Today, I’m excited to share my stop on the blog tour for Two Sisters with BCB & More!
Title: Two Sisters
Author: Kerry Wilkinson
Date of publication: June 23rd 2017
Format: Digital Review Copy
Number of pages: 350
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ and a half
They told us he had been missing for nearly two days, that he probably drowned. They told us a lie.
Megan was ten years old when her older brother, Zac, went missing among the cliffs, caves and beaches that surround the small seaside town of Whitecliff.
A decade later and a car crash has claimed the lives of her parents.
Megan and her younger sister Chloe return to Whitecliff one summer for the first time since their brother’s disappearance. Megan says it’s to get her parents’ affairs in order. There are boxes to pack, junk to clear, a rundown cottage to sell. But that’s not the real reason.
Megan has come to confront her family’s past after receiving a postcard on the day of her parents’ funeral. It had a photograph of Whitecliff on the front and a single letter on the back.
‘Z’ is all it read.
Z for Zac.
A totally gripping psychological thriller that will have fans of Louise Jensen, Sue Fortin and The Silent Child absolutely hooked.
Dysfunctional family doesn’t even begin to explain the dynamics of this one. Chloe and Meghan lost their brother ten years ago, their parents died in an accident just a few months ago. But this is only what you get from the papers. The reality of it is darker, more painful, and pretty disastrous.
Like I often say in my reviews, I love reading about siblings relationships. I have come to realize that this bound between two or more people has its rules and its differences. Chloe and Meghan only have each other now, and despite growing up in a very particular way, they managed to connect and make the best of what they had. They say blood is thicker than water, and sometimes, it is true. I loved discovering both young women and try to understand the balance on which their bound lies on. What makes a sister your best friend or your worst enemy? Does a family link forgives everything, meaning you can get away with whatever you want? How do you grow up with someone so close in genetics but who is also their own person with desires, dreams, a personality, their own way of dealing with life. This was particularly well explored in the book, through each girl’s mind and habits, forte and hobbies. It made me long for such a relationship, without the sorrow attached to that family!
But what about a stolen brother? Meghan takes the decision to come to Whitecliff to find answers regarding the disappearance of her brother Zac ten years before. The author did a wonderful job at descripting fading memories, yellowed images, fragments of souvenirs. Meghan was ten at the time, which means there is a gap between the little girl back then and the young woman now, like a scar that time did not heal, a small question mark at the back of her mind. Why is she so adamant about finding out what happened to Zac, who she wasn’t really close to? Why can’t she move on and start afresh now that the world is hers to take? Meghan has demons to face, some are tangible, others not. I thought the way the author managed to mix and combine everything that makes this book was exceptionally spot-on. Tackling tougher subjects in such a realistic and convincing manner added a touch of authenticity to the characters that helped me feel for them. Still, I had issues warming to either girl, without being able to exactly pinpoint why.
When she receives a mysterious card, Meghan can’t help the curiosity, especially since her parents weren’t the most open people in the world! I believe I would have taken the same decision! Kerry Wilkinson having scattered enough information about the whole family for the mystery to feel too strong to resist. Little words here and there, small pieces of childhood you can’t help but wonder about.
Zac is all around the story, following his sisters on Whitecliff’s roads, dirty paths, beach and cobbled streets, but this book is about Meghan. I felt that in addition to answers, she was looking for an escape from the past, from herself, from the grip of the years of her childhood. The story’s mystery is the background to a dangerously gripping study of what motivates people and the damage they do, intentionally or not. I couldn’t stand some of the things I read, but I can only agree there are all sorts of people in the world, including the bad ones.
If you thought Whitecliff sounds like a wonderful holiday destination, think twice! The vivid and colorful images sent to my brain by the wonderful descriptions of the author quickly became ominous and foggy, as if the place itself was cursed. I’ve read about more welcoming places! The village itself is a character, dealing the cards the inhabitants and vacationers are given. Asking questions always disrupts small communities and is never a good idea, but no one knows better! Until the very end, I couldn’t fathom the connection between all the hints I was given. The only thing I could never truly feel was the tension ratcheting up. I was too curious to pay attention to the threats.
The ending was as surprising for Meghan as it was for me! Never ever would I have thought some people would were able to go this far… Now you’re curious, right? :p The mystery itself felt a little flat for me, as I had experienced the book as if it were a soufflé, only to see it collapse slowly. A tiny bit too simple for my taste, it did keep me wondering until the very end and involved more than I had anticipated! I think if the focus would have been more on Zac and “the lie” from the parents, the denouement would have had more effect on me.
Two Sisters is a slow-paced story perfectly balanced to offer its readers a gripping but painfully living picture of a broken family, a cry for life, and a glimpse into the darkest corners of the best postcards villages!
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Kerry Wilkinson is from the English county of Somerset but has spent far too long living in the north. It’s there that he’s picked up possibly made-up regional words like ‘barm’ and ‘ginnel’. He pretends to know what they mean.
He’s also been busy since turning thirty: his Jessica Daniel crime series has sold more than a million copies in the UK; he has written a fantasy-adventure trilogy for young adults; a second crime series featuring private investigator Andrew Hunter and the standalone thriller, Down Among The Dead Men.
Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the tour!!