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Stone Mothers

Stone Mothers

‘The Victorians used to call their mental hospitals stone mothers,’ I say. ‘They thought the design of the building could literally nurse the sick back to health.’

Marianne grew up in the shadow of the old asylum, a place that still haunts her dreams. She was seventeen when she fled the town, her family, her boyfriend Jesse and the body they buried.

Now, forced to return, she can feel the past closing around her. And Jesse, who never forgave her for leaving, is finally threatening to expose the truth.

Marianne will do anything to protect the life she’s built; the husband and daughter who must never know. Even if it means turning to her worst enemy…

But Marianne may not know the whole story – and she isn’t the only one with secrets they’d kill to keep.

Moving back through time to reveal twists you’ll never see coming, STONE MOTHERS is the gripping new suspense novel from the bestselling author of HE SAID/SHE SAID.

Poignant and tragic, full of unexpected shifts and twists, addictively scary and thrillingly audacious.’ Nicci French

‘The plot is so CLEVER… and the writing is perfection.’ Marian Keyes

‘The incomparable Erin Kelly has written another captivating, cleverly constructed contemporary novel.’ Paula Hawkins

(P)2018 Hodder & Stoughton Limited
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Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Crime & Mystery

On Sale: 4th April 2019

Price: £21.99

ISBN-13: 9781473693982


Intriguing and plainly irresistible. Paced perfectly, masterful in its execution, it demands to be devoured until the final words are read. The twists are clever, the language beautiful. Such a treat.
Alexandra Burt, author of <i>The Good Daughter</i>
STONE MOTHERS is a compelling, disturbing story, and beautifully written - as we have come to expect from Erin Kelly.
Rachel Abbott, author of <i>Come A Little Closer</i>
STONE MOTHERS is a pitch-perfect, beautifully-written, literary crime novel. I pressed my copy into the hands of a friend as soon as I'd finished it.
Paula Daly
Compelling, darkly atmospheric and powerful, STONE MOTHERS leads you deeper and deeper into a claustrophobic world of desire, violence and blackmail. With all the ingredients of a classic psychological thriller, it's also got amazing depth and resonance, examining the shifting dynamics of power and the legacy of violence.
Bridget Collins, author of <i>The Binding</i>
STONE MOTHERS... is a complex, suspenseful and moving story about motherhood and vulnerability. I loved the way Erin Kelly switched competing narratives to make us question our own perspectives on such a fraught subject as how we provide care for the mentally ill.
Isabelle Grey, author of the DI Grace Fisher series
Absolutely brilliant! Well crafted, twisty and beautifully written.
Jenny Blackhurst
I loved STONE MOTHERS... Manages brilliantly to be at once sharp and gentle, cruel and compassionate. Kelly really does just keep getting better and better.
Julia Crouch, author of <i>Her Husband's Lover</i>
This powerful and affecting psychological thriller centres on how the lives of three people are forever changed by one criminal act. But it also reminds us how, just a few decades ago, women's lives were not their own - and, in some places, still aren't.
STONE MOTHERS is a beautifully dark and chilling story and I was gripped from start to finish. I am in awe of Erin Kelly's superb writing.
Heidi Perks, author of <i>Now You See Her</i>
Compelling... The strength of Kelly's writing is the combination of strong, believable characters and ingenious plotting, her brilliantly timed reveals constantly pulling the rug out from under her readers. Exemplary writing.
The Big Issue
Full of sentences that are so good I want to write them down and pin them to the wall.
Mark Edwards, author of <i>In Her Shadow</i>
A gripping thriller which is impossible to put down, culminating in a heart-stopping final showdown
Daily Express
A darkly fascinating, beautifully written tale which had me completely gripped from beginning to end.
Mike Gayle
From the opening, pulse-raising first line, STONE MOTHERS is absolutely riveting and so beautifully written. This is Erin Kelly at the top of her game - and that's saying something after HE SAID/SHE SAID.
Michelle Davies, author of <i>False Witness</i>
Atmospheric, compelling and worryingly apposite. This is powerful storytelling for the times we're in.
Tammy Cohen
From the twist on the first page to the final gasp, this is a dazzling psychological thriller.
Erin Kelly is one of the most gifted writers of psychological suspense working today. STONE MOTHERS is an accomplished, layered and compelling novel of guilt, betrayal and thwarted love by a writer at the top of her game.
Mel McGrath, author of <i>Give Me the Child</i>
Kelly's ingenious, smart, engrossing books fill me with joy. Her twisted understanding of human nature is second to none.
Alex Marwood, author of <i>The Darkest Secret</i>
A powerful and moving story.
C.L. Taylor
Erin Kelly is on sparkling storytelling form in a tale as dark and labyrinthine as the corridors of the crumbling Victorian asylum at its heart. As well as a creepy mystery she creates a razor-sharp evocation of growing up in small town 1980s Suffolk - and how you can never escape the past.
Anya Lipska
Chilling, spine-tingling with a pace that leaves you breathless. STONE MOTHERS is a beautifully written puzzle, a thriller with heart that had me racing through the pages to find out what happens.
Kate Hamer, author of <i>The Girl in the Red Coat</i>
A treat for anyone who loves their suspense gothic and poignant. The chilling Nazareth Mental Hospital haunts the lives of all who come there, reserving its coldest touch for those women who dare have ambition.
Lucie Whitehouse
Dark, twisty and addictive.
Clare Pooley
Expertly plotted and full of rich detail and unforgettable characters. I couldn't speed through Erin Kelly's complex and twisted tale to its heart-stopping ending fast enough. I was hooked from page one and I had only one unanswered question: How does Erin do it?!
Janet Ellis
Warning: may induce whiplash. So many novelists merely maintain altitude with each book; Erin Kelly tops herself time and again. STONE MOTHERS is the best and boldest novel to date from one of the very best thriller writers at work today: a sinuous, slippery thriller as ingenious as it is absorbing.
A.J. Finn, author of <i>The Woman in the Window</i>
What a storyteller Erin Kelly is. The women in this story and the ways in which their lives are entwined, the echoes of the past, the weight of secrets, the fear and the intimacy - it's all here. Simply spectacular.
Sarah Hilary
Lyrical prose, with intrigue in every page. Kelly has done it again!
LV Hay
A thriller full of twists that is sure to keep you reading past your bedtime.
Harrow Times
A dark, emotional must-read
Woman's Own
Erin Kelly skilfully leads you into a dark, atmospheric story and just when you think you know where it's going, she pulls the rug out under your feet, again and again and again.
Michelle Frances
STONE MOTHERS is a clever, nuanced psychological thriller from one of the best writers in the genre. Properly chilling, you'll be gripped.
Brilliantly written and so ambitious in terms of plotting and atmosphere... the perfect storm of a crime novel.
Caz Frear, author of <i>Sweet Little Lies</i>
The story of how a covered-up murder will never lie quietly and a terrifying indictment of how the mentally ill were once treated... a genuinely surprising twist that turns assumptions neatly on their heads.
A plot to die for, with characters so real you can hear them breathing. Let Erin Kelly's STONE MOTHERS take you by the hand and hold on tightly for the ride. A truly exceptional read.
Lucy Dawson, author of <i>White Lies</i>
Utterly engaging, terrifying, and unputdownable, this novel will haunt readers.
Kelly is a masterful storyteller. The twists and turns keep you gripped until the very last page... This is a brilliant, beautiful book - and an important one.
Paul Burston
Holy hell, Erin Kelly gets better and better! STONE MOTHERS made me weep, smile and tremble all at once. Prose so razor sharp I wanted to savour it but a plot so pacy I couldn't help racing through it. Brilliantly moving.
Holly Seddon
A wonderful page-turner full of dark secrets - atmospheric and intense with a gripping plot. Beautifully and cleverly written, STONE MOTHERS tells the tale of the Nazareth Mental Hospital, its impact on a community and the consequences one incident has on the lives of the characters involved. I loved it.
Jenny Quintana
A great read... another twisty, layered, nuanced story, filled with complexity and shadows.
Ruth Ware, author of <i>The Death of Mrs Westaway</i>
A brooding, slow burning psychological thriller, with real depth and emotional punch
Best Magazine
Gripping, atmospheric thriller.
Daily Mirror
The plot is so CLEVER, the characterisation weep-makingly wise, and the writing is perfection. It is great.
Marian Keyes, author of <i>The Break</i>
A beautifully dark, Gothic story of characters haunted by their past: poignant and tragic, full of unexpected shifts and twists, addictively scary and thrillingly audacious.
Nicci French
Dickensian in scope and atmosphere, superbly researched and absolutely gripping.
Sinead Crowley
Beautifully written, subtly impactful psychological thriller.
Sunday Mirror
A fabulously twisty and satisfying story with amazing characterisation.
Julie Cohen
Wonderfully written, beautifully-realised characters and a plot so clever I gasped out loud.
Gillian McAllister, author of <i>No Further Questions</i>
Another superb book from Erin Kelly. She is a true master of the character-driven thriller.
Helen Fitzgerald
The incomparable Erin Kelly has written another captivating, cleverly constructed contemporary novel.
Paula Hawkins, author of <i>The Girl on the Train</i>
An atmospheric tale of buried truths and the devastating consequences, I was fascinated and horrified in equal measure. Another triumph from Erin Kelly.
SJI Holliday, author of <i>The Lingering</i>
The fantastically taut, compelling plot, brooding atmosphere and fast pace make it a winner.
Good Housekeeping
Powerful, evocative and heartbreaking. Erin Kelly's masterful prose conjures up such a strong sense of place that Nazareth Hospital becomes a character in this tangled web of secrets. The book burns with the injustice of how women were incarcerated in mental asylums simply for failing to comply with the social norms of the day
Linda Green
It is rare when exquisite plotting and damn fine writing come together, but Erin does it every time, seamlessly. STONE MOTHERS is an absorbing, humane and intriguing story that will have readers enthralled.
Liz Nugent, author of <i>Skin Deep</i>
A powerful and affecting psychological thriller
If you want to be pulled into a book that will hold your attention, you need to read STONE MOTHERS. Suspenseful, as well as unexpected, you will not be able to put this book down.
Reader's Digest
A dark tale cleverly formed... A layered read with a twisting plot that gains momentum from its splintered perspectives
The Herald
Crime fiction at its most ingenious and gripping - and its wisest.
Sunday Express
Loved STONE MOTHERS by the genius that is Erin Kelly. Gripping, moving, impossible to put down and fiendishly readable, fascinating but wears its meticulous research so lightly, just awesome. She's done it again.
Laura Marshall, author of <i>Friend Request</i>
With some uncomfortable truths about class divisions and how we care for those with mental health issues, Stone Mothers is atmospheric and poignant.
Doubly excellent - truly fine psychological suspense, and plenty to think about, too, when your pulse has returned to normal.
Lee Child, <i>Sunday Times</i> bestselling author of the Jack Reacher series