as she looks down upon the life she lost; she describes this “movie of her life” as she sees it, in freeze frame images, starting in her childhood. Her voice is the first one we hear, and we will see her alternately reveal much as the story continues.

Our story then picks up with our narrator, Kate McKay, a friend of the Anderson family. Neal and Jo are Rosie’s parents, and Kate has j
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book good suspense.. Fast read
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Richard and Judy ...: 'Gone Girl' Meets 'The Lovely Bones??' 1 25 Jan 17, 2016 02:18PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Blame Game
  • A House of Bells: A Thrilling Gothic Supernatural Mystery and Suspense Novel
  • The Silence Between Breaths
  • The Widows’ Club
  • Out of Heart
  • Kiss Me, Kill Me
  • The Returning Tide
  • The Broken Ones
  • A Cornish Gift
  • The Two Pound Tram
  • Tiger Bay Blues (Brothers and Lovers)
  • The Heights
  • Dicono di noi
  • Chosen (The Elm Stone Saga, #1)
  • The Case of the Captain's Hair (The Wolflock Cases Book 1)
  • Scarred (The Elm Stone Saga, #2)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Debbie self-published three women's fiction novels before writing The Bones of You, her first psychological thriller. It was a Sunday Times bestseller and selected for the Richard and Judy book club.
Since, she was written The Beauty of the End, The Death of Her, Her Sister's Lie and the e-book bestseller The Vow, with The Secret due to be published in January 2022.

Follow her on Facebook at Debb

Related Articles

Craving a wily whodunit or suspenseful story right now? You're in luck, because we have all the clues to lead you to some seriously spectacular...
141 likes · 36 comments
“That's when I know they've never lost someone. If they had, they'd understand. That you always miss them. That the pain doesn't go. That life stops.” 6 likes
“That's how birthdays were in our house. All hateful charades of pretty clothes, expensive presents, and ugly words . . .” 3 likes
More quotes…