Monday, 8 May 2017

The Second Sister by Claire Kendal REVIEW

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The chilling new psychological thriller by Claire Kendal, author of the bestselling novel, THE BOOK OF YOU, which was selected for Richard and Judy in 2015. Perfect for fans of THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN and DISCLAIMER.

It is ten years since Ella's sister Miranda disappeared without trace, leaving her young baby behind. Chilling new evidence links Miranda to the horrifying Jason Thorne, now in prison for murdering several women. Is it possible that Miranda knew him?

At thirty, Miranda’s age when she vanished, Ella looks uncannily like the sister she idolized. What holds Ella together is her love for her sister’s child and her work as a self-defence expert helping victims.

Haunted by the possibility that Thorne took Miranda, and driven by her nephew’s longing to know about his mother, Ella will do whatever it takes to uncover the truth – no matter how dangerous…

I'm finally back into the crime/mystery genre and this was the perfect welcome back.

The Second Sister introduces us to Ella who ten years later is now the same age as her older sister Miranda when she disappeared. What I loved about this book (and any other good mystery book!) was how it left you with enough clues to maybe work out the mystery yourself but also not enough for you say "I've solved it for definite, I'm going to put it down now." 

I think most crime novels really take their stock from the fact that women are inherently wary of unknown men and recent novels and TV shows (hey Criminal Minds 👋) have shown just how charming your average sociopath can be. 

Whilst I guessed a couple of the twists ahead of, it absolutely didn't take away my enjoyment of the book, especially as Claire took the time to think about her characters motivations and the enjoyment of the things we had yet to know. I really loved the aspect of Ella and the family letting this potentially horrific event (they've never found a body and as such, can never be really sure that Miranda's dead even though they all think she would never willingly leave) shape them permanently, but also in doing so helping others. They set up a charity for women and a counselling group and it was just amazing to see tragedy shape people so tremendously. 

I really felt for Ella and the loss she had experienced as a result of not knowing what had happened to her sister. Her sister was 10 years older than her and thus played a perfect role between sister and "special parent". I loved the glimpses we saw of Miranda and Ella's relationship and how it seemed to ultimately define Ella's relationship with everyone else too.

Now the juicy stuff: the mystery. I was a fan of the execution (no pun intended I swear!) of the mystery plot line and I loved how many suspects were sprinkled across the book in order to keep us all on our toes. I loved how I went from "He did it, No she did it, Oh wait, he's suspicious" right back to *narrows eyes* "Was it you????". I thought the reveal was not only good but it was logical to the book that I'd been reading and there's nothing I love more than a mystery you can piece together earlier once you have all the pieces.

I finished this book at 6am as I found myself unable to put it down. I felt as though my heart had broken ten times over during the book with just enough of a fear factor to make me scared of the dark at my big big age of 22 😂. Cannot recommend it enough.

Rating: 5 stars

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