Monday, February 19, 2018

Review: Blood Sisters

Summary: Three little girls. One accident. A lifetime of lies. From the bestselling author of MY HUSBAND’S WIFE.

Three little girls set off to school one sunny morning. Within an hour, one of them is dead.

Fifteen years later, Kitty can’t speak and has no memory of the accident that’s to blame. She lives in an institution, unlikely ever to leave. But that doesn’t keep her from being frightened when she encounters an eerily familiar face.

Art teacher Alison looks fine on the surface. But the surface is a lie. She’s struggling to make ends meet and to forget the past. When a teaching job at a prison opens up, she takes it, despite her fears. Maybe this is her chance to set things right. Then she starts to receive alarming notes; next, her classroom erupts in violence.

Meanwhile, someone is watching both Kitty and Alison. Someone who never forgot what happened that day. Someone who wants revenge. And only another life will do. . . -- Pamela Dorman Books

I was excited to read BLOOD SISTERS by Jane Corry. I had enjoyed her earlier novel MY HUSBAND'S WIFE, and I was hoping this one was as good. I thought Ms. Corry did a good job with creating interesting characters as well as weaving a suspenseful story, and I knew this novel had already received some good reviews. 

BLOOD SISTERS tells the story of two sisters and how their lives were forever changed after an accident that occurred 15 years ago. Kitty lives in an institution and can no longer speak or even complete the simplest tasks by herself, and she is hard to control because she's prone to violent fits. She doesn't remember the accident but she does have occasional flashbacks that something bad happened to her... especially when she sees a man that seems kind of familiar.

Meanwhile, her older sister Alison is a struggling art teacher who agrees to take a job in a prison to help pay the bills. She's not exactly comfortable with working with the male prisoners, but she's hoping she can make amends for the accident from her past -- one that she believes she's responsible for. It doesn't take long before she starts getting some scary messages, and then violence breaks out in her classroom. 

Both sisters are still haunted by whatever occurred in the past in very different ways, and it seems like someone doesn't want to let them forget....

All in all, I liked BLOOD SISTERS but I'm not sure I loved it. It was a very well written novel with complex characters but something just didn't resonate with me. (I am definitely the odd one out with these feelings.) It's been a few days since I've finished this book, and I still don't know what my problem was. Honestly, I think I might be in a bit of a reading funk.

Having said that, I did appreciate BLOOD SISTERS and I definitely want to give kudos to the author. Ms. Corry wrote a suspenseful novel with quite a few twists, and I thought the pacing of the story was very good. The two sisters' characters were well developed and very interesting, and their relationship (both in the present and the past) was complex.

One of my favorite things about this novel was Kitty's story. She was a sad character, albeit full of anger and frustration, who wasn't able to really know what happened to her... and definitely wasn't able to communicate what she did remember. Her sister Alison, while guilt ridden about her role in the accident, was actually "happy" that her sister couldn't share what happened. When a new technology became available that might help Kitty remember and communicate better, Alison was obviously nervous. As a reader, I enjoyed how the author built the tension and suspense; and I was anxious to learn the secrets from the past!

When the secrets were finally revealed, it was a bit of a disappointment. I don't mean that in a negative way, but I immediately suspected that there was a bit more to the sisters' story... and actually the novel. I was right! There were a few more twists thrown in and one managed to really catch me by surprise. The story ended up being complicated (in a good way!) and I thought the entire book was  well done.

Fans of suspense and mysteries will enjoy THE BLOOD SISTERS. It's a smart mystery with intriguing characters that should keep most readers guessing until the very end.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.


bermudaonion said...

The fact that you're thinking about the book a few days after you finished it says a lot to me. I'd be willing to give this a try.

Kim@Time2Read said...

This one sounds good! I'm adding it to my list. I've had My Husband's Wife on my TBR forever. Hopefully I'll get it read soon.

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

This looks really interesting!