Published – 2010 (paperback)
Genre – Thriller
I was given this book and under normal circumstances, as part of the “Richard & Judy Bookclub” I would have steered clear, but I’m not one to ignore a free read.
Nothing can break the bond between sisters …When Beatrice gets a frantic call in the middle of Sunday lunch to say that her younger sister, Tess, is missing, she boards the first flight home to London. But as she learns about the circumstances surrounding her sister’s disappearance, she is stunned to discover how little she actually knows of her sister’s life – and unprepared for the terrifying truths she must now face. The police, Beatrice’s fiance and even their mother accept they have lost Tess but Beatrice refuses to give up on her. So she embarks on a dangerous journey to discover the truth, no matter the cost.
This story is an unusual take on a contemporary thriller. The book opens as Beatrice returns from the US to try to find her missing sister. When Beatrice disagrees with the views of the police, her friends and her family, she turns detective in an effort to prove them wrong, but begins to question how well she really knows her sister. The story is told by Bee in a letter to her sister and within that she is giving her statement to a CPS lawyer. Both good devices for telling the story but I sometimes lost the thread of the timeline.
This is the author’s first novel. She was a scriptwriter previously and certainly in the early part of the book it felt as if she was trying to prove something. I found phrases like “Grief like swallowed offal made me wretch.” and “Mum’s words seemed to pucker in the air with annoyance.” quite wearing. But once the pace of the book picked up either this improved, or I was so engrossed I stopped noticing.
Whilst the thriller grips you, the literary approach to the relationship between the sisters provides an emotional balance and deals with some tough issues along the way. Although a little plodding at the start the book soon picks up the pace and becomes a real page turner.
Score – 4/5 (and it was the reader’s choice of the R&J Autumn books)