Article published on February 9, 2017.
After a short prologue, we are thrown straight into the action in My Sister’s Bones. Journalist Kate Rafter has returned from Syria and she is struggling to cope after what she saw whilst reporting on the events there. She has been detained at the police station due to some disturbing behaviour. Her sister, Sally, is a long-term alcoholic and their mother has died, so Kate has returned to Herne Bay, the place where she suffered at the hands of her violent father.
Kate is definitely what I would call an unreliable narrator. I never knew, for a large part of this book, whether I could trust what she was telling me or not. The blurb is quite sparse and I was never entirely sure where the story was going. All of a sudden, around the half-way point, there was an unexpected turn of events and the story went in a different direction. As the end approached, I had an idea about what was going to happen but even that went much further that I could have imagined.
This is a really great psychological thriller, and one that I thought was a bit different to many of the others out there. The pace never slowed and there were plenty of twists and turns that kept me interested all the way through. I was so engrossed at one point that I nearly missed my stop on the tram.
This is an extremely accomplished debut novel. I’m looking forward to seeing what Nuala Ellwood does next, since I think she’s a skilled writer and obviously very good at plotting a compelling novel.
Nicola Smith 4/4
My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood
Penguin 9780241977279 hbk Feb 2017