Sunday, July 12, 2015

Some Skeletons Refuse To Stay In The Closet

The Night Sister
by Jennifer McMahon
336 pages
$10.99 Kindle version
This novel is amazing! I was just looking for a good mystery-thriller, but this story has elements of several sub-genres, which I won't mention because I am afraid of revealing spoilers. I was very impressed with the organization of the story: the timeline moves back and forth between the 1950s, the 1980s and the present...basically encompassing three generations. The POV switches often as well, but the sections are always labeled by year and person, so it's impossible for the reader to get confused or lost.

The drama begins with two sisters, Rose and Sylvie, who are as different as night and day in the 1950s, and one suspects the other of keeping a terrible secret. At first I thought the author was using misdirection to lead readers away from what might be obvious to most, but the family secrets come in layers. These layers start to unravel in the 1980s with Amy, daughter of Rose, and her two friends, Piper and Margot, when they make a startling discovery that becomes the undoing of their childhood friendship. As adults, Piper and Margot decide to uncover all the details of Amy's family secret after Amy is suspected of slaughtering her entire family just days after she reached out to Margot for help. The truth, as hard as it to believe, might be the death of all involved with the family's motel and the mysterious tower on the property.

I've never heard of Jennifer McMahon before this novel, but she has made me a fan with this dark mystery-thriller. The inclusions of Sylvie's letters to Alfred Hitchcock are perfect and a great way to emphasize the classic horror within these pages. The best part: this is one of those novels that I can recommend to anyone - you just have to enjoy great storytelling.

As always,

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