Title: The Second Sister
Author: Claire Kendal
It is ten years since Ella’s sister Miranda disappeared without trace, leaving her young baby behind. Chilling new evidence links Miranda to the horrifying Jason Thorne, now in prison for murdering several women. Is it possible that Miranda knew him? At thirty, Miranda’s age when she vanished, Ella looks uncannily like the sister she idolized. What holds Ella together is her love for her sister’s child and her work as a self-defence expert helping victims. Haunted by the possibility that Thorne took Miranda, and driven by her nephew’s longing to know about his mother, Ella will do whatever it takes to uncover the truth – no matter how dangerous…
I enjoyed The Second Sister and found it entertaining, but it did feel a little ridiculous at times. It got off to quite a slow start, because I suppose nothing really happens as such right at the beginning – it’s more that Ella decides to start looking for what happened to her missing (presumed dead) sister Miranda, partly due to her nephew Luke asking her to try and find out. So because of this she starts to investigate and discovers new evidence (that the police somehow never managed to figure out themselves).
I found Ella a little irritating at times, but she was daring and determined, so I did warm to her more as the book went on. Other characters, though, felt far too obviously dodgy to me and when we discovered who was hiding what, it didn’t feel like a big surprise to be honest. All the male characters seemed smitten with Ella, which got a little silly as the book went on!
The structure of the novel sees a constant flicking back and forth between the present day and the time before Miranda disappeared, and at times it got a little confusing because Ella is always addressing Miranda but sometimes talking to other people within the text, so sometimes it’s unclear who she’s talking to. I do generally enjoy books which switch between timeframes, though, so this negative feeling might be more because I was listening on audiobook.
I really like the ending, which rounds off the book quite nicely, and I have to bear in mind that I may have enjoyed this novel more if I’d have been reading it instead of listening to it, as I often find is the case, and this would therefore be more of a problem with me than with the book.
The Second Sister is quite far fetched, but then so are a lot of novels in this genre I suppose – though I really enjoyed The Book Of You. I just felt that this wasn’t as much of an engrossing (or as well-crafted) read. Still, it kept me reading on and I found myself entertained.
Have you read The Second Sister (or The Book Of You)? If so what did you think?