Review: My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood

This review is part of the blog tour for #MySistersBones by Nuala Ellwood.

My Sister's Bones by Nuala Ellwood (actual cover taken from Penguin.co.uk)

My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood

Title:My Sister’s Bones
Author: Nuala Ellwood
Genre: Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Thriller
Source: The publisher
Publisher: Penguin (9th February 2017, 1st November 2016 in ebook)
Blurb:

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?

(Blurb taken from Penguin.co.uk)

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

My Sister's Bones by Nuala Ellwood (uncorrected proof copy)

My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood (uncorrected proof copy)

MY SISTER’S BONES by Nuala Ellwood tells the story of Kate Rafter a war correspondent with a troubled past. Her mother has died recently and Kate returns home to help her sister settle the estate. Once back in her childhood home Kate is woken by a terrifying scream. She convinces herself that it’s just a nightmare. Until she hears it again. Convinced something is wrong Kate tries to investigate, but being a reporter who has visited some of the most dangerous and harrowing places in the world comes at a price. Determined to find out what is going on and to lay the past to rest, Kate struggles not to lose her mind.

The lovely people at Penguin were kind enough to send me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not expecting this book, and was very delighted upon its arrival to jump straight in. MY SISTER’S BONES is a tense, dream-like read that will keep you gripped from the start. The narrative is really complex and it will definitely keep you guessing all the way to the end – it’s really well thought out, and there are a lot of twists as the story unfolds.

Ellwood has split the book into different parts, the first of which is told from Kate Rafter’s point of view. I thought she was a really interesting character to get to know, and for me she worked well as a narrator. Telling the story from Kate’s point of view, especially as the narrative splits between the present and the past, is a solid choice by Ellwood as it leaves you with lots of questions. It is interesting and disturbing to watch events unfold on the page. The second and third parts of the novel are brilliantly crafted, and I liked the fact that Ellwood switches the narrative point of view in the different parts as I think it really added to the story.

Talking about the plot is tricky because I don’t want to give anything away – MY SISTER’S BONES is, in my opinion, best read without knowing too much about it – but at the same time I don’t want to leave it unremarked upon. Ellwood crafts a compelling story, and I needed to know what was going on. There is a lot going on in this book, and yet it is told as a brilliant cohesive story that just seems to flow before you.

If you’re looking for a psychological thriller that covers hard topics, that has compelling storytelling, is hard hitting, and an intense read then this is a book you should check out. You should also check this book out if you are interested in journalism – storytelling is a huge theme in this book, and I think Ellwood does the subject justice. MY SISTER’S BONES is a strong debut, and I look forward to seeing what Ellwood does in the future.

Photo credit: Justine Stoddart.

Photo credit: Justine Stoddart.

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 write a novel about a war reporter suffering from psychological trauma. My Sister’s Bones is her debut thriller. (Taken from Penguin.co.uk)

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