Published by Penguin/Viking
Ebook: 1 November 2016 | Hardback: 9 February 2017
Kate Rafter is a high-flying war reporter. She’s the strong one. The one who escaped their father. Her younger sister Sally didn’t. Instead, she drinks.
But when their mother dies, Kate is forced to return home. And on her first night she is woken by a terrifying scream.
At first Kate tells herself it’s just a nightmare. But then she hears it again. And this time she knows she’s not imagining it.
What secret is lurking in the old family home?
And is she strong enough to uncover it…and make it out alive?
Experienced journalist Kate returns home early from an assignment in Syria following her mother’s death. It soon becomes clear that Kate’s family life has not been a happy one and despite the fact that the only family remaining are Kate and her sister Sally, they do not get on at all. Sally is an alcoholic and her husband Paul is the go-between, trying to support Kate whilst trying to keep his wife sober.
Kate’s experiences in Syria have had a severe effect on her mental health and it appears that she is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder – she has recurring nightmares, with unsettling visions and is convinced she can hear screams coming from the garden of her family home. She is not in a good place at all and when the story begins, she is being assessed for a mental health review; something bad has happened. We just don’t know what.
This is very disturbing thriller at times but also a very topical one. Via Kate’s flashbacks and experiences of working in Syria – the bombings, the snipers and the constant danger, we get a very clear picture of the horror of this war. Add in the memories of her childhood with an abusive father and the nightmares she still suffers, it is sometimes difficult to tell what’s imagined and what is real and there were many times when I wondered just how reliable Kate’s memories were.
So many other books are now marketed as “….a psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming….” etc. which can be rather irritating when quite often you do! However, with this book, I really didn’t expect the events that felt like a punch to the gut. Without going into any details and spoiler territory, this book will have you scrabbling to turn the pages to find out what the hell is going on.
My Sister’s Bones is an excellent read with a well developed and realistic cast of characters and a powerful storyline covering darker subjects such as domestic abuse and alcoholism, all combined with the twists and turns that you would expect from a psychological thriller. Although there were some characters that I found distinctly unlikeable, I could still believe in them and the situations they found themselves in. This is a superb debut thriller from Nuala Ellwood and I look forward to reading more from this author. Definitely one to put on your reading list.
Tomorrow the tour is with Kate of bibliophilebookclub and there are still lots of other stops on the tour to check out.
My thanks to the publisher for the paperback copy to review and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.
At the time of publishing this post, My Sister’s Bones is available to download from Amazon UK for £1.99
About the author:
Nuala Ellwood moved to London in her twenties to pursue a career as a singer-songwriter, but ended up writing novels instead. She comes from a family of journalists, and they inspired her to get Arts Council funding to research and write a novel dealing with psychological trauma in the industry. My Sister’s Bones is her debut thriller.
Thank you to the publisher for this!