My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I am reviewing the book The Second Sister by Claire Kendal. “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?” This is a review of a free book provided by the Amazon Vine Programme. Here are my thoughts:
^^ Psychological thrillers are really my thing at the moment. I’d heard a lot about this author’s first book, but did not get to read it, so I made sure I read this as soon as I could. Was it as good as I expected? Mostly.
^^ I really liked Ella’s character and unraveling the story behind her sister Miranda’s disappearance was both exciting and scary. In my search to guess who might be involved with her sister, this book brought loads of questions to the surface, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
^^ Ella’s relationship with her nephew Luke was positively charming, in fact, we go to know her mum and dad really well, too. I liked that. It provided a lot of background information about what they had been going through since their daughter’s disappearance. For some this may have been a slow burner, but I think in this instant it worked in Claire Kendal’s favour.
^^ What did make me angry, (spoiler alert, continue at your peril) is the obvious reference of Ella and Jason’s relationship to that of Clarice and Hannibal’s relationship in Silence of the Lambs (this was meant to happen, since there was even a mention of the pigs eating evidence on purpose, even though this had nothing to do with the story). Then there was the scary prison scene where Ella goes to talk to Jason (a clinically insane man) and he gets to her, right up close and personal to give her a clue to her sister’s whereabouts. Then, guess what? He escapes and later a letter arrives for her from him saying how much he admires her and he’d always be watching and looking after her; clearly not always from afar. An obvious continuation of the SotL theme. Well, that really finished me off. Is this just me? Does this not bother anyone else? I mean, I’ve heard the saying – ‘there’s nothing new under the sun’, but really? It wasn’t even subtle, this was straight out of SotL. Had it not been for these moments I would have given this The Second Sister 5 stars. Until then, I had really enjoyed this book. I tried to think why this bothers me so much. I guess I just feel a little cheated. Like the author thinks we’re too stupid to notice what she’s done?
Overall: SotL aside, I’m still happy to recommend this. Surprised? I bet you are! It hooked me from the beginning, developed well and I raced to the end eager to find a resolution. Despite my rant, this is a really fun page-turner. Mostly.
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