Publisher: Bookouture | Publication date: 7th July 2016
I did something terrible Grace. I hope you can forgive me …
If you like to gorge on psychological twistiness with a helping of stewing suspense, then you will have no trouble devouring The Sister.
Meet Grace. One of four teenage friends Grace, being the latecomer to the group whose life is surrounded by a fog of mystery, is not accepted by everyone. Alas, the quartet will be fractured by the fallout from the tensions of youth and Grace targeted by some spiteful torment in the form of abusive mail. Despite the finger pointing in a certain direction, the origin is never pinpointed with 100% certainty, as the accused fiercely denies all knowledge leaving a curious doubt to edge its way in to the story.
But Charlie, an outspoken member of the group, stuck up for Grace even though she risked her own relationship with the others. Then Charlie was gone, leaving a huge void in Grace’s life. Soon, all kinds of dramas attempt to disrupt her autopilot routine, like the elusive note asking for her forgiveness, having her very own stalker, and her life generally going down the pan at every turn.
Past events in Grace’s life left her with ‘vulnerability syndrome’ and a thought process in desperate need of a makeover. There are hints throughout the story as to why Grace lived with her grandparents instead of her mum and dad, and what secrets Charlie was holding back too. The truth surrounding an incident involving her father is not exposed immediately, nor those concerning Charlie. These are teased into the ‘now’ and ‘then’ to describe events as Grace experiences them first hand.
Grace focusses her efforts on tracking down Charlie’s father, something they were unable to achieve when her friend was alive. After making a start on the process, the last thing she expected was for a relative to come forward wanting to learn more about Charlie. Encouraged by this intriguing development, Grace invites Anna into the home she shares with her boyfriend and cat. Although her presence provides a welcome distraction from the new wave of an escalating hate campaign Grace has never felt so alone, and I saw her travelling through some dark places including fear, guilt, grief and the raw truth.
I’m not going to reveal who may have resurrected their sinister performance, or why they are going to so much trouble to taunt Grace, just that with the blame for pretty much everything being laid at her door I was constantly wondering if she actually was an innocent bystander, or could be accountable for the situations that arose throughout The Sister. If so, what exactly did she do to deserve the unrelenting target on her back?
With such creeping intensity, The Sister is one seriously haunting psychological thriller. You can’t help feeling unsettled throughout, as nothing is quite as it seems.
(Huge thanks to Bookouture for providing a digital copy of this title via NetGalley for review.)
(Courtesy of Amazon UK)
Grace hasn’t been the same since the death of her best friend Charlie. She is haunted by Charlie’s last words, and in a bid for answers, opens an old memory box of Charlie’s. It soon becomes clear there was a lot she didn’t know about her best friend.
When Grace starts a campaign to find Charlie’s father, Anna, a girl claiming to be Charlie’s sister steps forward. For Grace, finding Anna is like finding a new family, and soon Anna has made herself very comfortable in Grace and boyfriend Dan’s home.
But something isn’t right. Things disappear, Dan’s acting strangely and Grace is sure that someone is following her. Is it all in Grace’s mind? Or as she gets closer to discovering the truth about both Charlie and Anna, is Grace in terrible danger?
There was nothing she could have done to save Charlie …or was there?
A compelling, gripping psychological thriller perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, I Let You Go, and The Girl With No Past.
(Courtesy of Amazon UK. Photo courtesy of publisher)
Louise lives in Northamptonshire with her husband, children, madcap spaniel and a rather naughty cat. The Sister is Louise’s debut novel.
Louise loves to hear from readers and writers and can be found at http://www.louisejensen.co.uk, where she regularly blogs flash fiction.