by Natalie Bayley
I collected the first bone when I was nine. This fact was not mentioned in court…Such a tiny little bone, more like a tooth. I only kept it to keep him safe.
Holloway prison, 1925. Dr Kathryn Darkling, branded The Westminster Vampire by the press, has two weeks until she is hanged for a series of brutal murders. Facing death, she knows that time is running out to complete her mission.
Will she find a way to escape her fate?
Will she be able to perform the special bone rites that will save her brother?
Winner of The Virginia Prize for Fiction, Bone 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
“We loved the chilling voice and strong sense of place her writing offers.”
– Author Kiran Millwood-Hargrave, Blue Pencil Awards judge
“A delightful twist in the murder genre – a serial killer motivated by love.”
– Nicolas Mercier, writer, Call My Agent
Natalie Bayley is the author of Bone Rites, Lolita’s Daughter, The Secret Life of Grandmothers, The 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.