Author: Rosamund Lupton
Published: June 7, 2011
Genre: mystery, thriller
eBook: approx. 368 pages
Source: borrowed from the library
My Rating: 4.5 stars
Synopsis (from GoodReads): When her mom calls to tell her that Tess, her younger sister, is missing, Bee returns home to London on the first flight. She expects to find Tess and give her the usual lecture, the bossy big sister scolding her flighty baby sister for taking off without letting anyone know her plans. Tess has always been a free spirit, an artist who takes risks, while conservative Bee couldn’t be more different. Bee is used to watching out for her wayward sibling and is fiercely protective of Tess (and has always been a little stern about her antics). But then Tess is found dead, apparently by her own hand.
Bee is certain that Tess didn’t commit suicide. Their family and the police accept the sad reality, but Bee feels sure that Tess has been murdered. Single-minded in her search for a killer, Bee moves into Tess's apartment and throws herself headlong into her sister's life--and all its secrets.
Though her family and the police see a grieving sister in denial, unwilling to accept the facts, Bee uncovers the affair Tess was having with a married man and the pregnancy that resulted, and her difficultly with a stalker who may have crossed the line when Tess refused his advances. Tess was also participating in an experimental medical trial that might have gone very wrong. As a determined Bee gives her statement to the lead investigator, her story reveals a predator who got away with murder--and an obsession that may cost Bee her own life.
My Thoughts: Wow. Let me start this review with that one word: wow. This book is probably one of the best that I will read this year (I'm willing to make that statement pretty early on in the year!) and something that I will be talking about to everybody that I know. Beatrice has just lost her sister and nephew (who was stillborn), so she returns to London to deal with the funeral and burial. When she arrives and learns the circumstances around her sisters death, Beatrice realizes that her sister was murdered, although everyone else believes that she committed suicide following the death of her baby. Beatrice decides to solve this crime on her own since everyone believes that Tess was not murdered but just a girl going through a very hard time.
Beatrice is the narrator for this story and she tells it in the most interesting way. She is talking to a prosecutor, telling him how she went about solving the mystery and talking to her dead sister at the sametime. It's the most interesting viewpoint that I've ever seen used to write a book and it was so engaging! When she talks to the prosecutor, you are driven to anxiousness because she has already solved the crime! You are on the edge of your seat, wanting it to go faster! When she's talking to Tess, telling her how she figures everything out and uses the language that is common to sisters, you learn more about Beatrice and Tess, both as individuals and as siblings.
Rosamund Lupton is a gifted writer and it shows when she is talking about the sisters. As an older sister myself, I could totally identify with Beatrice and her madness to solve this crime. Afterall, we may not always get along with our sisters, but we know each other better than anyone else. That's what happens when you grow up together and share those common experiences that shape your personality and who you are a person. You forge a bond with one another that cannot be severed. And you also have an innate understanding of each other, which can never be broken. Lupton explores the relationship between sisters so wonderfully and it made me better understand my own sisters and the relationships that we have together.
The plot is gripping and engaging and the end of the novel (don't worry, I won't give anything away) had me (literally!) on the edge of my seat, wondering if this was how the novel was going to end. I did think that it ended a little abruptly, which is why I gave this 4.5 stars. But at the end of the day, I walk away having read a fantastic book written by a gifted writer, one who I'm sure will be around for quite sometime. If you like mysteries or thrillers, or if you have a sister, then you must read this book. I promise you, you will not be disappointed!