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?
When I first saw the title of this book I conjured up so many different scenarios but oh my god I couldn’t have been more wrong! New author on the block Nuala Ellwood has certainly written a disturbing and spine chilling tale that I found impossible to put down once I started reading. Kate Rafter is a war reporter it’s clear from the start that she has seen terrible things during her time reporting from war zones, so much so she is having horrendous flashbacks that torment her day and night. Kate begins to see and hear things but is it a symptom of PTSD or is there something more sinister at work?
Our first introduction to Kate, she is in a Police Station, Kate is being interviewed by a police doctor, you aren’t sure why but you do get a sense that it’s very bad. Layer by layer the author reveals more and there are shocks galore as the truth emerges. My Sisters Bones has two very unreliable narrators Kate who relays heavily on medication to get her through and her alcoholic sister Sally. The two sisters never had the best life growing up, mentally abused by an alcoholic father, they are both struggle to cope with past events.
At times I found it difficult to work out which sister was the most disturbed or whose narrative was the more reliable which made for an highly engaging read. This book really messed with my head as you try to work out if Kate and her sister are imagining things or if there is something much more sinister going on, and for me that’s what a book of this genre should do, keep you guessing right up to the end. As the plot progressed I really felt I was no nearer to guessing the outcome than when I started, and I remained in the dark until the last couple of chapters.
There are numerous threads running through my sisters Bones and I have to say the author paints a vivid picture of both women’s torment so much so I found this book both harrowing and disturbing at times. What I found intriguing and added depth to this novel was the way the two sisters lives were connected by past horrifying events, but their lives took very different paths, they also had very different memories and views on their past experiences, which for me made it difficult to distinguish whose memories were the more credible.
If I had one small criticism I did feel I had to suspend my disbelief for the ending, it really wasn’t what I expected at all, don’t get me wrong this never spoilt the story in anyway I just didn’t find it to be a credible one, but on the other hand it works making this an outstanding psychological read. My Sisters Bones is well paced, and it certainly keeps the reader on their toes, as it’s so difficult to second guess where the plot is leading. I find it hard to believe this is Nuala Elwood’s debut as it is so well executed, it’s creepy, harrowing and down right disturbing at times, but readers of psychological thrillers will love it, and it’s a book I feel will do really well, in fact I would go as far to say it could be a bestseller on its release.
4.5 out of 5
Print Length: 400 pages
Publisher: Penguin (1 Nov. 2016)
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.