Title: The Sister
Authors: Louise Jensen
Genre: Mystery, Psychological Thriller
First Publication: 2016
Major Characters: Grace, Charlie, Dan, Anna
Grace hasn’t been the same since the death of her best friend Charlie. She is haunted by Charlie’s words the last time she saw her, and in a bid for answers, opens an old memory box of Charlie’s. It soon becomes clear that there was a lot she didn’t know about her best friend.
When Grace starts a campaign to find Charlie’s father, Anna, a girl claiming to be Charlie’s sister steps forward. For Grace, finding Anna is like finding a new family and soon Anna has made herself very comfortable in Grace and boyfriend Dan’s home.
But something isn’t right. Things disappear, Dan’s acting strangely and Grace is sure that someone is following her. Is it all in Grace’s mind? Or as she gets closer to discovering the truth about both Charlie and Anna, is Grace in terrible danger?
There was nothing she could have done to save Charlie . . . Or was there?
Book Review: The Sister by Louise Jensen
When Grace was nine years old she started a new school; in a new town and also living with her grandparents. She had a secret but she kept the sadness hidden – but the teasing and torment of a new student were stopped by Charlie as she stood up for her against the bullies. Grace and Charlie became best friends from that time forward – going through much together but loving each other all the same. But when they were in their early twenties, Charlie died.
Grace couldn’t find a way through her grief – it had been four months since Charlie’s death and she had only just gone back to her job at the child care center. It also felt to Grace that Dan, her boyfriend had drifted from her – he never seemed to be home and often when he was he smelled of alcohol. But when they decided to continue Charlie’s quest to find her father, it brought them closer once again. In the days that followed, Grace was contacted by a young woman who claimed to be Charlie’s sister; the shock was huge. But when Anna moved into their home – “just for a short while” – things began to go very wrong.
“We all have to carry the consequences of our own actions, no matter how heavy they are.”
The obvious dislike of Dan toward Anna surprised Grace – she found herself defending Anna. But Dan’s manner continued to worry Grace; and when strange secrets began to surface plus an image of a shadowy person she kept seeing, Grace knew real fear. What was happening to her? Was she losing her mind? And what did Charlie’s last message to her mean?
The Sister by Louise Jensen is this author’s debut novel, and what a cracker it is! A dark psychological thriller, the twists and turns continue in a relentless fashion. I will admit to wanting to smack Grace a couple of times and yell at her because she couldn’t see what I could see! The Sister is written alternately in the current day and the past. The chapters are titled NOW and THEN to differentiate between time frames and it was well done. I had no trouble following Grace and Charlie as youngsters, then teens; or Grace as an adult.
Louise Jensen is a fabulous writer who really gets inside our heads with her characters and messes with our emotions so that we aren’t really sure where our sympathies lie! I found myself unexpectedly changing my opinions throughout A thoroughly enjoyable novel, The Sister is one I would certainly recommend it to fans of psychological suspense as I simply couldn’t put it down. An impressive and intelligent debut that was gripping from start to finish.