The Good Sister – Sally Hepworth

Fern & Rose are twin sisters, who grew to adulthood in less-than-ideal circumstances. Raised in a single parent household after their father left the family, they have each had their share of trauma as children, some at the hands of their mother, others at the hands of their mother’s suitors, and one particularly devastating accident when they were 12, and their Mom’s eventual overdose in their teen years, but they’ve always had – and continue to have – one another.  

Fern suffers from a sensory disorder, for lack of a better explanation – she is very sensitive to sounds, crowds and such – and takes the spoken word very literally.  She works in the local library, and lives in a sensible apartment by herself, close to her sister’s home.  She lives a simple, organized life, walks to work each day and is content with things as they are. 

Rose, recently separated from her husband Owen (although she does not share that fact with her sister – Fern believes he’s working abroad) lives nearby, and the sister’s share evening meals a few times a week. It’s on one of those evenings, as Rose is preparing for a month away in London with Owen, that Fern discovers Rose is trying to become pregnant, but is unable to do so.  As the sisters discuss it, Fern decides that she wants to become pregnant to carry a baby for Rose. 

With Rose away, to occupy her time and her mission to become pregnant, Fern sets her sights on ‘Wally’, the maybe-homeless gentleman who frequents the library for showers and lives in his van. The two develop an unlikely friendship that grows into more as Fern moves ever closer to her goal of carrying her sisters’ child. How she sets about accomplishing the task is both hilarious and heart-warming!  But as her pregnancy progresses, Fern begins to have second thoughts about keeping her baby, while Rose is more determined than ever to be a mother.

Told from the present in Fern’s point of view and supplemented with writings from Rose’s journal entries (as recommended by her therapist), the reader is taken on the journey of childhood to adulthood with the girls, and in their memories along the way.  But as the memories begin to diverge, the real story emerges – a tale of manipulation, co-dependence and cruelty – with the reader not knowing who exactly can be trusted – if anyone…

This book was a very pleasant surprise! I got caught up in the story quickly, lost in the troubled childhood of the characters – it took me longer than it should have to realize that all was not as it seemed in the lives of these two now grown women. A great read, with a very satisfying ending!!  I highly recommend!! 

I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.  Do you love to read?? Visit and start reviewing books today!!

In Her Tracks – Robert Dugoni

After a medical leave for some PTSD following her last case, Tracy Crosswhite is finally cleared to return to work. As she arrives for her first day, she’s promptly called to Capt. Nolasco’s office, only to learn that her Violent Crimes Squad team position was given to another detective while she was away. Her only choice is to assume to role of cold case investigator, whose present detective happens to be retiring today. Feeling cornered, Traci stops by the cold case office to get the lay of the land. 

Meanwhile, Stephanie Cole is planning on running a new jogging path at an out of the way park, before heading to a Halloween party. As she finally locates the park and sets out, she’s surprised to find that the running trail dead ends. She turns around to run back, but never makes it out of the woods. 

As Tracy gets settled and reviews some of the cold cases, a couple in particular catch her eye. One is that of the disappearance of a Seattle police officer’s daughter, 5 years ago, after playing hide and seek in a corn maze. The child was never found. More than a bit intrigued, Tracy digs into the file. Then a knock on the door brings her former partner Kins, who has just picked up the missing jogger case, and asks her to take a ride, as he lays out the situation. Together they start some interviews as they attempt to discover the whereabouts of Stephanie Cole. Tracy then recalls two of the case files in her office – also those of missing women from the same general area – and wonders if they might be related. 

As Tracy, Kins and the rest of the VCS team race against time to find a missing woman, the missing child from years ago is not ever far from Tracy’s mind.  As DNA evidence mounts, the team zeroes in on a suspect, desperately hoping to find Stephanie alive, but there’s still a piece of the puzzle missing…and time is running out…

This is another series I’ve discovered, thanks to Netgalley & Thomas & Mercer Publishers, and it does not disappoint.  A first-rate protagonist, and a fast-paced thriller make for another fantastic read from Robert Dugoni! As always, I cannot wait for Tracy’s next adventure! 

(I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.)