Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Review: The Night Sister

Title: The Night Sister
Author: Jennifer McMahon
Page Count: 322
My Rating:  4 TURTLES: A great read, I definitely recommend.
*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review


Once the thriving attraction of rural Vermont, the Tower Motel now stands in disrepair, alive only in the memories of Amy, Piper, and Piper's kid sister, Margot. The three played there as girls until the day that their games uncovered something dark and twisted in the motel's past, something that ruined their friendship forever.

Now adult, Piper and Margot have tried to forget what they found that fateful summer, but their lives are upended when Piper receives a panicked midnight call from Margot, with news of a horrific crime for which Amy stands accused. Suddenly, Margot and Piper are forced to relive the time that they found the suitcase that once belonged to Silvie Slater, the aunt that Amy claimed had run away to Hollywood to live out her dream of becoming Hitchcock's next blonde bombshell leading lady. As Margot and Piper investigate, a cleverly woven plot unfolds—revealing the story of Sylvie and Rose, two other sisters who lived at the motel during its 1950s heyday. Each believed the other to be something truly monstrous, but only one carries the secret that would haunt the generations to come.

This was a bit of a departure from what I usually read (I don’t typically read many mysteries or thrillers) but I’m really glad I took the chance! Jennifer McMahon wrote an incredibly suspenseful mystery. I had to read the last sixty pages or so in one sitting because I had to find out what happened! I love how the story is told through different points of views in three set eras to trace the mystery over three generations. The pacing that new information about the mystery is revealed is perfectly timed. Slow enough that the suspense continues to mount, but quick enough to keep the story moving.

I also thought the characters were super compelling. Some likable and sympathetic, others less so, but the nature of the mystery always had me questioning whether or not some characters were who they were presented as being (some yes and some no). The casual queer representation in this book was also a big plus for me. I love it when characters’ queerness is a present part of their identity but it isn’t the most important thing about them. Don’t get me wrong, I love coming out type stories too, but getting to read characters who just happen to be queer is really exciting for me. The one character that felt a little flat to me was Jason. He was always there, but kind of pushed to the background and underdeveloped. I would have liked to have seen a bit more of who he was, because what was there was interesting.  

One things that seems incredibly difficult about writing mystery to me is coming up with the ending. How do you come up with a conclusion that lives up to the suspenseful build up? I think the book came up a bit short in this department. The suspense was so thrilling that even though the reveal at the end explained all the mysterious elements well and tied up all the loose threads, it did not feel as dramatic as everything that came before it.

Overall, though,  The Night Sister is an incredibly entertaining, enthralling, creepy novel and I would definitely recommend it.

Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases.

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