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3.9 230
by Rosamund Lupton

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"Lupton enters the highly charged ring where the best psychological detective writers spar... Like Kate Atkinson, Patricia Highsmith and Ruth Rendell… Both tear-jerking and spine-tingling, Sister provides an adrenaline rush that could cause a chill on the sunniest afternoon." —The New York Times Book Review


"Lupton enters the highly charged ring where the best psychological detective writers spar... Like Kate Atkinson, Patricia Highsmith and Ruth Rendell… Both tear-jerking and spine-tingling, Sister provides an adrenaline rush that could cause a chill on the sunniest afternoon." —The New York Times Book Review
When her mom calls to tell her that Tess, her younger sister, is missing, Bee returns home to London on the first flight. She expects to find Tess and give her the usual lecture, the bossy big sister scolding her flighty baby sister for taking off without letting anyone know her plans. Tess has always been a free spirit, an artist who takes risks, while conservative Bee couldn’t be more different. Bee is used to watching out for her wayward sibling and is fiercely protective of Tess (and has always been a little stern about her antics). But then Tess is found dead, apparently by her own hand.

Bee is certain that Tess didn’t commit suicide. Their family and the police accept the sad reality, but Bee feels sure that Tess has been murdered.  Single-minded in her search for a killer, Bee moves into Tess's apartment and throws herself headlong into her sister's life--and all its secrets.

Though her family and the police see a grieving sister in denial, unwilling to accept the facts, Bee uncovers the affair Tess was having with a married man and the pregnancy that resulted, and her difficultly with a stalker who may have crossed the line when Tess refused his advances. Tess was also participating in an experimental medical trial that might have gone very wrong.  As a determined Bee gives her statement to the lead investigator, her story reveals a predator who got away with murder--and an obsession that may cost Bee her own life.

A thrilling story of fierce love between siblings, Sister is a suspenseful and accomplished debut with a stunning twist.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
British author Lupton's unusual and searing debut is her heroine Beatrice Hemming's letter to her dead younger sister, Tess. Abandoned by their father just before their eight-year-old brother's death from cystic fibrosis and raised by their genteelly ineffectual mother, Bee and Tess have always exchanged long, intimate letters, so when Tess, an unmarried London art student, apparently commits suicide after her CF baby is born dead, Bee resigns her corporate design job in New York City and moves into Tess's shabby London flat. Convinced Tess was murdered, Bee gradually learns Tess had been spurned, like her unborn child, by her married art teacher lover; she had also been eerily pursued by a drugged-up slumming fellow student and mentally tortured by hallucinogenic drugs thrust on her by a masked stalker. Bee's self-defenses crumble as she discovers that she never returned Tess's anguished calls for help. Observing the unsettling similarities between her mother and her fiancé, Bee realizes "why no one could be my safety rope." At the harrowing conclusion, Bee's aching heart accepts that "grief is love turned into an eternal missing." (June)
Library Journal
Written in the form of a letter from Beatrice, the older, more substantial sister, to her younger, bohemian sibling, Tess, the narrative reveals within the first few pages that Tess has gone missing and is found dead. Bea and Tess, even with a big age difference and an ocean between them, were incredibly close, so when Bea receives the "phone call," she drops everything and races from New York City to London. Although Tess's death is ruled a suicide, Bea knows her sister would never kill herself. As Bea frantically tries to find the murderer, in the process losing pieces of herself, the reader is catapulted into the search. VERDICT Beautifully written with an unexpected twist at the end, this debut literary thriller was a best seller in Britain and a Richard and Judy Book Club Pick. Thriller fans will eagerly await Lupton's next book. [See Prepub Alert, 12/6/10.]—Marianne Fitzgerald, Annapolis, MD
Kirkus Reviews

Hitchcockian spookiness in this tale of two sisters—one living, one dead—in London.

Beatrice Hemming hurries back to London from her home in New York when she hears her younger sister Tess is missing. Tess is an artist and a bit unpredictable, so it's not clear when (or whether) she'll turn up, but after a few days the police find her body in a public bathroom in Hyde Park. Not only that, but she had been pregnant and had just a few days before her death given birth to a stillborn child. Because Tess is found to have cuts on her arms and because her behavior had been erratic, her death is officially ruled a suicide arising from postpartum depression. But Bea is convinced Tess had been murdered. The prime suspect is Emilio Codi, Tess' art professor, a married man who got her pregnant and who made it clear he wants nothing to do with the child. Beatrice (or Bee, as her sister called her) decides to turn detective, and she does this in part by inhabiting Tess' former life. Bee lives in Tess' apartment, takes over Tess' waitressing job and even befriends someone who'd been involved with Tess in an experimental medical program during her pregnancy. Other suspects include a prominent doctor involved in this experiment to "cure" Tess' unborn child of cystic fibrosis, and the head of a biomedical company about to make a killing in the stock market for a cure for CF. But Bee finds deeper mysteries—for example, that Emilio is not a carrier of the CF gene and hence could not be the father of her child. Lupton's decision to make Bee the narrator—and to have her write to her dead sister—enhance the book's eeriness.

A skillfully wrought psychological thriller.

Liesl Schillinger
…a taut, hold-your-breath-and-your-handkerchief thriller…Like Kate Atkinson, Patricia Highsmith and Ruth Rendell, Lupton builds suspense not only around the causes and details of her story's brutal denouement, but also around the personalities and motivations of those who lunge and those who duck…Both tear-jerking and spine-tingling, Sister provides an adrenaline rush that could cause a chill on the sunniest afternoon…
—The New York Times
From the Publisher
"Lupton enters the highly charged ring where the best psychological detective writers spar... Like Kate Atkinson, Patricia Highsmith and Ruth Rendell… Both tear-jerking and spine-tingling, SISTER provides an adrenaline rush that could cause a chill on the sunniest afternoon." The New York Times Book Review

"You'll relish every twist and turn." People

"Eerie psychological mystery...With its loving portrayal of what it means to be a sister balanced by some impressively Hitchcockian twists, SISTER should appeal to fans of the character-driven mysteries of Kate Atkinson and Tana French." CSMonitor.com

"Elegantly suspenseful...a pulse-quickening cocktail of science fiction and whodunit, with a splash of literary poetics and poignancy."--NPR.org

“Gripping.” —O, The Oprah Magazine

"A psychological murder mystery written with a literary flair…Be prepared for page-turning.” Vanity Fair.com

“[A] fast-paced, absurdly entertaining novel....Along with a juicy mystery, it resounds with an authentic sense of sisterly love and loyalty.” —The Boston Globe 

"SISTER is an emotionally resonant and tightly drawn novel." —The Post and Courier

"Taut and tingling." Good Housekeeping

"A remarkable piece of work. Lupton shrewdly and compassionately peels back the story's rich layers." The Seattle Times

“For those of us with sisters, a reminder of how lucky we are.” —Pittsburgh Post Gazette

"A riveting and moving tale." —Houston Chronicle

“A winner, as worth reading for its psychological intensity as it is for its mystery plot, not to mention the genuinely surprising twist near the end.” —BookReporter

"A poignant and perceptive depiction of the emotional bonds between two sisters…The result is a superb thriller, full of twists and turns, false leads and a surprise ending—all seamlessly woven into a touching story of a sisterly bond." BookPage

"Gripping and haunting, this whodunit explores the powerful bond between sisters." —All You Magazine

"Lupton’s remarkable debut novel is a masterful, superlative-inspiring success that will hook readers (and keep them guessing) from page one…A chilling, gripping, tragic, heart-warming, life-affirming enigma of a story." —Booklist, starred review

"Beautifully written with an unexpected twist at the end...Thriller fans will eagerly await Lupton’s next book" —Library Journal, starred review

“Hitchcockian spookiness in this tale of two sisters. A skillfully wrought psychological thriller.” —Kirkus Reviews

"Truly marvelous! As compelling as it is stylish, SISTER exists in that rare place where crime fiction and literature coincide." —Jeffery Deaver 
"A compulsive thriller with genuine originality. Very clever, very surprising, very touching. I devoured it." —Louise Candlish

"Poignant and thrilling, this clever debut explores the fascinating bond between sisters, and haunts you with the power of their love." Chevy Stevens, New York Times bestselling author of Still Missing

"Intense and absorbing from the very first page, SISTER is as much a tender exploration of the complicated, twisty, messy love between sisters, as it is an utterly gripping and compelling thriller...A haunting and accomplished debut." Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of Fragile

"Both beautiful and suspenseful, SISTER is an absolutely stunning debut.  The ending will leave you reeling." Alafair Burke, author of Long Gone

Product Details

Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.60(d)

Meet the Author

Rosamund Lupton is the internationally bestselling and critically acclaimed author of the novels Sister and Afterwards. Her New York Times bestselling debut, Sister, was a New York Times Editor’s Choice and Target Book Club pick, and has been translated into over thirty languages with international sales of over 1.5 million copies. Lupton lives in London with her husband and two sons.

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Sister 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 230 reviews.
angeleyesAS More than 1 year ago
Sister is an engrossing, emotional thriller touching on devotion, betrayal, self-absorption, madness, and grief. It keeps you wondering just how unraveled Bee is going to become and wondering what really happened to Tess. The story is cleverly plotted and fast paced. Bee is the responsible sister and Tess is an impulsive free spirit who sees the beauty in the world around her. When Beatrice learns that her beloved sister has disappeared, she rushes home to London. But when the police find young Tess's body, everyone seems ready to accept it as suicide. Everybody, that is, but Beatrice. While bureaucracy stands in her way, she leaves the rules behind and goes in search of the truth. Her search and discoveries blend romance, politics, and science in surprising ways. When everyone is sure that her pursuit of Tess's killer is a delusion, she has to nurture that so-called delusion to unlock the truth. This selective turn of the head gives her a vivid personality. The book is highly compelling and totally riveting. The writing is excellent.
Ellster More than 1 year ago
Riveting thriller that had me torn between not being able to put the book down with not wanting to finish it because I loved the characters and storyline so much.
Carol Barrett More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down! The plot kept me guessing and just when I thought I had the mystery solved it would twist and turn again. Writing was smart and characters well developed. The beautiful relationship of Bee and her sister brought me to tears. LOVED IT!
Forrest Quiggle More than 1 year ago
Overall a pretty good read, not great. There were numerous points in the story i wanted the author to just get to the point. The ending was alright.
lsmeadows More than 1 year ago
One of the things that I am enjoying about being involved in Goodreads and writing a blog, is the amount of new authors that I have been exposed to. Rosamund Lupton is another one of those authors. Sister is her debut novel, and it is well worth the read. What Lupton gives us is a tale of the relationship between two sisters all wrapped up in a mystery. Rather than taking away from either story, these two stories fit well together and keep the reader involved. Bee flies to London as her sister is reported missing, only to have the police discover her sister's body and to have the coroner declare it as a suicide. Bee does not believe Tess would commit suicide and proceeds to try to prove otherwise. The story is told in the form of letters to her sister and Bee's ultimate recollection of events. I found both stories captivating and engrossing. The characters were excellently portrayed and believable. The relationship story had the right mix of nostalgia and poignancy. The mystery was excellent, complete with all the right twists and turns and an ending that was surprising on more than one level. Great debut by Ms. Lupton and I am looking forward to reading her next book.
Ayane More than 1 year ago
Rosamund Lupton has become one of my author's to watch with Sister. This isn't a murder mystery novel as much as it is a story that demonstrates the power of the bonds of sisterhood under the worst of circumstances. Through Lupton's writing I began to find myself mourning for Tess, the lost sister, and desperately wanting to see Beatrice succeed in proving Tess didn't kill herself. Sisters made me long for the bond that these two sisters had in my own life.
Thiltpold More than 1 year ago
The story started out slow during the introduction of characters but mid way through so much was happening I could not put it down. A very interesting account of "who done it".
juliaandlauren More than 1 year ago
Best book I have read in a while. Grabs you. I kept sneaking off to read it anytime I could.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading this book and it is outstanding. It keeps you interested and it has a surprising ending. I did not want the book to end. I will look for her second book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is suspenseful with enough twists to keep you thinking, guessing & interested. I was a bit underwhelmed with the overt genetics underpinnings. I also at times had to focus on the setting - are we in the past or the present?; however, there is an eventual payoff to the reader. The best part of this novel the author's ability to vividly portray the bonds of sisterhood.
Beekermlady More than 1 year ago
I truly felt connected to Bee and Tess, until about page 200, then it seemed like the story just strayed too far from their relationship and on to a very twisty reality of Beatrice. A turn in the novel that I wasn't expecting and believe may have hindered the initial plot. It was unexpected and a unique turn but seriously under developed and rushed. Still, I will recommend this book and look forward to watch/reading as this author perfects her style!
KAdham More than 1 year ago
I heard an interview with the author on NPR and decided I would pick this up. It was great, as I have a sister and it was so real, I totally understood the prespective of the narrator and couldn't put it down until I was finished!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderfully written great perspective full of details, You will enjoy it and want more
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
..."Sister" captures you and doesn't let go until the last word is devoured. I was not seeking a thriller but was attracted due to having a sister who is so different & yet so similar to myself. I would reccomend this to anyone who wants lifelike characters flaws & all. It is a true page turner that holds you like glue beginning to end.
Luv2readdiane More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this beautifully written book. The characters are wonderful, the essence of the story was captivating. Would love to read other books written by Rosamund Lupton. I have recommended this book to many friends already. Enjoy, Luv 2 read.
Betti More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book....can hardly wait for her next one! The end was especially good. I did not see it coming and it definately left me wanting more books from this author! This book would also make a good book club read because it has mystery, suspence, and romance. In other words, a little bit of something for everyone.
BeauJW More than 1 year ago
I muddled through this book hoping that it would get better...it didn't. The author did manage to convey the loving bond between the sisters. Not a page turner.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Walked in " hi im home"
Anonymous 4 months ago
Anonymous 4 months ago
Wants to have kyle for herself as a sex slave
Anonymous 5 months ago
Our res got moved . Go to res one
Anonymous 5 months ago
The bathroom door closed.
Anonymous 5 months ago
He walks in"Hey sis"
Anonymous 5 months ago
Sighed as she watched tv
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is beautifully written