In Her Bones

A Novel


About The Book

“A higher level than the standard thriller. Readers will enjoy this book for the suspense…[and] love it for the skill and mastery Moretti has for her craft.” —New York Journal of Books

“Morbid…Moretti pulls some tricky tricks.” —The New York Times

New York Times bestselling author Kate Moretti’s next “exceptional…emotionally astute, [and] deliciously sinister” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) thriller follows the daughter of a convicted serial killer who finds herself at the center of a murder investigation.

Fifteen years ago, Lilith Wade was arrested for the brutal murder of six women. After a death row conviction, media frenzy, and the release of an unauthorized biography, her thirty-year-old daughter Edie Beckett is just trying to survive out of the spotlight. She’s a recovering alcoholic with a dead-end city job and an unhealthy codependent relationship with her brother.

Edie also has a disturbing secret: a growing obsession with the families of Lilith’s victims. She’s desperate to see how they’ve managed—or failed—to move on. While her escalating fixation is a problem, she’s careful to keep her distance. That is, until she crosses a line and a man is found murdered.

Edie quickly becomes the prime suspect—and while she can’t remember everything that happened the night of the murder, she’d surely remember killing someone. With the detective who arrested her mother hot on her trail, Edie goes into hiding. She’s must get to the truth of what happened that night before the police—or the real killer—find her.

Unless, of course, she has more in common with her mother than she’s willing to admit…

Perfect for fans of Ruth Ware, In Her Bones features Moretti’s “riveting and insightful” (Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author) prose and “chillingly satisfying” (Publishers Weekly) twists, and will leave you questioning the nature of guilt, obsession, and the toxicity of familial ties.

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for In Her Bones includes discussion questions and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. While few of us fear, like Edie, that we are doomed to become unhinged or murderous, many people worry about becoming like their parents. Are there traits or habits of one or both of your parents that you dread potentially inheriting?

2. Even years after her conviction, Lilith Wade and the murders she committed are able to garner media attention. What do you think it is about serial killers in general, or her story specifically, that capture the public’s attention?

3. It’s not uncommon to refer to researching someone online as social media “stalking” them, looking into their background, old photos, etc. to gather information about a new acquaintance or a potential romantic partner. Edie also uses the wealth of information readily available in the digital era to her advantage, but takes it to a level that can more seriously be considered stalking. Where is the line between everyday online “stalking” and inappropriately prying into someone’s life?

4. During the course of her investigation, Edie receives a lot of contradictory information. Without an obvious, corroborated truth, how do you tell if someone is lying? On what do you think Edie based her judgments of who was being honest with her?

5. Why do you think Kate Moretti included excerpts from The Serrated Edge interspersed among the chapters of In Her Bones? What did it add to the story as you read?

6. Both Edie and her brother, Dylan, have obsessive tendencies and a disregard for healthy boundaries. Edie finds the impact of “nurture” reassuring, suggesting her mother’s psychosis isn’t “in her bones”—do you agree? Why, or why not? To what extent do you think Edie and Dylan have inherited some of their mother’s unbalanced nature as a result of the trauma they suffered at her hands, as opposed to genetic predisposition?

7. If Edie’s father had been the murderer instead of her mother, do you think her reaction would have been different at all? Why, or why not? And if so, in what ways would that have affected her? Would it have affected the way other people saw Edie or her parent’s crimes?

8. The author of The Serrated Edge blames Lilith’s family for not preventing her crimes. After hearing the author’s motivation for writing the book, do you think this perspective was understandable? Do you think more could have, or should have, been done to preempt the murders or bring Lilith to justice earlier?

9. Gil Brandt and Dr. Doyle both assert that “Knowing about someone is not the same as knowing them.” (p. 281) What do you think it means to truly know someone?

10. Were you surprised by the transformation Edie has undergone by the epilogue? What do you think the future holds for her and Tim?

Enhance Your Book Club

1. There are many true crime biographies of serial killers, in the vein of The Serrated Edge: The Story of Lilith Wade, Serial Killer. Consider reading one with your book group, such as Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson by Jeff Guin or Unholy Messenger: The Life and Crimes of the BTK Serial Killer by Stephen Singular. Discuss in conjunction with In Her Bones: did reading Edie’s story affect how you read the true crime biography at all? Did they raise any similar questions about the nature of serial killers, or what allows them to commit so many murders before being apprehended?

2. Edie repeatedly remarks on how easy it is to “research” people given our lax attention on privacy in the digital era. As an experiment, consider assigning everyone in your book group another member’s name. How much information can you find out about that person (without actually hacking each other’s accounts)? What inferences might you make about who they are and how they live based on what is publicly available online (profile pictures, public social media accounts, professional information, etc.)? Share your findings with the group (and perhaps upgrade your privacy settings together!).

3. Ali Land’s novel Good Me Bad Me also centers on the daughter of a female serial killer. Consider reading it with your book club, and comparing it with In Her Bones. What themes appear in both novels, and in what ways do they diverge?

4. Check out more of Kate Moretti’s books, such as The Blackbird Season and The Vanishing Year. To find out more about Kate, visit, or follow her on Twitter @KateMoretti1 or

About The Author

Photograph (c) PR Photography

Kate Moretti is the New York Times bestselling author of Thought I Knew You, Binds That Tie, and While You Were Gone. She lives in eastern Pennsylvania with her husband and two kids. Find out more at or follow her on Twitter: @KateMoretti1 or Facebook: /KateMorettiWriter.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atria Books (September 4, 2018)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781982104672

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Raves and Reviews

Praise for In Her Bones:

"Morbid...Moretti pulls some tricky tricks when she sends Edie on the run, where she slips in and out of some neat disguises and suffers just enough to satisfy the most judgmental reader."

– New York Times Book Review

"Heightened language takes In Her Bones to a higher level than the standard thriller. Readers will enjoy this book for the suspense and plot twists, but love it for the skill and mastery Moretti has for her craft."

– New York Journal of Books

Captivating…Fans of twisty psychological thrillers will find plenty to like.”

– Publishers Weekly

"Kate Moretti is incredibly talented! In Her Bones is at once chilling and compelling, frightening and insightful—and truly madly deeply satisfying. You'll gasp at every twist, and turn these hauntingly sinister pages as fast as you can."            

– Hank Phillippi Ryan, nationally bestselling author of Trust Me

"Kate Moretti's In Her Bones is a suspenseful, whirling spiral of mysteries within mysteries, plot twists you won't see coming, and characters linked by deadly fates that stretch across the years. Moretti's prose is crisp and masterful, her people rich and real. Don't miss this haunting, wild thrill ride."

– David Bell, author of Somebody's Daughter

"Reading In Her Bones is like watching a true crime documentary...And you seriously won’t be able to put it down."

– Hello Giggles

"Sensational; a stunning psychological thriller that kept me riveted from the first page to the last. A dark and compelling exploration of what it's like to grow up with someone who just may be the worst mother in the world, Moretti's chilling and insightful novel answers the question: If your mother is a serial killer and you're obsessed with her victims, what does that make you?"

– Karen Dionne, internationally bestselling author of The Marsh King's Daughter

"Suspense at its best: A chilling voice, an unlikely heroine, a haunting story. In Her Bones is Kate Moretti at the top of her game." 

– Jessica Strawser, author of Not That I Could Tell

"We dove head-first into In Her Bones, its riveting twists and turns keeping us up well past our bedtime. Moretti has meticulously crafted this gripping mystery, which begs the question: Is it possible to escape our own fate? Another stellar contribution to the suspense genre."  

– Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke, authors of The Good Widow

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