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Sister - Rosamund Lupton

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11 Reviews

Genre: Crime / Thriller / Author: Rosamund Lupton / Paperback / 375 Pages / Book is published 2010-09-02 by Piatkus Books

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    11 Reviews
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      23.11.2013 18:56
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      Good enough for me

      I've been reading this 2010 book by Rosamund Lupton for a few weeks now, despite it being a gripping read it took me ages to get to the end of it! I had previously enjoyed reading 'Afterwards' so I actually sought out 'Sisters' to read.

      Starts with a bang

      The book is essentially a murder mystery, this is not giving anything away in terms of story line. We meet Beatrice, the main protagonist on her way from New York to England to find out where her missing sister is. She quickly discovers her sister is dead, in fact she is discovered in some public toilets in London's Hyde Park. All the police, detectives and medical people involved in the case are happy to agree that it was suicide, but Bea knows her sister would never do that and begins her own investigations.

      A few clues

      Tess (the dead sister) was pregnant, the baby's father being married and not happy about the baby.
      Tess had a stalker from her art course at the local college.
      Tess lived alone.
      Tess's baby had Cystic Fybrosis and was on a special medical trial in utero.

      My thoughts

      I don't want to go too far in to the plot, as the story is too good to give away. Suffice to say the format follows a logical path, as Bea gives her statement to the police. A little more is revealed in every chapter until we get to a dramatic and nail biting ending.

      Characters

      I liked a lot of the characters in the book. Tess and Bea's mum and dad seemed weak characters though. The men all seemed to be hopelessly attracted to Bea who admits from the start she is plain looking. Perhaps as the story is told through Bea's lips she fantasises a little about the men she is connected to. Funnily enough though, she is engaged but doesn't seem to want her fiancé much.

      Final word
      I thought this book was highly readable and I enjoyed the story line although it was a bit graphic in places in terms of Tess's death. It made me race towards the end, wanting to find out whodunit! Some of the narrative is a bit dream like and unclear, but this reflects Bea's upset state of mind as she is working through the list of potential killers.

      Highly recommended.

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      24.04.2013 16:57
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      one of the best books i've read

      I have literally just finished this book and I have come straight onto Ciao to review it as I am utterly amazed by it. From the moment I opened the first page I could not put it down, from the very first page I was captivated and wanting to read more and this momentum did not slow down at all throughout the book.

      I don't really know what my reading genre is, I like a bit of chick lit but I also like moving reads and a bit of suspense but I think what I really value the most in a book is it's ability to absorb you and have you lost in another world and this book definitely does that.

      The story tells of Beatrice who has just been told that her sister is missing. It is told by her in the present, retelling the events which have occured since her sister disappeared. It is told in a reflective way, with Beatrice explaining her story to her lawyer. The narrative is in present tense and first person with the past few months being told in past tense so it's not confusing at all as to which is the past and which is the present.

      As past and present begin to meet the story gets more and more absorbing.
      Tess, Beatrice's sister, went missing and was found dead in some toilets in a park. There are not many suspicious things about her death, however, Beatrice is sure that something isn't right and that investigations need to be undertaken to establish why Tess has died.

      The police refuse to listen to Beatrice so instead she begins to investigate everything for herself. She no longer trusts anybody and everyone who she talks to is a suspect. Everything that people say to her she isn't sure whether or not to believe it and as a reader I too began to suspect everyone.

      Throughout the book there are several different people who we meet; the father of Tess' child who didn't want anything to do with her, a college friend who was obsessed with her and wanted to take photographs of her, her landlord who used to let her off her rent in return for art work, her psychiatrist who seems to be hiding something...

      As the story unfolds we hear about the closeness between Tess and Beatrice and how their lives were shaped by the loss of their brother when they were children. We learn a lot about their relationship with their mother as well as the insecurities they both had at times.

      The end of the story is a shocker, there is a huge twist which I did not expect at all and it finished in a way which left me thinking all loose ends were tied up and the story was fully explained.

      Opinion

      I cannot believe how well written this book is. I could literally not put it down for there were many, many twists and cliff hangers.

      I do not usually like crime books but this was so full of emotion and written in a way which really showed the closeness between two sisters and their friends that it wasn't just all about police chases and dramatic scenes, instead there was not a great deal of drama but the information which was leaked throughout the pages was gripping enough to make you feel completely pulled in by it.

      The characters were so well crafted that I felt as though I could relate to them extremely well and could recognise some traits from my own friends in them. I could feel the dispair and determination that Beatrice felt as she tried to persuade people that she thought something was wrong. I really believed what she said to such an extent that I was absorbed into this book within seconds of beginning to read it.

      I liked how when I was reading this book I viewed everything from Beatrice's point of view which lead me to also suspect everyone and to wonder if what people were saying was actually true or not. I found myself trying to solve the mystry with her but I never actually pre-empted what was coming like you can in so many books. With this book there were so many different strands that you couldn't guess what was coming next.

      There is a bit of technical language in it but not enough to make it a difficult read. I think you could enjoy this book whether you are on the beach or relaxing at home or doing whatever.

      The way that it is written is very special. It's told in first person from Beatrice to Tess, telling her (us the reader) about what happened to her and how she managed to find out.

      There was not one moment when I found my mind wandering and thinking about other things whilst reading this. Whenever I had this book in my hands i would be immersed in it fully and would carry on reading as long as I could. The way it is written is so carefully done that you get to really know the characters in their past and their present which I think is an extremely special writing skill to have.

      Rosamund Lupton has not written any other books, this is her debut and what an absolutely stunning debut to have! I always rate books on how good they are on whether I am left thinking about them once I have finished reading it. I know that this book will be on my mind for a very long time and I will be telling all of my friends to read it! It's supberly written, it captivates you right from page one and it keeps you drawn in all the way through. The twist at the end is very good and I cannot wait to see more from this author.

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        03.08.2012 11:20
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        I'd recommend it, but have read better..

        "Sister" is the 2010 debut novel by the author Rosamund Lupton. As @ the time of writing (August 2012) you can purchase a used copy of the book online at the marketplace at www.amazon.co.uk from as little as £0.01 plus postage costs. A new copy will cost you £4.80 with free postage from Amazon, and there is also a kindle version of the novel available for around £5.

        The paperback version that I read cost me 50 pence from a local charity shop. I had read various reviews on the book and thought the story sounded quite intriguing, so I was interested to see for myself how the story would develop....


        * SYNOPSIS OF THE BOOK *

        When Beatrice learns that her younger sister Tess has suddenly disappeared she is understandably frantic, and arranges a flight home to London as soon as possible, temporarily leaving behind her busy New York life. She is highly concerned about her sister's sudden disappearance of course, but is doubly worried as she knows her sister is pregnant.

        When she arrives in London, Bea begins to find out that perhaps she didn't know her sister just as well as she thought she did. Even though they live miles apart, Bea has always regarded her relationship with her younger sibling as being extremely close, so she is surprised - and a little hurt, perhaps - at some of the facts that are being presented to her by the police and authorities.

        When Bea discovers the detail surrounding her sister's disappearance, she is not satisfied that the Police are telling her the full story, and so sets out to investigate matters herself. This leads to Bea uncovering some much-hidden secrets and possible deceit at the hands of her beloved sister. Bea begins to question whether she knows her sibling as well as she thought she did, working tirelessly to piece the puzzle surrounding her disappearance back together... with shocking consequences and revelations to deal with along the way......

        Can Bea discover the truth behind Tess's disappearance?


        * MY OPINION *

        I quite enjoy books in the thriller, mystery and crime genres and this book is nestled between these genres quite neatly. I found that I was thrust into the main body of the story fairly early-on in this book too, and I didn't find the story dragged or lacked pace to get it going - always a good sign for me.

        The main character of Bea takes a little while to get the reader to sympathise with her plight in my opinion, mainly because she came across as being quite stuck-up and perhaps a little 'whiney' around the first section of the book. I did find that the further into the book I got, and the more that the story developed, her character seemed to 'calm down' a little and I felt more comfortable with her as a result.

        The character of Tess is one that I found very enjoyable, being portrayed by the author in a very positive light. Being a sort of Arty, Bohemian character, I found the communications between the two sisters offered an insight into their very different personalities, which was interesting to read. I also liked the way the author conveyed Tess as being really kind and caring, and this groundwork added to some of the drama later in the book, causing quite a clever, stark contrast to some 'darker' and more sinister detail that is given later on.

        I liked the way the story felt as though it was 'building' throughout the middle section of the book which gave a slightly thrilling edge to the storyline, which otherwise may have felt slightly 'vanilla' if the story had been told more abruptly. We are told the story in sections, as it were, which allows the reader to feel a slight feeling of suspense as the pages turn.......always a welcome find, in my opinion. I did find this element of the book was highly enjoyable and made the story more interesting.

        There is quite a lot of medical jargon used throughout the latter sections of the book and I have to confess to finding this rather bamboozling. I am not remotely interested in reading this type of prose, and I'll admit to finding my mind wander during these sections. I didn't feel they were all that imperative to the main storylines to be honest, and felt the author would have done well to 'tone down' some of the uses of medical terminology throughout. To my mind, they made the storylines feel slightly 'jumbled' in places - (as if the author herself was a bit 'confused' perhaps?) and they just weren't needed to get the point across on each occasion.

        The other negative point I found when reading 'Sister' was that it felt a little 'spun out' both in the first half and again in the second half of the book. I put the first instance down to me having an 'off day' as the reader or something but when the familiar feeling of "Oh come on........ Get on with it!" returned during the second half of the book I was left feeling disappointed. I understand that a lot of detail was needed for CERTAIN parts of the book....... But not all, and in some cases it did feel like the author was stalling for time or trying to 'spin out' the dramatic ending or something.

        In saying that, I would recommend giving the book a read. I did enjoy reading about the relationship between the two sisters, and found some of the emotions Bea is going through, trying to fathom why her sister would suddenly disappear were quite touching, as were some of the chapters at the end of the book that struck a sort of sentimental chord with me as I have an older sister myself. Also, I did think there was a thrilling build-up to the conclusion of Bea's discoveries, and I enjoyed this part of the book the most, alongside an unexpected twist at the end of the book that answers something of a nagging doubt buried deep in the reader's subconscious.

        I think the book deserves 4 stars overall and I would recommend it, although it is not the best I have ever read.

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          13.12.2011 16:42

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          A great read!

          I love thriller books but Sister did not grab my attention at first. Through working in a book store I came into contact with the book alot and although the information given about the book made me believe it was going to be a bit soppy, I ended up buying it.

          The story begins straight away and we are told the sister is missing almost in the first pages. The book is very well written with the conclusion near the start of the book and the build up to it after. The main character goes on a frightened journey into finding where her sister is and why she is missing and has to uncover some awful things that have happened to her sister throughout her life. She doesn't back down when people tell her she should and goes all the way to uncovering the mystery. The story is certainly not soppy however has you feeling the fearful emotions of the character.

          I literally could not put this book down and found myself reading it until the early hours of the morning! The ending of the book is most curious and is the biggest cliff hanger I have ever read. What happens to the main character and the end of the book is not certain and the author leaves you to make up your own mind. I like this type of ending to a certain extent, however I did feel a bit let down and unfullfilled with the fact the story didn't end in a solid way.

          I would and have recommended this book to friends as I was desperate to hear their take on the conclusion to the book and they loved it just as much as I did! Rosamund Lupton is a great thriller writer and I would read the book again without a doubt!

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          16.10.2011 21:57
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          A thriller that conveys emotions and feeling better than most

          I don't normally read thrillers but something drew me to Sister and I couldn't put it down. I felt it was a thriller written with a feminine slat that I enjoyed very much. It is a very engaging book, written in letter form from one sister to another.

          Beatrice lives in New York with her fiancé. Her mother rings her up with shattering news that her younger sister Tess has vanished. The ties between sisters are very strong despite geographical distance and Beatrice immediately flies to London. She quickly finds that the circumstances of Tess' disappearance are multi-layered with obscure details and Beatrice is determined to find Tess no matter what. Little does she know when she leaves New Year of the journey she will have to face, uncovering some horriblel and frightening facts that will forever change everybody's life, not least her own.

          Although I enjoyed it, I did think at times it was a little bit over complicated and that maybe there were one or two characters that weren't needed.

          Lupton does though convey emotions and feeling much better than your average thriller writter and it is that which makes it different and enjoyable Her writing about the relationshipship between the two sisters is beautiful and very touching as is how Beatrices's relationship with her mother changes and grows during the course of the book.

          I couldn't put this book down and enjoyed the chilly atmosphere of suspense. Best thriller I have ever read. Highly recommended.

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          27.08.2011 18:46

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          Read if you want something deep

          This book totally had me hooked, especially towards the end where the story is wrapped up and all the loose ends tied up. I was reading it on the bus and literally could not read fast enough.
          However I do think the author copped out a bit at the end, I turned the page expecting to have more to read and it just finished, I wish she had written more. But in that way the book also makes you think, I finished the book and then was left wondering "did this happen?" "does this happen?"
          For those looking to turn away from the drivel in "chick lit" I would most certainly recommend it. It is quite deep and thought provoking though, not really a light read where you can read a chapter a day. Set aside a day to read this book because you really can't put it down.
          I would recommend.

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          10.03.2011 10:18
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          Brilliant novel

          I had wanted to read this for some time but always put off buying it because upon reading the blurb it didn't seem like my usual choice of chick lit. However, when my Mum said she had borrowed it from my sister and thought it was an excellent read I decided to give it a go after all.

          *Plot*
          Beatrice is a high flying businesswoman, originally from England but now living it up in America with her husband to-be Todd. She loves her new life and is very successful but she also misses her younger 21 year old sister Tess who lives back home in England. Tess is 37 weeks pregnant and they email each other every day.

          Following a promotion, Beatrice and Todd jet off for a relaxing weekend away. The weekend is abruptly interrupted when she receives a worried phone call saying Tess is missing. Beatrice gets the first flight back to England to be with her Mother and to help find Tess. Understandably, Beatrice is in a state and desperate to find her sister. However, a shocking turn of events leads Beatrice to realise that she doesn't know Tess as well as she thought she did...

          *Opinion*
          I was hooked on this book from the start. I found the plot very intriguing and although the book isn't my preferred style of writing I enjoyed it immensely.

          I felt a real connection with the story because I am the younger sister in my family, I am 21 and I know my sister would feel exactly how Beatrice did if the same was to happen to me. The plot followed Beatrice throughout but I found there was always so much going on and plenty to focus on.

          There were a number of shocks in the story. After about three quarters of the way through the book I was pretty sure how the story would end however, I was hit with a surprise and it was not what I expected at all (I actually gasped when I turned the page)! I think this shock was brilliant and I was not expecting it at all. After I had read this part of the story I had to finish it then and there (despite not really having time) as I was desperate to see what happened.

          The writing style is laid back and informal. For a lot of the story Beatrice is talking to Tess (though she is not actually there). I liked this style as it allowed us to see how Beatrice was feeling and it also allowed me as the reader to recognise how desperate she was to talk to Tess in person.

          I really enjoyed this book. It is not my usual preferred choice of genre but I found it very intriguing and interesting. The book kept my attention throughout and I recommend it to everyone.

          *Additional Information*
          The book is written by Rosamund Lupton.
          It was published on 2nd September 2010 by Piatkus Books.
          It has 384 pages.
          The paperback version is currently available on Amazon for just £3.49.

          *Summary*
          Chilling, intriguing and interesting. Definitely worth a read.

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            01.03.2011 11:15
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            5 stars

            I don't normally write book reviews, but as dooyoo was kind enough to send me this book as part of my Christmas stocking, I thought I'd give it a go.

            I did buy and receive quite a lot of books over Christmas, and if I'm honest, 'Sister' wasn't top of my reading list. I eventually got around to reading this book last week. I never make a beeline for crime/thriller novels (despite enjoying them when I get around to reading them), but after reading this I'll definitely be looking out for other books by Rosamund Lupton.

            I know the old adage 'never judge a book by its cover', but I wasn't very impressed by this cover. It's kind of boring at first glance and it's not until you examine it closely that you pick up on any of the little details. The blurb was equally uninspiring - although I realise now that's because it's extremely difficult to say anything about this book without giving any of the plot twists and outcomes away.

            Once I picked it up and started reading, I was hooked. I read a good hundred pages despite it being very late, and reluctantly put it down when my eyes refused to focus any more. I then picked it up the next day and finished it without any interruptions.

            The story is told by protagonist Beatrice, who finds out her sister Tess is missing and immediately flies over from her home in New York to investigate whilst the police have all but given up. Whilst uncovering the mystery, she discovers a lot about herself, her family, and particularly her relationships with her sister and her mother. The reader is led to question whether Beatrice knows her sister as well as she thinks she does, and the plot twists and turns very unpredictably. As I followed Beatrice's investigation and determination throughout the novel, I kept changing my mind about various characters and events; Lupton's writing style is extremely clever as, like Beatrice at the time, you can only guess what's really going on. Even some things you're convinced are right turn out not to be true, and the ending is the biggest twist of all.

            Beatrice is a pretty strong character, if a little judgemental. She often points out the differences between herself and her sister, and I found both characters believable and with a lot of depth. I had to admire the way she refused to give up until she found out the truth. However, there was a small plot point that annoyed me - it's a matter of debate whether Tess has received some phone calls or not, which are key to her mentality at the time. I feel this could have quickly and obviously been resolved with a call to the phone company and/or checking her itemised phone bill, but apparently no one thinks of this. It could easily be explained by Beatrice being stressed and the police not being convinced enough to follow it up, but it did make me want to shout at her!

            Another aspect I found interesting was the way the male characters are presented in the book. There are quite a lot of them, ranging from investigators to psychiatrists to doctors to Beatrice's fiancé to Tess's lecturer, but they were introduced slowly and I didn't find it confusing to keep track of who was who.
            Whereas the females were generally presented as being flawed yet determined victims with a focus on emotion, the men often came across as impatient, condescending and were largely based around their careers. I would have liked a bit more depth to some of the male characters, although their characterisation overall was good enough and admittedly there were a lot of people to cover in a relatively short novel. I guess it's also logical because it's in their career setting that Beatrice meets many of the men in the novel, whereas her relationships with women were much more personal. This did have the advantage that several twists and turns were created as certain characters interacted with each other and you didn't really know who you could trust or who was telling the truth. It also made it pretty much impossible to guess who was responsible, which was refreshing as you're kept guessing until almost the very end.

            I did think that the science aspects to the book were convincing and easy to understand even if, like me, you have a very limited knowledge of genetics. The book overall had an extremely realistic feel to it, and it was topped off by a great ending. I was a bit worried it would be left 'unfinished' or unsatisfying, but everything was pulled together very well and I would definitely recommend this book to any adults who enjoy reading.

            I'm sorry if this review comes across as quite vague, but I'm trying really hard not to give anything away! This is definitely the best book I've read in several months, but I feel that the re-reading value is limited unless you've forgotten the plot in a year or two. Having said that, I think that 'Sister' is one of those books where you pick up on things the second time round that you didn't notice initially.

            'Sister' can currently be picked up at the bargain price of £3.49 from Amazon, and it's definitely one to add to your wishlist; just be careful when reading any reviews online as many contain spoilers.

            The paperback version also contains a series of questions for reading groups, a little about the author, and a couple of pages from her next book.

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              24.01.2011 22:13
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              An excellent debut novel

              Sister is Rosamund Lupton's first novel and I enjoyed it so much that I hope she is going to be writing lots more. From the moment I started reading it I was so drawn into the story that I was reluctant to put it down for anything! It is a compelling crime thrilling that had me on the edge of my seat and kept me guessing from start to finish.

              The story is told my Beatrice who lives in America with her fiancé, but who comes back to the UK when her younger sister Tess goes missing. A few days later Tess is found dead and although Beatrice knows that Tess would never willingly have taken her own life, everyone else including her mother, her fiancé and the police, are all convinced that it is suicide. Tess refuses to accept the verdict and subsequently sets about trying to find out what really happened to her sister. In doing so, she discovers many things about her sister and is quite often disturbed about the things that Tess chose not to share with her. Despite being told off by the police for being a nuisance she continues to dig into what happens even if that means putting herself at risk. As the story moves to wards its gripping ending, the reader cannot fail to fear for Bea's safety!

              The book is written in a most interesting way as it is Bea writing to her dead sister and chronicling everything that has happened from the moment that she heard that Tess was missing. This made the style quite chatty and informal and made the relationship between the two sisters feel quite real.

              I also felt that the story line was very good too. There was lots of twists and turns but the story was always very plausible and with not too many twists to be confusing. Every time that I thought I was able to predict where the story was heading, something new was introduced which meant that I had to revise my thinking. I really like that in a good thriller as I don't like it to be too predictable. Especially towards the end I was expecting a few surprises and I was not in the least disappointed. It was well paced throughout with every chapter broken up into lots of shorter sections which made it east to keep on reading just that little bit more.

              Beatrice made a great storyteller and I loved her dogged nature which meant that she never gave up in her quest for the truth. We met a number of other characters who had been involved with Tess while she was alive. On first appearances some seemed very nice whilst others quite sinister, but you soon learn in this book never to trust anyone. Beatrice does learn this too but is it too late the reader might wonder!

              I thought that this book was fabulous - stylishly written, a great storyline and believable characters. I definitely recommend it.

              The paperback is currently available on Amazon for only £3.19 (January 2011).

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                18.01.2011 17:26
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                A gripping storyline about the bond of two sisters

                I am not usually one for crime or thriller books but I was given Rosamund Lupton's Sister as a Christmas present. In a rush last week I picked up this book to entertain me for a long car journey, I have managed to finish it this morning after trying to read it at every opportunity I could all week.

                Sometimes it takes me a couple of chapters to get into a book but I was gripped from the first chapter. Without going into too much detail the main character Beatrice recieves a call that her younger sister Tess is missing. Everyone believes and accepts the loss of Tess apart from Beatrice. The book follows her journey to discover what really happened to her sister.

                I felt I was on the journey with Beatrice, going through all the emotional ups and downs. You really get a sense of the strong bond between the two sisters and the frustration when nobody believed her. The author really keeps you guessing with an additional suprising twist at the end.

                I recommend this book to anyone, as said previously its not my usual type of read however I can honestly say I'll be keeping an eye out for further books by Rosamund Lupton.

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                  01.01.2011 22:09
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                  A great read!

                  I always make a point of checking out Richard & Judi's Book Club recommendations, so when their latest list was released I took a look at it and identified a few I was interested in. One of which was Sister. When in WH Smith recently I saw they were doing a buy one get one free from the Book Club list, never one to turn down a bargain I picked 2 of the ones I was first interested in, namely Sister and The Snowman.

                  I was intrigued by Sister so started reading it the very next day, a peaceful Sunday morning (a rarity in my life) and I couldn't put it down till I'd finished it late on the Sunday afternoon.

                  Some reviewers call it a thriller, which i suppose it is but it so also so much more, it is clever, completely gripping and a real page turner.

                  Sister is about two sisters - Beatrice in the middle of hosting a Sunday brunch in New York gets a call to tell her that her younger sister Tess is missing thousands of miles away in London. As Beatrice starts unravelling Tess' life and the circumstances surrounding her disappearance, danger seems to be all around and Beatrice begins to wonder how well she really knows her sister. But the bond of love and loyalty is strong and she never gives up.

                  I won't give away any of the plot as I would thoroughly recommend this as a good read. The story moves so quickly and really draws you in to the story and the sister's lives that it keeps you gripped and turning right to the very last page.

                  This was Rosamund Lupton's first novel and iti is an excellent read, definitely an author I will be looking out for in the future. It is a wonderfully written novel that provides the right amount of intrigue, pace, passion, emotions with well developed characters that really draw you in.

                  A must read you can purchase the book on Amazon for £3.36 with a recommended rrp of £6.99.

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