Cover Reveal: LIES IN BONE

We are so incredibly excited to reveal the cover for LIES IN BONE by Natalie Symons, to be released in the fall of this year.

On Halloween 1963, eleven-year-old Chuck Coolidge and his brother Danny are lost in a toxic smog covering the steel town of Slippery Elm, Pennsylvania. When the smog lifts, half the town is sick and twenty people are dead. And Danny is missing.

Now, over twenty years later, Chuck’s teenage daughter Frank plots escape from this “busted and disgusted” town. When a murdered child is found in the river, investigators link the crime to the disappearance of Danny in ’63, and Frank’s life is turned upside down. In the face of her worst fears, she must uncover her family’s dark past if she wants to keep her sister Boots from the hands of The State. Led to discover the unimaginable truth about Danny’s disappearance, LIES IN BONE culminates in a shocking eleventh-hour reveal and an emotionally charged finale. 

Told by a sharp-tongued young woman with a love of Bruce Springsteen, LIES IN BONE is at once a mystery and coming-of-age tale fueled by dark secrets involving love, murder, and truths worth lying for. 


A deadly smog washes over the rust belt town of Slippery Elm, Pennsylvania in the opening scene of Natalie Symons’ compelling debut novel, Lies in Bone. True to the title, the 1963 disaster lingers in the marrow of the survivors, like Chuck Coolidge, and in their descendants, including Chuck’s teen-age daughter, Frank, who refuses to surrender to the evanescence descending on her family and her father’s hometown. Dickensian in the best sense of the word, Lies in Bone is a novel that grabs the reader and does not let go.

—Paul Wilborn, author of Cigar City, 2019 Florida Book Awards fiction gold medal winner

The melancholic force of Lies in Bone will hold you hostage. The humor in this gritty, coming-of age mystery is driven by a whip smart young heroine like none other. Your appetite for answers will be satiated, but not before you’re tortured deliciously by author Natalie Symons.

—Hannah Benitez, author of GringoLandia and Dike

A taut, intense psychological investigation of trauma, loss and redemption, Lies in Bone draws the reader into a dense web of past sins and unresolved mysteries. Natalie Symons’ command of language allows this layered story to flow seamlessly around complex characters, actors in a drama seeking to reconcile the flotsam of very broken lives. With this book, Symons emerges as a serious new novelist whose work cannot be ignored.

—Greg Fields, author of Through the Waters and the Wild

Finally, a heroine of substance growing into her own magnificence, bearing witness to the unspeakable with bravery outpacing her years. A tale told with unapologetic realism and voice crafted with skill and humanity.

—Lori D. Shannon, author of Superwoman Died Tonight

Natalie Symons’ Lies in Bone vibrates within the reader. Following the intriguing, eerie first chapter, the story turns from its Stephen King-worthy opening into its own heart. As with her plays, Lark Eden and Naming True, Ms. Symons’ great strength as a writer lies in her achingly real characters. Lies in Bone resonates with a strong cast of characters, led by a young girl who fights to find her way out of the toxic fog of her past and answer the questions that have haunted her family and her town for decades. You will want to read Lies in Bone all in one sitting—but don’t cheat yourself out of moving fully through the evolution of the story in its own time. An extraordinarily satisfying work.

—Roxanne Fay, playwright, Thrice To Mine and Upon This Rock: The Magdalene Speaks.


Natalie Symons is an award-winning playwright whose plays have been developed and produced at theatres around the country. Most recently, The People Downstairs received the Broadway World Regional Award for Original Script of the Decade and was the 2019 official selection of American Stage’s 21st Century Voices New Play Festival. Naming True was included in Ashland New Play Festival’s inaugural Play4Keeps podcast and was a finalist for the 2016 Bridge Initiative Women in Theatre Playwright of the Year Award. Among other honors, Natalie was the recipient of the 2018 Creative Pinellas Professional Artist Grant, the 2018 Playwright-in-Residence at American Stage, and three-time choice for Best Playwright by Creative Loafing. Her work has been featured in Smith & Kraus’ Best of 2019 and Smith & Kraus’ 30th Anniversary Edition Best of 2020. Originally from Buffalo, New York, she now lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, with her husband Jim and their rescue dog Chloe. Lies in Bone is her first novel.