My Sister's Bones
Are You Brave Enough To Go Back?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 Sister's Bones Details

TitleMy Sister's Bones
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 28th, 2017
PublisherPenguin UK
ISBN0241977274
ISBN-139780241977279
Number of pages400 pages
Rating
GenreMystery, Thriller, Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Suspense

My Sister's Bones Review

  • Will Byrnes
    December 29, 2016
    ‘And would you say these bad dreams have gotten worse since you’ve returned to Herne Bay?’ I put the beaker back on to the table and sit up in my chair. I have to stop letting my mind wander; I have to be alert, careful. Every word I say here can be used against me. ‘No, they haven’t gotten worse,’ I say, trying to keep my voice steady: ‘They’ve just become real.’ Kate Rafter is a world class conflict correspondent. She has been there and seen that far too many times. Her latest experiences, in ‘And would you say these bad dreams have gotten worse since you’ve returned to Herne Bay?’ I put the beaker back on to the table and sit up in my chair. I have to stop letting my mind wander; I have to be alert, careful. Every word I say here can be used against me. ‘No, they haven’t gotten worse,’ I say, trying to keep my voice steady: ‘They’ve just become real.’ Kate Rafter is a world class conflict correspondent. She has been there and seen that far too many times. Her latest experiences, in Syria, have gouged new scars, and deepened some old ones. There was a serious question about whether she could keep her shit together when she was back in London. It’s the voices, the screaming she hears when there is no one there, the images that rise in her memory, of destruction too severe for any mind to carry for very long without collapsing under the weight. It is the death of the boy in Aleppo that haunts her the worst. Of course, Kate is not the only person in her family with issues. Sally Rafter, the sister who did not manage to get out, is a spiteful, raging alcoholic. She was already afflicted when her adolescent daughter vanished several years before. Her descent after that became steeper and faster. She hates her older sister, the successful one. Nuala Ellwood - from her Twitter pageBoth substance-abusing Rafter sisters come to their addictions with a full set of contributions from their parents. Dad was a mean drunk, who regularly let out his demons by pounding on his wife. Mom had issues of her own, in addition to her drinking, enough to keep her from dragging her abusive husband before the law, or maybe stoving his skull with a large metal object. At least the youngest of the three siblings did not have to cope with their advanced dysfunction. He did not survive to his second birthday.Kate is back in her home town, Herne Bay, on the death of her mother. They had not been close for a long time. Staying in her old home, she sees things. Was that really a boy in the garden or more of her PTSD and substance-fueled hallucinations? And she could have sworn she spotted a boy in a neighbor’s yard. The neighbor, an Iraqi immigrant woman, insists there is no boy. But Kate is convinced there is something bad going on. Sally’s husband is trying his best to help Kate negotiate the family stresses, but things may not be what they seem in Herne Bay. What is the nature of the spectres that haunt Kate? Can we believe that what Kate saw was real? Nuala Ellwood was much taken with the experiences of foreign correspondents Marie Colvin and Martha Gellhorn. Not surprising as her father is an award winning journalist. She got a grant from the Arts Council to study PTSD and incorporated what she’d learned into the tale. One of the main rewards of reading My Sister’s Bones is to get a you are there look at bits of what it is like being a correspondent in a war zone. The human element of war, particularly for non-combatants, locals and outsiders, shines through. Bone-chilling stuff. There are various elements that go into a psychological suspense tale. Not least is atmospherics. Ellwood certainty fills the pages with gloom and foreboding. The sea is a hostile force, and always at hand. You turn your back on it at your peril, and, apparently at the peril of others as well. Dangers pop into view, which is not terribly surprising in a place where the British military tested bouncing bombs during World War II, and where a particularly rough tide is carving away the shoreline. The externalities serve nicely to reflect Kate’s internal turmoil.We have to care about the central character. Kate has demonstrated extreme courage, heroically returning over and over to report on the horrors of war, so that the people’s suffering would not be ignored. She saw enough of suffering being tolerated during her childhood. Her courage makes us care about her, even if her sometimes questionable decisions keep us at a distance. It is easy to look past her need for external remedies to make the images go away. It is easy to sympathize with the burden of her memories.There is a mystery that needs unraveling, and we see the process step by step. We get a lot of Kate’s history from a prolonged session with a police shrink when she is brought in for reasons we find out eventually. The first part of the book alternates chapters of that interrogation, and the resulting historical peeling back of Kate’s history, with action in the now of the story, as Kate digs into what’s going on.There is also the resolution. Does the answer or answers to the questions make sense? It was here that I had a bone to pick. I had a very tough time buying the explanation offered for the central mystery. I would not go so far as to call it a shark jump. An argument might be made for it, I suppose. But I felt let down.So there you have it. A real page-turner, with a lot of the right elements. I am sure it will make a fun movie. If you can live without the finale being all you would want, you will enjoy this one, no bones about it.Review Posted – December 30, 2016Publication by William Morrow – July 11, 2017It was released as an e-book in November, 2016=============================EXTRA STUFFLinks to the author’s personal, Twitter, Instagram and FB pages
    more
  • Julie
    July 25, 2017
    My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood is a 2017 William Morrow Paperbacks publication. Bleak, atmospheric, somber-Psychological thrillers are not all created equal. They can come in all shapes, sizes and forms and still solidly fall within the specifications applied to this genre, but with various degrees of success. While this book adheres to the standard requirements, the author turns the genre on its ear by producing a multi-layered literary piece told from the first -person perspectives of two My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood is a 2017 William Morrow Paperbacks publication. Bleak, atmospheric, somber-Psychological thrillers are not all created equal. They can come in all shapes, sizes and forms and still solidly fall within the specifications applied to this genre, but with various degrees of success. While this book adheres to the standard requirements, the author turns the genre on its ear by producing a multi-layered literary piece told from the first -person perspectives of two sisters, both of whom are dealing with immense loss, psychological demons, and emotional scars, but unable to find comfort in each other. Kate is a journalist who has spent the past several years covering the atrocities in Syria. After her mother’s death, she returns home to put her affairs in order. It soon becomes obvious that being back in her childhood home is bringing back torturous memories, on top of being haunted by the images of war, topped off by her sister, Sally’s, alcoholism. The stress manifests itself with vivid nightmares and hallucinations.Sally’s alcohol issues multiplied after her teenage daughter, Hannah disappears. Now, after the death of her mother, she crawled inside the bottle, not even bothering to hide it or fight it. The only sane person in this shadowy land of illusion is Sally’s husband, Paul. He takes care of both sisters and they work their way through childhood abuses, PTSD, and their broken relationship with each other.The imagery is Aleppo is haunting, reminding us that journalists are out there in the crossfire, and can suffer the same ill effects of war as soldiers, and even lose their lives on occasion. What happens to Kate in Syria easily explains her PTSD, and how she ends up in the shape she does. The subject matter is heart wrenching, harsh, and cruel- so if you are sensitive to scenes of psychological and physical abuse, or the depictions of war - be aware of these possible triggers- most of which occur in the first half of the book. Sally holds deep resentments toward Kate, who she believes was her mother’s favorite child, and while Kate wishes to help her, Sally resist to the point where Kate feels helpless and hopeless, especially under the circumstances. While all this is very interesting and is an absorbing character study, there are some odd occurrences thrown in that makes us question our narrator. The author planted seeds of doubt, making me wonder just what is real and what is deceptive. I was very caught up in the story, but the deeper I tread, the more I began to wonder where on earth all this was leading. Wasn’t this supposed to be a thriller? As a matter of fact, yes, it is, and I’m glad I was patient, because when the twist came, it hit me hard, right in the gut, and I could have kicked myself for not seeing it sooner. Once the bottom drops out, it’s a harrowing, white knuckled fight that held me enthralled and made me a little jumpy, while totally screwing with my head. At the end of the day, I was mentally exhausted and stunned emotionally by this moody, melancholy, but exceptional novel. I am impressed with the author’s style, the way she layered the events so I was kept off guard, using a powerful prose to slowly entice me into her web.This is a novel with much more going for it than most standard thrillers. This book examines thorny issues, made me think, forced me to work at solving the puzzle, and packed an emotional wallop that left me shell shocked. While the story is very dark, and rarely offers a moment of reprieve, the ending did show much improvement and even a ray of hope for those who live to tell the tale. This is one of the very best psychological thrillers I’ve read this year. So, if you are a fan of this genre, I highly recommend it!!
    more
  • Sue1958
    August 6, 2016
    This was all it said it would be and more.I received my copy through the post from the authors PA. I was that desperate to continue reading I was frantic on the evening as I was laying in bed. I am used to reading on my Kindle paperwhite, it has a backlight! oh no, what do I do with a paperback and not disturb my husband from sleeping? I delved into my bedside cabinet to find a light I used to have before Kindle days, found it! but will it light up? YES! ureka! I could continue to read this.If n This was all it said it would be and more.I received my copy through the post from the authors PA. I was that desperate to continue reading I was frantic on the evening as I was laying in bed. I am used to reading on my Kindle paperwhite, it has a backlight! oh no, what do I do with a paperback and not disturb my husband from sleeping? I delved into my bedside cabinet to find a light I used to have before Kindle days, found it! but will it light up? YES! ureka! I could continue to read this.If not, I would have taken myself downstairs because this was a book I got my teeth into. Kate has a sister, but both choose a different path. Or they're life just went that way. Kate has a career, and her sister has the bottle of booze to escape into.The things that Kate saw and experienced on her travels haunted her, one thing especially. We are are unraveling layers of Kate's journey bit by bit taking each layer off. Its very cleverly done.Its harrowing, its compelling, its sorrowful, its also a relief sometimes for Kate.Its not good returning to a hometown and family that you want to keep at a distance but, she had to return when her beloved Mother dies.There are all sorts of shapes that fit this puzzle, you just need to find the right one. When Kate starts to experience and 'see' things that others don't believe she is frantic.Until..........Just what did her Mother see that she saw?This is a really good read, and I am not kidding when I needed to find that light to stay up and read it. Sometimes no matter what, a book comes before sleep, and this was one of them.Thank you to the PA of the author for contacting me and involving me in this book. I will be looking for this authors books now, another to add to my collection of 'must read his/hers next book'
    more
  • Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
    September 22, 2016
    What a truly brilliant novel. I could not find enough hours in the day to keep reading this, I knew from page one it was going to be good and it ended up exceeding my expectations. This will be a big hit in 2017, of that I am sure. I commend the author Nuala Ellwood for writing a novel that has parts of it set in, and about the terrible humanitarian crisis and war happening today in Aleppo, Syria. Events that I watch on the news that I feel so helpless to do anything about but want to. The autho What a truly brilliant novel. I could not find enough hours in the day to keep reading this, I knew from page one it was going to be good and it ended up exceeding my expectations. This will be a big hit in 2017, of that I am sure. I commend the author Nuala Ellwood for writing a novel that has parts of it set in, and about the terrible humanitarian crisis and war happening today in Aleppo, Syria. Events that I watch on the news that I feel so helpless to do anything about but want to. The author has done a brilliant job of bringing some of that truth to the public in the format of a really well written novel. I hope that many may be somewhat educated to the plight of the people living in the hell that is called Aleppo.Kate is an investigative Journalist. She is no stranger to war-torn countries or being in the midst of danger, death and destruction. She has seen the worst atrocities up close and personal, in Iraq, in Syria, in Africa. Journalism and her passion for reporting the truth is in her blood and her bones. Kate's sister Sally is an alcoholic, spending her time wasting away with bottles of wine and ruminating on the bitterness and anger that runs through her blood. Sally's husband Paul is at a loss what to do with his wife and does his best to welcome Kate back to her home town, desperate for her to try to get through to her sister about her destructive drinking.Yet both girls have come from the same family home, were witness to the same events, were impacted by painful and alarming family issues but could not have turned out so different in their outlook on life. The plot is really good and very interesting, it's paced really well, you won't be bored for a second and takes us on a journey into Kate's life and inner world. As the book moves us between timelines and locations you get the sense you are on a journey with the characters but are not sure where you will end up. All the characters in this book are strong points.It's hard to review this book in-depth without spoilers, so I am going to keep it simple. Just trust me - the plot is very good, very interesting and it blew me away with some reveals that I did not see coming in a million years. The characters are written well and easy to connect with, form opinions about (those opinions may change over the course of the book) and there is nothing obvious about the book. There are so many hidden gems within the book that you really can't see fully in all their glory until the end of the book. The chapters leading up to the ending really stunned me.The research done by the author into how PTSD impacts an individual was very good. It's written into the plot very realistically in regards to how it impacts a person who has experienced terrible trauma. I hope that the book does it's bit to raise some awareness of how debilitating PTSD is.I truly didn't expect the book to go where it does, as a reader this novel kept me on my toes, just when I would get comfortable thinking I knew where we were going I would be spun around on my head and proved wrong, chucked back out of that comfort zone. I loved that element of Nuala's writing! There was nothing I did not like, this book has everything you need for an entertaining and page-turning read and I highly recommend this to everyone. Without a doubt - 5 stars for My Sister's Bones, truly riveting with many outstanding features.I received an ARC paperback of this book from the publisher, plus had it approved through NetGalley also in exchange for a fair and honest book review, many thanks.
    more
  • Brenda
    October 20, 2016
    War reporter Kate Rafter had no inclination to return to her home town – but her mother’s recent death meant she needed to put some affairs in order. Her sister Sally was there, but Sally had fallen to pieces after their father died, and spent her days in an alcoholic haze. Her husband Paul despaired of being able to bring her out of it. Sally’s daughter Hannah had left home as well, unable to abide by her mother’s drinking and rages any longer.Though Kate was a tough reporter, able to report on War reporter Kate Rafter had no inclination to return to her home town – but her mother’s recent death meant she needed to put some affairs in order. Her sister Sally was there, but Sally had fallen to pieces after their father died, and spent her days in an alcoholic haze. Her husband Paul despaired of being able to bring her out of it. Sally’s daughter Hannah had left home as well, unable to abide by her mother’s drinking and rages any longer.Though Kate was a tough reporter, able to report on the horrendous events in Syria without any seeming effect, her last posting had created a never ending loop of nightmares. Kate despaired of ever erasing the incessant images from her mind. Her first night back in her mother’s home had her waking to a terrible scream – but was it one of her nightmares, or was there something else out there?As the days and nights passed, Kate began to feel either she was going crazy, or something really was wrong. But no one would believe her – especially not the police. What could she do? Was she mixing fact with fiction; was she ill? But her nightmares were about to get a whole lot worse…My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood is a gritty, tension filled psychological thriller! The pace was a little slow for the first part of the book, but half way through the pace ramped up, and the action intensified. This is one thriller I can definitely recommend.With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this copy to read in exchange for my honest review.
    more
  • Linda Strong
    August 21, 2016
    Kate Rafter was part of a dysfunctional family and the only one who escaped. Her father was a drunk who beat her and her mother. She had a younger brother who drowned when he was young ... Kate's mother has always felt guilty about that. Her younger sister, Sally, is following in their father's footsteps. Sally has already driven her own daughter away .. she's not had anything to do with Kate, and even Sally's husband is about to wash his hands of her.When their mother died, Kate came home. She' Kate Rafter was part of a dysfunctional family and the only one who escaped. Her father was a drunk who beat her and her mother. She had a younger brother who drowned when he was young ... Kate's mother has always felt guilty about that. Her younger sister, Sally, is following in their father's footsteps. Sally has already driven her own daughter away .. she's not had anything to do with Kate, and even Sally's husband is about to wash his hands of her.When their mother died, Kate came home. She's now a hot-shot journalist following the war in Syria. She's seen things that most of us have never even thought of. Suffering from severe PTSD, she's an insomniac, depending on sleeping pills, and now she's drinking to escape the hallucinations.Her first night home, she's awakened by a scream. Looking out her window she sees a very young boy ... who is the spitting image of her deceased brother, David. She convinces herself it's only a dream, a hallucination ... but is it?The beginning of the book is Kate being questioned by a therapist. They are holding her for 74 hours to determine if she's a danger to herself or others. Slowly, bit by bit, the reader is privy to her life, from her childhood through the days she spent in war torn countries.There are surprises at every turn. It's a compelling read, very cleverly written. All the characters are fully developed .. these are people who could be your neighbors.It's a poignant telling of how she and her family related to each other. It's also a story of love, loss, guilt, forgiveness. This is a book that begs to be read. From the very first, the pages practically turn on their own, keeping you so engrossed you can forget everything else.I highly recommend this book, this author to anyone who enjoys a psychological thriller. It's one you won't forget anytime soon.Many, many thanks to the author / Penguin Books (UK) - Penguin Viking /NetGalley who provided a digital copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
    more
  • Natalie Richards
    February 24, 2017
    Firstly thank you to goodreads for me winning this in a giveaway. I really enjoyed this book and specifically Kate, the main character. She is a journalist and seen some terrible things in war torn countries, which have affected her deeply. The story has a lot of twists and while I suspected these fairly early on this did not detract from my enjoyment of the book.I recommend this to readers who enjoy thrillers.
    more
  • Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
    March 19, 2017
    *https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com3.5 starsMy Sister’s Bones opens with a hooking premise. The key player in this novel, finds herself in a police station being interviewed by a police psychologist. The psychologist is trying to determine if the book’s lead character Kate needs to be sectioned for her own health and safety, as part of the mental health act. We learn Kate is a war correspondent, who has witnessed many atrocities and these seem to have surfaced upon her return home. It is a qu *https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com3.5 starsMy Sister’s Bones opens with a hooking premise. The key player in this novel, finds herself in a police station being interviewed by a police psychologist. The psychologist is trying to determine if the book’s lead character Kate needs to be sectioned for her own health and safety, as part of the mental health act. We learn Kate is a war correspondent, who has witnessed many atrocities and these seem to have surfaced upon her return home. It is a question of deciding whether or not Kate’s claims are valid – or is she an unreliable narrator suffering from PTSD.Nuala Ellwood’s debut offering in the popular psychological thriller writing scene, is a hard hitting release. The main character Kate’s horrific and life altering experiences from her time as a war correspondent, guarantees this novel packs a punch. Kate is the chief narrator of this novel, but the perspective does shift on to sister Sally, who is suffering from the effects of substance abuse. My Sister’s Bones gradually reveals information about the Kate and Sally’s tragic past. We learn they suffered years of abuse at the hands of their violent and alcoholic father. The recent death of their mother brings Kate back home from her job overseas. This is also when Kate’s nightmares begin and things get creepy. Kate is convinced she sees a small boy in the garden of her deceased mother’s home and believes he may be a neighbour, being abused. However, Kate’s grip on reality, particularly the here and now is unclear, as we are not entirely sure if the small boy Kate is fretting for exists. We must consider the possibility that the boy is simply the product of Kate’s wild imagination, rising from the ashes of her time spent in many treacherous war torn locations.On the whole, I found My Sister’s Bones a well written psychological thriller. Nuala Ellwood is new on the writing scene, but this does not stop her delivering a novel that was well researched in the area of PTSD and the role of a war correspondent. In fact, Nuala Ellwood’s own background and family history in this area, which I discovered after reading this book, would have helped enormously in crafting her first book. As a result, My Sister’s Bones came across as realistic and sensitive to the issues at the heart of this novel.My Sister’s Bones follows a steady pace and there are some good turns put in place by the author. At first, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this novel. It took me to places I did not anticipate, but I do appreciate being shaken up by a book every now and then. There seemed to be a large focus on the build up to the big reveal near the end of the novel. This big reveal was shocking to stay the least and I did not see this turn of events coming at all.The use of shifting time frames and two character voices is utilised to full effect by Nuala Ellwood. This enables the reader to get a significant insight into Kate and her sister Sally’s worlds – both in the past and in the present. Kate and Sally’s lives are not easy ones to stomach, from child abuse, alcoholism, teen pregnancy and Kate’s harrowing war experiences. My Sister’s Bones does not make for light reading. Despite this, I did find that Nuala Ellwood handled these issues with the correct level of dignity.A domestic thriller that leans strongly on the psychological, My Sister’s Bones was a haunting and confronting read. Nuala Ellwood is a new writer that I will be sure to watch out for in the future, as I appreciated her dark and twisty tale.
    more
  • Zuky the BookBum
    September 27, 2016
    Also read my review here: http://bookbum.weebly.com/book-review...NOW AVAILABLE IN THE UK!Trigger warnings are noted in the first paragraph. We’re all of us, every day, just a hairbreadth away from evil. If I’ve learnt anything from fifteen years of reporting, it’s that. But I couldn’t expect these people to understand. This is a really heavy read as it deals with some really dark and depressing subjects, such as the war and refugees in Syria, domestic & child abuse, rape, death, mental illn Also read my review here: http://bookbum.weebly.com/book-review...NOW AVAILABLE IN THE UK!Trigger warnings are noted in the first paragraph. We’re all of us, every day, just a hairbreadth away from evil. If I’ve learnt anything from fifteen years of reporting, it’s that. But I couldn’t expect these people to understand. This is a really heavy read as it deals with some really dark and depressing subjects, such as the war and refugees in Syria, domestic & child abuse, rape, death, mental illness, alcoholism and miscarriages. Don’t read this if you’re having a low period in your life because this is not going to make you feel any better, throughout it’s a rather distressing and upsetting story.Each character in this novel was well developed, no matter how small a part they played in the plot. Ellwood has done a fantastic job with her research into PTSD as Kate’s fears and anxieties seem so real to the reader. Though I’ve never experienced anything even close to PTSD, I can really imagine how terrifying and disturbing it would be, from reading this book. It’s definitely the best and most harrowing description of the condition I’ve ever read in a fiction novel.This was a really well presented novel and I’m amazed that it’s a debut! It was excellently written and thought out. My only issue being that sometimes, the timings in this book felt a little off. When Kate and Paul were together, one minute they'd be serving dinner and the next, after a small 5 lined conversation, it would be midnight and time for Paul to leave and Kate to get into bed. It seemed like large chunks of the day would just disappear.Maybe I shouldn’t have read some other people’s reviews on this beforehand, but because I was expecting all these super duper amazing twists, I kind of didn’t feel that they were super duper amazing. I also found some of them to be a little far fetched and silly, rather than surprising. I can definitely see why this has gained so many 5 star ratings, but it’s all down to personal preference at the end of the day, and this one was just a little too dark for my liking. That's not to say I didn't like this...I enjoyed this a lot, hence the 4 stars. I found myself not wanting to put it down, even when my eyes were telling me it was definitely time for sleep. It was certainly a thrilling and page turning read, but I don’t know if I could recommend this to anyone because of all the dark subject matters. It seems like the sort of book some people are going to love for it’s dark realism and others are going to hate that and find it too distressing to read.Thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Books UK for giving me the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Joanne Robertson
    October 27, 2016
    Wow! This was so NOT what I was expecting. I think because my review copy didn't have any blurb on it, I kind of went in blind to this one and it came across all the better for it. I'm still reeling from all the the twists that popped to the surface to this bubbling cauldron of suspense to be honest but I don't want that feeling to end quite yet! This noticeably has a very topical feel to it from the start as we meet journalist Kate and realise she has been a witness to the atrocities taking pla Wow! This was so NOT what I was expecting. I think because my review copy didn't have any blurb on it, I kind of went in blind to this one and it came across all the better for it. I'm still reeling from all the the twists that popped to the surface to this bubbling cauldron of suspense to be honest but I don't want that feeling to end quite yet! This noticeably has a very topical feel to it from the start as we meet journalist Kate and realise she has been a witness to the atrocities taking place in Syria. The first part of the story is split in two, with Kate coming home to Hearne Bay following her mother's death and this is alternated with Kate being questioned by police following her arrest for an undisclosed crime. This part was left deliberately rather vague reflecting Kate's fragile mental state. She is obviously suffering from PTSD so the reader comes to the conclusion that this may not make her a reliable narrator. She sees and hears things that aren't there and her nightmares are graphic and realistic so what is real and what only exists in Kate's imagination? But when I read the end of Part One.....oh my goodness, what a gasp out loud moment! And that's when the book suddenly became totally unputdownable for me! Kate and her sister Sally are both damaged individuals. Brought up in an abusive home where the mental abuse was worse than the physical, the girls have self medicated in totally different ways, Sally with alcohol and Kate with her destructive relationship and her dedication to her job. I need to say that the journalism side of the plot is meticulously crafted and I really felt Kate was a living breathing person who had actually seen and been through the horrific war zone in Aleppo. We see things through her eyes and my heart felt like it was being ripped out of my chest at times through the whole destructive and senseless violence there.I don't want to spoil this book for anyone by talking further about the plot but I just want to say that this is a book full of surprises. It's so very cleverly written that I can guarantee most people will be shocked by the turn of events that occur here, I know I was. In fact, I'm still thinking about it now and have just gone back to read the prologue again. It gave me goosebumps the first time round but that second time.....chilling!Definitely one to watch out for if you're a fan of psychological suspense, just watch out for those twists!I received my review copy of My Sister's Bones from the publisher.
    more
  • Lavender
    February 3, 2017
    Wow this was an intense read. I don’t know what I expected but I did not expect THAT.There is much going on in this book. I struggled a bit to get into the story. I was confused about the chapters about Kate being interviewed by a doctor. Something happened and we don’t know what for quite a long time. Kate is a war reporter and she has seen a lot of horrible things. She is haunted by the vision of a boy who was killed in Aleppo. She has a massive PTSD problem which she somehow denies. I was a b Wow this was an intense read. I don’t know what I expected but I did not expect THAT.There is much going on in this book. I struggled a bit to get into the story. I was confused about the chapters about Kate being interviewed by a doctor. Something happened and we don’t know what for quite a long time. Kate is a war reporter and she has seen a lot of horrible things. She is haunted by the vision of a boy who was killed in Aleppo. She has a massive PTSD problem which she somehow denies. I was a bit annoyed by her stubbornness. There was clearly something wrong with her but she refused to see help. But after a while you see there is much more going one. The second part is from her sister’s view. Sally deals in a different way with her demons. While Kate depends on her pills, Sally numbs herself with wine. So we have two unreliable narrators and a story I did not know where it is leading to. My first bad apprehension I would not like the book soon vanished. At least when Sally is the narrator the book gets almost unputdownable .I really enjoyed the last half immensely. The book turned out to be something completely different than I expected even after starting reading it. The way the story turns is completely different than I thought it would be after I learned about Kate and her PTSD and her hallucinations. Which is a really good thing.After all it is a sad and disturbing and tragic story. The author did a great job, the writing and structure is superb. I enjoyed it not from the beginning but I got more captivated the further I read. This book is definitely different to other thrillers and I highly recommend it. 4,5 Stars I received an ARC from Netgalley and Penguin Books UK in return for an honest review
    more
  • Emma
    September 21, 2016
    Exceptionally written, this is a thriller the gets properly under your skin. The mix of PTSD, childhood trauma, and bereavement in the main character Kate was very well done. The background of war reporter, most recently in Aleppo, Syria was timely and harrowing. Unlike so many of the other female protagonists in psychological thrillers, she felt real and strong, desperately fighting against a tide of emotion and memory. Even her sister, Sally, not as immediately sympathetic did not make me thin Exceptionally written, this is a thriller the gets properly under your skin. The mix of PTSD, childhood trauma, and bereavement in the main character Kate was very well done. The background of war reporter, most recently in Aleppo, Syria was timely and harrowing. Unlike so many of the other female protagonists in psychological thrillers, she felt real and strong, desperately fighting against a tide of emotion and memory. Even her sister, Sally, not as immediately sympathetic did not make me think 'oh great, another batshit crazy woman having a bad week'. It was clever, compelling, and didn't progress how I thought, or hoped, it would. But despite the author daring to take the story in a direction I didn't want it to go, it worked really well and ended as it should. These authors know their business sometimes. Anyone who can request this on Netgalley, get to it, you won't regret it. All the rest will have to wait till 2017, but put it on your TBR because you won't want to miss this.My thanks to Nuala Ellwood, Viking/Penguin Books, and Netgalley for this copy in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Kim Ebner
    March 7, 2017
    Please see all my reviews at: www.thebuzzingbookmark.comThe first thing that struck me about this book was how emotional I found the first quarter of the story. I wasn't expecting that. When Kate returns home after the death of her mother, she can't help but think back over her childhood and the time she spent with her Mom, to the close bond that they had and to the abuse that she and her mother endured at the hands of her father. The author definitely manages to pull the reader in with the emot Please see all my reviews at: www.thebuzzingbookmark.comThe first thing that struck me about this book was how emotional I found the first quarter of the story. I wasn't expecting that. When Kate returns home after the death of her mother, she can't help but think back over her childhood and the time she spent with her Mom, to the close bond that they had and to the abuse that she and her mother endured at the hands of her father. The author definitely manages to pull the reader in with the emotional account and any reader who has or had a close relationship with their mother will probably find Kate's pain tangible.This is ultimately the story of two sisters, Kate and Sally, although we hardly get to know Sally during the first half of the book. We are introduced to her once and other than that the story focuses on Kate, her life as a reporter, her relationship with her family members and her time spent in Syria. Sally only comes into her own during the second half of the story.I must be honest and say that when I learnt that part of the story centered around Kate's life as a reporter and her time spent in Syria, I wasn't very excited. It's not that I don't sympathize with the people of Syria and the refugee crisis but I'm not a fan or reading books about wars, refugees, politics and so on. I don't actively choose to read fiction books that are set in war zones or that focus on the terrible atrocities that are going on in the world. But, luckily, this story didn't delve into the Syrian crisis in much detail and although there are small sections of the book that touch on Kate's time spent reporting from Syria, they aren't lengthy and it didn't detract from the book for me.I liked this book, but I did have some concerns and problems with it. Firstly, I thought that the flow was a bit disjointed and the actions of the characters seemed strange at times with no clear and gradual link between their normal actions and then the craziness. For example, and this doesn't give anything away, Paul's actions towards Sally were so strange. From one extreme to the next with no indication to the reader that his mind set was starting to change. Secondly, and probably because of the jump from a pretty normal story to a strange one, I found things a tad overboard and unlikely. I know that this could probably be a criticism of many psychological thrillers but in this one, it just seemed more pronounced. I didn't feel that the story pulled together well. But that's just me.My verdict is that this is a good read but not one that you need to rush out and buy today. If it comes across your reading path, then give it a go. It didn't blow me away, but it's a fairly decent read that will probably appeal to many people.My rating: * * *Many thanks to author Nuala Ellwood and publisher's Penguin Random House SA for my copy.
    more
  • The Book Review Café
    October 19, 2016
    When I first saw the title of this book I conjured up so many different scenarios but oh my god I couldn’t have been more wrong! New author on the block Nuala Ellwood has certainly written a disturbing and spine chilling tale that I found impossible to put down once I started reading. Kate Rafter is a war reporter it’s clear from the start that she has seen terrible things during her time reporting from war zones, so much so she is having horrendous flashbacks that torment her day and night. Kat When I first saw the title of this book I conjured up so many different scenarios but oh my god I couldn’t have been more wrong! New author on the block Nuala Ellwood has certainly written a disturbing and spine chilling tale that I found impossible to put down once I started reading. Kate Rafter is a war reporter it’s clear from the start that she has seen terrible things during her time reporting from war zones, so much so she is having horrendous flashbacks that torment her day and night. Kate begins to see and hear things but is it a symptom of PTSD or is there something more sinister at work?Our first introduction to Kate, she is in a Police Station, Kate is being interviewed by a police doctor, you aren’t sure why but you do get a sense that it’s very bad. Layer by layer the author reveals more and there are shocks galore as the truth emerges. My Sisters Bones has two very unreliable narrators Kate who relays heavily on medication to get her through and her alcoholic sister Sally. The two sisters never had the best life growing up, mentally abused by an alcoholic father, they are both struggle to cope with past events.At times I found it difficult to work out which sister was the most disturbed or whose narrative was the more reliable which made for an highly engaging read. This book really messed with my head as you try to work out if Kate and her sister are imagining things or if there is something much more sinister going on, and for me that’s what a book of this genre should do, keep you guessing right up to the end. As the plot progressed I really felt I was no nearer to guessing the outcome than when I started, and I remained in the dark until the last couple of chapters.There are numerous threads running through my sisters Bones and I have to say the author paints a vivid picture of both women’s torment so much so I found this book both harrowing and disturbing at times. What I found intriguing and added depth to this novel was the way the two sisters lives were connected by past horrifying events, but their lives took very different paths, they also had very different memories and views on their past experiences, which for me made it difficult to distinguish whose memories were the more credible.If I had one small criticism I did feel I had to suspend my disbelief for the ending, it really wasn’t what I expected at all, don’t get me wrong this never spoilt the story in anyway I just didn’t find it to be a credible one, but on the other hand it works making this an outstanding psychological read. My Sisters Bones is well paced, and it certainly keeps the reader on their toes, as it’s so difficult to second guess where the plot is leading. I find it hard to believe this is Nuala Elwood’s debut as it is so well executed, it’s creepy, harrowing and down right disturbing at times, but readers of psychological thrillers will love it, and it’s a book I feel will do really well, in fact I would go as far to say it could be a bestseller on its release.
    more
  • Raven
    November 27, 2016
    As much as I seek to actively avoid thrillers with the merest whiff of domestic noir about them, I was intrigued to read My Sister’s Bones, a debut psychological thriller by Nuala Ellwood with its blend of emotional domesticity combined with more global concerns. Effectively marrying the usual tropes of domestic noir and familial conflict, with more salient humanitarian issues,  Ellwood has produced a thriller that is a curious blend of the intensely satisfying and the slightly frustrating…The a As much as I seek to actively avoid thrillers with the merest whiff of domestic noir about them, I was intrigued to read My Sister’s Bones, a debut psychological thriller by Nuala Ellwood with its blend of emotional domesticity combined with more global concerns. Effectively marrying the usual tropes of domestic noir and familial conflict, with more salient humanitarian issues,  Ellwood has produced a thriller that is a curious blend of the intensely satisfying and the slightly frustrating…The absolute lynchpin for my enjoyment of this book was Kate’s story, a seasoned war reporter who on her return from war-torn Aleppo in Syria, is battling the twin demons of PTSD and personal emotional stress caused by the death of her mother, and the non-connectedness to her sister Sally who is in the grip of alcoholism, and suffering personal distress at the disappearance of her daughter, Hannah. Reflecting my enjoyment of other thrillers such as Matthew Frank’s If I Should Die, and Kate Medina’s Fire Damage, which also explored the realm of PTSD, I found Ellwood’s portrayal of Kate, so emotionally affected by her horrific experiences in Syria, utterly authentic, bolstered no doubt by the author’s own familial links to the world of war reporting. Her confusion, anger and twisted sense of self worth and guilt was heart-breaking and emotional throughout, really tapping into the reader’s empathy, and depicting perfectly one woman’s personal experience of war. I also admired the clear-headed, objective portrayal of the Syrian conflict exhibited by the author, and its balanced and unflinching tone when describing the danger and human devastation that Kate experiences holed up in this war torn city. I liked the way that we as readers are drawn in and out of states of mistrust towards Kate, due to the symptoms of her stress, constantly questioning her veracity as a reliable narrator, and a credible witness to what she believes is happening in the house next door. Her story and actions totally carries the thrust of the book, and without giving anything away I was a little worried that her story had been too swiftly curtailed to carry my interest to the end.More frustrating for me, was the close to home aspect of the story, where Kate finds herself immersed in the suspicious goings-on of her next door neighbour, and the grand reveal of how this relates to the travails of her alienated sister, Sally. Again, I think Ellwood, is spot on with the characterisation of Sally, fighting a battle with alcoholism, and the conflicting states of mind and self-awareness that this terrible addiction causes to those in its grip. Her experience was never less than utterly believable and affecting. However, I did find the central plot of the book a little weak, and far-fetched to totally draw me in, and the denouement was just a tad too fanciful to entirely convince this reader. Such is the strength of Ellwood’s writing in terms of human experience, that I wondered with the blips in the central plotting, if crime fiction was the right avenue to go down. With her undeniable knack for portraying the weaknesses and strengths of her female characters, I would happily have read this a contemporary fiction novel examining the condition of war and its impact on human relationships, drawing on the issues of PTSD, familial isolation and alcohol addiction.So, all in all, a bit of a mixed bag for this reader, who didn’t really appreciate the ‘crime’ aspect of the book so much,  but with exhibiting such strong characterisation in the protagonists of Kate and Sally themselves, had enough to keep me reading on. Recommended.
    more
  • Karen
    November 21, 2016
    Experienced journalist Kate returns home early from an assignment in Syria following her mother’s death. It soon becomes clear that Kate’s family life has not been a happy one and despite the fact that the only family remaining are Kate and her sister Sally, they do not get on at all. Sally is an alcoholic and her husband Paul is the go-between, trying to support Kate whilst trying to keep his wife sober.Kate’s experiences in Syria have had a severe effect on her mental health and it appears tha Experienced journalist Kate returns home early from an assignment in Syria following her mother’s death. It soon becomes clear that Kate’s family life has not been a happy one and despite the fact that the only family remaining are Kate and her sister Sally, they do not get on at all. Sally is an alcoholic and her husband Paul is the go-between, trying to support Kate whilst trying to keep his wife sober.Kate’s experiences in Syria have had a severe effect on her mental health and it appears that she is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder – she has recurring nightmares, with unsettling visions and is convinced she can hear screams coming from the garden of her family home. She is not in a good place at all and when the story begins, she is being assessed for a mental health review; something bad has happened. We just don’t know what.This is very disturbing thriller at times but also a very topical one. Via Kate’s flashbacks and experiences of working in Syria – the bombings, the snipers and the constant danger, we get a very clear picture of the horror of this war. Add in the memories of her childhood with an abusive father and the nightmares she still suffers, it is sometimes difficult to tell what’s imagined and what is real and there were many times when I wondered just how reliable Kate’s memories were.So many other books are now marketed as “….a psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming….” etc. which can be rather irritating when quite often you do! However, with this book, I really didn’t expect the events that felt like a punch to the gut. Without going into any details and spoiler territory, this book will have you scrabbling to turn the pages to find out what the hell is going on.My Sister’s Bones is an excellent read with a well developed and realistic cast of characters and a powerful storyline covering darker subjects such as domestic abuse and alcoholism, all combined with the twists and turns that you would expect from a psychological thriller. Although there were some characters that I found distinctly unlikeable, I could still believe in them and the situations they found themselves in. This is a superb debut thriller from Nuala Ellwood and I look forward to reading more from this author. Definitely one to put on your reading list.
    more
  • Tracy Fenton
    February 13, 2017
    Firstly any book that I read in a day and keeps me up past my bedtime is obviously one I would recommend. My Sister's Bones is so much more than your average psychological thriller. The main character Kate, a wartime journalist who has just returned from Aleppo and is battling her own demons and her sister Sally an alcoholic with major issues are brought together after years apart to deal with the sale of their mother's home after her death. There is so much more to this story and you need to re Firstly any book that I read in a day and keeps me up past my bedtime is obviously one I would recommend. My Sister's Bones is so much more than your average psychological thriller. The main character Kate, a wartime journalist who has just returned from Aleppo and is battling her own demons and her sister Sally an alcoholic with major issues are brought together after years apart to deal with the sale of their mother's home after her death. There is so much more to this story and you need to read it to find out what! I found this debut novel gripping and heartbreaking in equal measures.
    more
  • Anne
    October 30, 2016
    My Sister's Bones is a story that hooks the reader from the very first page. The short prologue is intriguing and mysterious, informing the reader of an unexpected death.Lead character, Kate Rafter is introduced in the first chapter. It's 19 April 2015 at Herne Bay Police Station and Kate is being interviewed by a police doctor. It's difficult to establish why she's there, but it is clear that Kate has been involved in a serious incident and she's suffering. She hears voices, sees flashbacks, ha My Sister's Bones is a story that hooks the reader from the very first page. The short prologue is intriguing and mysterious, informing the reader of an unexpected death.Lead character, Kate Rafter is introduced in the first chapter. It's 19 April 2015 at Herne Bay Police Station and Kate is being interviewed by a police doctor. It's difficult to establish why she's there, but it is clear that Kate has been involved in a serious incident and she's suffering. She hears voices, sees flashbacks, has bad dreams.Alternate chapters take the reader back just one week earlier to the day that Kate returned to Herne Bay; her childhood home, and a place that she didn't want to return to, a place that brings back memories of growing up in a dysfunctional family. Her alcoholic, violent father; her batttered, worn-down mother and her sister who is battling the demon drink, following in their father's footsteps. It isn't only the memories of childhood that haunt Kate though, she is also suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. She's a journalist, covering the horrors of conflict in war-torn countries such as Syria, and the things that she has witnessed impact on her daily life.Nuala Ellwood has not shied away from some serious and very intense issues in this story. With themes of domestic violence, mental health, addiction, grief and loss it is very cleverly written, with an empathy and understanding from the author that enables the reader to really connect with the characters. Each character is carefully drawn, their faults and flaws are not air-brushed, creating a quite uncomfortable realism about each one.There is a question of reliability that hovers in the mind throughout the reading, we wonder if Kate's version of events are true, or are a by-product of her suffering. The eventual conclusion is unexpected and shocking and left me reeling with shock and with admiration for the author's skill.My Sister's Bones is exceptionally well written. It is brimming with suspense and unease, there are dark dark uneasy themes but the elegant and clever writing lift the story. Compelling and haunting, I'm certain that My Sister's Bones is going to be one of 2017's big sellershttp://randomthingsthroughmyletterbox...
    more
  • Bibliophile Book Club
    November 3, 2016
    I had seen My Sister’s Bones on Twitter in recent months so I was delighted to be able to get my hands on a proof to read and review! Twitter has a lot to answer for as regards my ever-growing (NEVER LESSENING!!!!) TBR mountain!My Sister’s Bones follows war reporter Kate Rafter as she returns home following her mother’s death. Kate had a rough childhood at the hands of her alcoholic father, and now her sister Sally is travelling down the same road.Upon her arrival, Kate becomes increasingly unst I had seen My Sister’s Bones on Twitter in recent months so I was delighted to be able to get my hands on a proof to read and review! Twitter has a lot to answer for as regards my ever-growing (NEVER LESSENING!!!!) TBR mountain!My Sister’s Bones follows war reporter Kate Rafter as she returns home following her mother’s death. Kate had a rough childhood at the hands of her alcoholic father, and now her sister Sally is travelling down the same road.Upon her arrival, Kate becomes increasingly unstable. Nightmares, hallucinations and alcohol all play a part in what seems to be her downfall. Some of the chapters are of Kate being interviewed in a police station, but the reader doesn’t immediately understand why she is there or what has led her to that point.I found the first part of My Sister’s Bones to be rather slow going, with not much happening. Once you get to part two it picks up a little bit though. I’m not going to lie, I found my mind wandering to possible scenarios in the book, and oddly enough, I actually managed to guess some of what came next.While the start is a bit slow, it definitely gets going in part two. In fact, it almost careens toward the ending with unrelenting pace. It seems to pack the most action as the reader comes to the end of the story. If you like slow-burning psychological drama, then My Sister’s Bones is definitely one for you!
    more
  • Jo Sexton
    January 3, 2017
    Wow! This book turned out completely differently to how I expected! For the first few chapters, I wasn't sure if I could continue.. but I'm so glad I did! There is quite a twist to the tale! Surprising, gripping, and also very close to home, as the war rages on in Aleppo to this day, I highly recommend this book.
    more
  • Liz Barnsley
    August 8, 2016
    Review to come on blog tour.
  • Susan
    February 8, 2017
    My Sister's Bones by Nuala Ellwood is a mystery and thriller and general fiction (adult) read. Kate Rafter is a high-flying war reporter. She's the strong one. The one who escaped their father. 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 very first night she is woken by a terrifying scream. At first she tells herself it's just a nightmare, a legacy of her time in Syria. But then she hears it again. And this My Sister's Bones by Nuala Ellwood is a mystery and thriller and general fiction (adult) read. Kate Rafter is a high-flying war reporter. She's the strong one. The one who escaped their father. 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 very first night she is woken by a terrifying scream. At first she tells herself it's just a nightmare, a legacy of her time in Syria. But then she hears it again. And this time she knows she's not imagining it... What secret is lurking in her mother's garden? And can Kate get to the truth...before she loses her mind?OMG an absolutely fantastic read with brilliant characters. Full of twists and plots. I was surprised near the end. Loved the story. Highly recommended. Definitely worth more than 5*. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book from netgalley.
    more
  • Claire Wilson
    October 26, 2016
    My Sister’s Bones was one of those reads where you’re glad you have a safe job to go to every day and don’t put your life on the line. At times, reading about the characters time in Syria and the death she encountered made the story hard to read. The book was an ok read and I will look out for future work by Nualla Ellwood. 3 stars
    more
  • Clair
    November 20, 2016
    My Sister’s Bones is a beautifully and sensitively written novel about some very difficult subjects, particularly the reality of life in Aleppo, Syria. Kate Rafter is a war reporter and has seen some horrendous atrocities whilst reporting on the war and humanitarian crisis in Aleppo. One particular event plays heavily on her mind and she finds herself taken back to Aleppo in distressing, realistic flashbacks and nightmares.Kate is begrudgingly back in Herne Bay, Kent following the recent death a My Sister’s Bones is a beautifully and sensitively written novel about some very difficult subjects, particularly the reality of life in Aleppo, Syria. Kate Rafter is a war reporter and has seen some horrendous atrocities whilst reporting on the war and humanitarian crisis in Aleppo. One particular event plays heavily on her mind and she finds herself taken back to Aleppo in distressing, realistic flashbacks and nightmares.Kate is begrudgingly back in Herne Bay, Kent following the recent death and funeral of her mother. It is apparent early on that Kate and her sister, Sally, didn’t have the best of childhoods and being back in their family home is unsettling for Kate. Both Kate and Sally had the same traumatic upbringing, suffered the same loss and saw the same abuse however the sisters have reacted in completely different ways. Kate is a career driven, investigative journalist who is at the top of her game and completely focussed on showing the world what is truly happening to civilians and humanitarians in war-torn countries, Kate doesn’t really have any roots or commitments outside of her flat in Soho, London, which she is hardly ever in. Sally, in complete contrast, has sought solace in the bottom of a wine bottle, married to Paul who is at a loss as to how to help his alcoholic wife. Sally is very bitter towards Kate and pushes away any offer of help which has driven a huge gulf between the sisters.My Sister’s Bones is told in 3 parts, the first part being from Kate’s perspective with alternating chapters from being interviewed in a police station for a yet unknown crime and the events of the week prior to her detention. Part 2 is told from Sally’s perspective, answering some questions from Kate’s narration (My Sister’s Bones is a fantastic example of unreliable narrators!) however Sally’s mental state is also not stable as she is an alcoholic. I’ll let you find out for yourselves what happens in part 3 – no spoilers here!!There are so many challenging subjects in My Sister’s Bones, mainly focusing on the terrible situation in Aleppo and the debilitating effects of PTSD, but it also touches upon domestic abuse, mental health and alcoholism, all of which were handled sensitively and expertly. This is most definitely a slow burn thriller with the current plot interwoven with the back-story of the sisters, but my gosh does it work tremendously well!! I was completely engrossed, I found myself getting deeper and deeper into the plots and the flashbacks were so haunting and realistic that, at times, I got confused as to what was happening (so god only knows how PTSD suffers must feel!) that I had to go back on occasion and re-read sections. The flashbacks are chilling and my heart goes out to those in Syria and other war-torn countries – this book has really opened my eyes to the reality of these wars.What is absolutely astounding is that this is Ellwood’s debut novel – all I can say is if this is the starting point, I cannot wait to read more from Ellwood! One of my top reads for 2016 and one I will be recommending to anyone who’ll listen!
    more
  • Karen Whittard
    October 20, 2016
    Thank you to NetGalley, author Nuala Ellwood and publisher Penguin Book U.K. For the opportunity to read this gripping edge of your seat addictive book A MUST BUY MUST READ for all. I was kept up all night with my coughing and this was just the sort of book I needed to see me into the early hours when my cough tends to stop and I can get a few hours sleep. It's been a long time since I've wanted to stay up all night because I was desperate to see what happened in a book. So thank you Nuala Ellwo Thank you to NetGalley, author Nuala Ellwood and publisher Penguin Book U.K. For the opportunity to read this gripping edge of your seat addictive book A MUST BUY MUST READ for all. I was kept up all night with my coughing and this was just the sort of book I needed to see me into the early hours when my cough tends to stop and I can get a few hours sleep. It's been a long time since I've wanted to stay up all night because I was desperate to see what happened in a book. So thank you Nuala Ellwood for this little gem. This was my first book that I have read by Nuala Ellwood but it certainly will not be my last it was compelling and intriguing from the very first page to the very last page. I have been telling everyone I know to read this book. Kate Rafter is a high flying war news reporter, reporting from the most dangerous places in the world. I'm not surprised that Kate chose a journalist job reporting from war torn places when she had such s horrible childhood with her father. Luckily Kate was the lucky one and managed to get away from him. unfortunately the same cannot be said for Kate's sister Sally. Sally wasn't strong enough to walk away and leave her mother to deal with their father on her own. Sally stayed in the unstable home and turned to drink as her way to escape things. When disaster strikes and Kate and Sally's mother dies. Kate has to confront her demons and return to the family home. On the very first night that Kate sleeps in her old bedroom she is awoken in the middle of the night by a blood curdling scream. Thinking it is her mind playing tricks on her and it was simply coming from her dream and not the real world Kate tries to go back to sleep. That is until she hears the scream again. What is that noise? And who is making it? What secrets are lurking in the family home? Is kate strong enough to investigate and discover what the noise is? This book is everything you want in a thriller/supernatural book. It is perfect for these cold autumnal nights and even more perfect when we are going into Halloween week. Naula manages to write in such a way that I found hypnotic and compelling right from the start. This book is powerful and hauntingly unsettlingly. It had me on the edge of my seat and I devoured it in one sitting. Let's just say it managed to effect me so much that it got into my dreams and I'm still thinking about it this morning. This book has a lot of twist and turns in it that will keep the reader engaged and guessing what will happen up to the last page. I hope everyone reads this book soThat it gets the credit that it so deserves. I feel a little jealous of people who get to experience this book for the first time. It is that good. Thank you again for the chance to read this book. Happy reading everyone.
    more
  • Noelle
    November 1, 2016
    My thanks to Penguin Books for an ARC of this book. *Happy Publication Day*There’s a scream. You wake. You tell yourself it’s just a nightmare. So why is there blood on your hands? Set in Herne Bay, a seaside town in Kent – the reader is led down a path of unanswered questions, broken relationships, alcoholism, guilt, secrets, grief, mental health, the past and finally, closure. It is a mine field of emotions that keeps hold of you every page you turn.OMG…This is by no means a fast-paced story – My thanks to Penguin Books for an ARC of this book. *Happy Publication Day*There’s a scream. You wake. You tell yourself it’s just a nightmare. So why is there blood on your hands? Set in Herne Bay, a seaside town in Kent – the reader is led down a path of unanswered questions, broken relationships, alcoholism, guilt, secrets, grief, mental health, the past and finally, closure. It is a mine field of emotions that keeps hold of you every page you turn.OMG…This is by no means a fast-paced story – it can’t be and this works well! The book is told in three parts from different points of view and wraps up nicely at the end, without leaving the reader lost and confused.Kate’s story – Part 1, is the longest and perhaps most in depth in terms of the story-line. It also includes the backstory and sub-plots so that the reader can follow without having to re-read. I was interested in Kate’s experiences as a reporter and how this shaped her character. Demons from her past still haunt her though and we see this manifest itself in her episodes of mental health issues. Kate definitely intrigued me. Her strength was admirable but also her downfall. At times she seemed so cold and distant, it took me a while to warm to her.Part 2- is from Sally’s (Kate’s sister) POV. Now THIS, for me was captivating! In fact, I think I was drawn more Sally than I was Kate. A lot of the family secrets come out but all is not what it seems. And OMFG I was struggling for air with everything that was thrown at me – I mean, bloody hell….there were some shocking revelations! Paul, Sally’s weary but devoted (?) husband, is portrayed as her saviour of sorts. He is the man trying to keep her together as she grieves for her mother. He also supports Kate and tries to rebuild the broken relationship the sisters have. #PoorPoorSally – I mean this lady has been through the wringer and I really struggled to see how she was going to cope. Already an alcoholic, feelings of jealousy and betrayal wrap themselves around Sally like a blanket to get her through each day. Can she let go of the past and be the hero of her story? No spoilers from me, I’m afraid!Part 3 is the shortest of the book and basically brings all the loose ends together. I really cannot say much, except that once again I was shouting “WTAF!?” and “Nooooooo” …. a lot!Do I recommend this book? Hell Yeah, I do! It was a captivating read that left me reeling. The twists were superb and …well….slightly twisted! Just what I like in a thriller! It is out now, so if you want to grab yourself a copy – head over to amazon...quick!
    more
  • Sassy Brit
    March 22, 2017
    This review is from: My Sister's Bones (Hardcover) Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme I am reviewing the book My Sister's Bones by Nuala Ellwood. Here are my thoughts:^^ The story line has a similar Gone Girl/Girl on the Train theme, but with that added punch of characters dealing with the psychological fallout of the trauma of reporting in dangerous conflict zones around the world, highlighting the chaos of war and the bravery of all those involved.^^ The book starts with Kate being This review is from: My Sister's Bones (Hardcover) Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme I am reviewing the book My Sister's Bones by Nuala Ellwood. Here are my thoughts:^^ The story line has a similar Gone Girl/Girl on the Train theme, but with that added punch of characters dealing with the psychological fallout of the trauma of reporting in dangerous conflict zones around the world, highlighting the chaos of war and the bravery of all those involved.^^ The book starts with Kate being questioned by the police, for a crime that we only understand as we read through the book. It alternates this with gradually revealing the events of a week earlier leading up to the reason why Kate is being questioned, making me eager to race through the book for answers. In fact, I read "My Sister's Bones" in under two days and thoroughly enjoyed it.^^ Written in first the person point of view initially and then splits into three parts; the first being the main character, Kate, then her sister Sally, and finally the gripping conclusion is handed back to Kate again as all is revealed.^^ I found splitting the book up in this way (like a three plot structure) was great idea as it provided the ability to really get inside the minds of each character, allowing Sally to provide a few answers brought up from Kate's side of the story, and vice versa.^^ This has to be one of my favourite reads this year, and I will look out for more work from author, Nuala Ellwood.Overall: A gripping book with everything I love in a story; fully rounded characters facing realistic challenges, an engrossing back story, and a surprising twist at the end that I did not see coming.
    more
  • Janet
    January 25, 2017
    Firstly I want to say thank you to NetGalley for the ARC of this brilliant book. Nuala Ellwood you have a new fan.Drawn in from the very first pages I read this so quickly, I couldn't help myself needing to know more and more. Written in three parts from each main character's perspective made it so intense and dramatic. Kate is my favourite character from the book, so strong and self willed, even with all the trauma she's had to deal with she refuses to give in. Sally, I felt angry with at times Firstly I want to say thank you to NetGalley for the ARC of this brilliant book. Nuala Ellwood you have a new fan.Drawn in from the very first pages I read this so quickly, I couldn't help myself needing to know more and more. Written in three parts from each main character's perspective made it so intense and dramatic. Kate is my favourite character from the book, so strong and self willed, even with all the trauma she's had to deal with she refuses to give in. Sally, I felt angry with at times but also sad for her. The final part was the one that really blew me away, left me with tears streaming down my face....Kate is a first class reporter working in the most dangerous parts of the world, but she's damaged by the things she witnesses. Nightmares and visions she cannot escape haunt her.Sally, a drunken mess feels like she's the lowest if the low, can't live up to her big sister's standards and instead of fighting for herself and her family she finds solace at the bottom of a bottle.Now with their mother's death it brings forth all the nightmares of their youth, the anger and violence. Is it possible for them to become sisters again after so much time apart being angry with each other? A totally unputdownable book, looking forward to the next
    more
  • Denise
    January 29, 2017
    "We're all of us, every day, just a hairbreadth away from evil."War correspondent, Katie Rafter, comes home to Herne Bay after the death of her beloved mother. She'd escaped this place of nightmares -- an abusive father who beat his wife, a dead little brother, and a broken, alcoholic wreck of a sister. Katie had survived Syria but has demons of her own: the horrific memories of death and destruction that prevent her from sleeping without drugs. She's in a bad way suffering from PTSD, staying in "We're all of us, every day, just a hairbreadth away from evil."War correspondent, Katie Rafter, comes home to Herne Bay after the death of her beloved mother. She'd escaped this place of nightmares -- an abusive father who beat his wife, a dead little brother, and a broken, alcoholic wreck of a sister. Katie had survived Syria but has demons of her own: the horrific memories of death and destruction that prevent her from sleeping without drugs. She's in a bad way suffering from PTSD, staying in her mother's house, wanting some closure -- but finds that something is still very wrong in this place when she keeps seeing a little boy in her mother's dilapidated garden. No one believes her...This debut thriller was completely addicting as the story line builds to a shocking climax. The details and excellent narrative style pull you in completely as the psychological tension builds. Katie is a very interesting character, fully fleshed out, and the others in the book are seen through her eyes until the point of view changes toward the end. Nicely done! I really enjoyed this one and recommend it! I'll be looking for this author's next book.Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin (UK) Penguin Random House for the e-book ARC to review.
    more
  • C.L. Taylor
    August 9, 2016
    A stunning book. I was drawn in by Nuala Ellwood's hypnotic, haunting and elegant prose and was fascinated by Kate, the traumatised main character. I thought the author sensitively handled the conflict in Syria and Kate's role as a war reporter. The horror Kate experienced in Syria felt unnervingly real and I lived every moment of it as I turned the pages. Kate's past clashes with her present when she returns to the UK after the death of her mother. Are the things she sees and hears a symptom of A stunning book. I was drawn in by Nuala Ellwood's hypnotic, haunting and elegant prose and was fascinated by Kate, the traumatised main character. I thought the author sensitively handled the conflict in Syria and Kate's role as a war reporter. The horror Kate experienced in Syria felt unnervingly real and I lived every moment of it as I turned the pages. Kate's past clashes with her present when she returns to the UK after the death of her mother. Are the things she sees and hears a symptom of her PTSD or has she unwittingly discovered a terrible crime closer to home? Compelling, unsettling and powerful this is a book that will stay with me for a long time.
    more
Write a review