My Sister’s Bones

Book Title: My Sister’s Bones

Author: Nuala Ellwood

Publisher: Penguin

Publication Date: February 9th 2017

Genre(s): Mystery & Thrillers, General Fiction (Adult)

Pages: 400

Format Received: ARC (Paperback)


Kate Rafter is a successful war reporter. She’s the strong one. The one who escaped Herne Bay and the memories it holds. Her sister Sally didn’t. Instead, she drinks.

But when their mother dies, Kate is forced to return to the old family home. And on her first night she is woken by a terrifying scream.

What secret has Kate stumbled upon?
And is she strong enough to uncover the truth . . . and make it out alive?

My Review: My Sister’s Bones is a taut, psychological thriller that is gripping and so unexpected that you don’t know which direction the novel is going to take next … not to mention a twist you could never imagine happening when you first pick up the book. Nuala Ellwood is scarily good. If this is a debut, her novels to follow are going to be a ‘hold on to your seats’ kind.

For a debut novel, this is a great read. My Sister’s Bones is intense and has you lost in moments where you try and place yourself in the shoes of the main character, Kate – but you just can’t for fear of the reality of today’s worldwide issues. Evidently, a lot of research has been carried out surrounding the issues that occur throughout the novel; such as war in Syria and Aleppo, PTSD and family abuse. These issues alone when portrayed in the novel have you clinging on as the situations are so deep and heartbreaking, you could never imagine in a million years the reality of it all, nor the fact it is actually happening right now while I write this and you read it, and will still be happening for a long time to come.

The characters in the novel feel real. I know this is a work of fiction, but these characters exist in real life. You have Kate, the main character; a journalist reporting on war who day in and day out sees the horrors and deaths of war torn countries. There is her sister, Sally, who from the negative effects of a bad childhood spends her days as an alcoholic to block out the memories, as well as other characters who’s actions really blow your mind. These are all real life bases. It happens! Kate and Sally have seen so much and have been through so much, not just as adults but as children, living in a home so delicate that they’re afraid of their every waking moment due to an abusive father. If this as a child is the beginning to your life then no wonder as an adult it takes it toll.

Nuala Ellwood has hit the nail on the head with so many of today’s worldwide issues in this novel that you sit back and gasp after reading the final word … I know I did.

I would like to thank Nuala Ellwood and Penguin for allowing me the opportunity to read an ARC of My Sister’s Bones. I can confirm that I chose to read this ARC and all opinions in this review are my own and are completely unbiased.

About the Author: Nuala Ellwood moved to London in her twenties to pursue a career as a singer-songwriter, but ended up writing novels instead. She comes from a family of journalists, and they inspired her to get Arts Council funding to research and write a novel dealing with psychological trauma in the industry. My Sister’s Bones is her debut thriller. For more information about Nuala Ellwood, visit her website.


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