By Sue Fortin
Kindle ASIN: B01MXKLNQC
Alice: Beautiful, kind, manipulative, liar.
Clare: Intelligent, loyal, paranoid, jealous.
Clare thinks Alice is a manipulative liar who is trying to steal her life.
Alice thinks Clare is jealous of her long-lost return and place in their family.
One of them is telling the truth. The other is a maniac.
Two sisters. One truth.
This title was another Kindle discovery that immediately captured my attention with its ominous cover and intriguing blurb. But what I received was even more than a pretty title full of promises. I haven’t honestly read a good mystery in some time. Sue Fortin definitely catered to me with an exciting plot-line that delivered elements of suspense and psychological thrills.
Sister Sister follows the lives of Alice and Claire who have been reunited many years after their father took Alice and left for America, never to return. Two women, distanced by time and trying to recover what has been lost soon discover that something is amidst. Is this a case of jealousy or dangerous deceit?
“Sometimes the coldest places are in the warmth of your own home, surrounded by your family.”
I have to attribute the success of Sister Sister to the character building, depth and lack of. The entire story unfolds through the eyes of Claire, and it works so wonderfully because she is an incredibly powerful protagonist and a completely unreliable narrator. Claire is everything we could expect from a devoted mother and wife who works full-time and has just been reunited with a sibling she no longer knows. She is loving but she is guarded. She is learning to cope with a range of emotions and even accepting that some of these feeling (i.e. jealousy and mistrust) may be of her own fault and personal insecurities. I adore her because she questions everything. She wants what is ultimately best and what anyone would truly desire in this situation. But is she coming unhinged during the process?
Alice is an enigma. We know so little of her, yet desire to learn so much more. We want to understand her and accept her, but find it is hard to trust the unknown. Questioning her motives soon becomes something we easily do as we find there is such an air of uncertainty. But is that stance fair? Is Alice perhaps the victim here?
And that is where Sister Sister brilliantly shines. Is Claire falling apart? Is Alice really all that she claims to be? Is Claire blinded by her own jealousy to the extent that she has jeopardized all she holds dear? So many uncertainties.
We soon realize that Claire is losing her composure and that maybe Alice just really wants to be with the family she lost so long ago. Each page navigates the reader through a twisted labyrinth of apprehension and mystery creating a fast paced read that manages to successfully deliver turn after unexpected turn. The end result is a well written and executed, fast paced read that packs a nice punch with a shocking revelation. You may think you know, but you do not really know.
“…the memories have always been there, I just stopped visiting them.”
My only complaint with this edition is that there were a few moments that read as a mistype and small issues with sentence structure that I noted during my read. However, I recommend this one to all fans of psychological thrillers, family centered dramas and high tension reads. I will certainly be revisiting Sue Fortin’s work in the future.