Today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the book tour for My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood! I’ve been really in the mood for thrillers recently so when the lovely Elke reached out on Instagram, I jumped at the chance. Here’s the Goodreads blurb:
Kate Rafter has spent her life running from her past. But when her mother dies, she’s forced to return to Herne Bay – a place her sister Sally never left.
But something isn’t right in the old family home. On her first night Kate is woken by terrifying screams. And then she sees a shadowy figure in the garden…
Who is crying for help?
What does it have to do with Kate’s past?
And why does no one – not even her sister – believe her?
It’s actually hard to believe this is a debut. Ellwood’s writing is of a superb quality and she has crafted a brilliantly multi-faceted story. The book tackles a LOT of heavy subjects (you can see trigger warnings at the end of this post) but it does so sensitively; Ellwood’s portrayal of PTSD in particular was very well done. I will admit that it’s a bit depressing at times and there were a couple of moments when I was on the verge of tears, so I wouldn’t advise reading this if you’re not feeling mentally strong. Thankfully, I’ve been feeling good recently so I was able to handle this without feeling completely drained of hope!
The author expertly created an atmospheric read, with the coastal setting adding to the sense of danger and uncertainty. There is a constant undercurrent of tension that hooks you in and really adds to the thrilling nature of the read! The descriptions of war zones felt accurate and they, too, added to the feelings of danger and suspense.
Ellwood’s characters were all really well-developed, even if they only had a minor role in the story. I felt like I was reading about real people and was rooting for Kate the entire time.
I absolutely flew through this book – the short chapters make it really easy to read and Kate’s emotional journey is so compelling that it stays with you even when you put the book down. I read the last 80 pages open-mouthed! Ellwood has the reader constantly doubting themselves and questioning whether what Kate is ‘seeing’ is real or a hallucination. I was completely gripped from start to finish; I was actually reading this on a break at work and the break ended right at the point of a big twist! It was unbearable having to put the book down!!
Overall, this is a compulsively readable book that I would definitely recommend, especially to fans of more literary thrillers. Ellwood has created a refreshing addition to the genre and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for her next book!
[Trigger warnings: horrors of war, ptsd, dementia, domestic violence, child abuse, alcoholism and substance misuse, miscarriage, rape, death, and mental illness in general. So, as you can see, quite a lot that could potentially upset the reader. Just some things to bear in mind if you’re thinking of picking this one up!]
Has anyone else read this one? Or has my review maybe tempted you to pick it up? Can you recommend me some more thrillers?