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24 May 2014

Rosamund Lupton
Publication Date
2 Sep 2010
Crime, Psychological


Nothing can break the bond between sisters… When Beatrice gets a frantic call in the middle of Sunday lunch to say that her younger sister Tess is missing, she boards the first flight home to London. But as she learns about the circumstances surrounding Tess's disappearance, she is stunned to discover how little she actually knows of her sister's life - and unprepared for the terrifying truths she must now face.
The police, Beatrice's fiancé and even their mother accept they have lost Tess, but Beatrice refuses to give up on her. She embarks on a dangerous journey to discover the truth, no matter the cost.

My review:

If you love crime and psychological thriller with a good twist, give this book a try. I loved it and it left me pondering at the end for a while. 

Beatrice and Tess are very different. Whereas Beatrice is somewhat more settled with a good job abroad and a finance, her much younger sister Tess is an artist, bohemian, erratic. But the two are close and Beatrice looks out for her younger sister even after moving to the US and the two sister exchange long and intimate letters. 

I don't think I will give a major plot away when I reveal that Tess sadly gets found dead, in a toilet in Hyde Park. But her sister Bee (as Tess had always called her) can't believe what the police is saying - that Tess committed suicide, brought on by postnatal depression and the death of her baby shortly after birth. Bee is more than shocked - she didn't even know Tess was pregnant and can't believe Tess would not have told her. She is convinced that Tess was murdered and sets out to find out the truth. Bee continues to live in Tess' s flat in London and even takes up a job in the same cafe where Tess worked to get to find out as much as possible. And it doesn't take long before Bee discovers that Tess had an affair with her married professor who made it clear he was not interested in the baby. And there is more. Bee also finds out that Tess, as a carrier for Cystic Fibrosis, took park in a medical research program on unborn babies, and the more Bee looks into it, the more this research doesn't sound right. Tess was also followed by an obsessed fellow student. And there is a masked stalker. Or is he one of the others and just wanted to scare Tess? 

The book is written with Beatrice as the narrator, in the form of a letter she writes to Tess. In a way, it is a good old-fashioned 'who-dunnit', with a lot in between to keep you completely entertained. I kept guessing and couldn't figure it out, and I certainly couldn't have guessed the ending. 

This will be a great book to read with friends / in a book club do discuss afterwards to see what each of you thought, and I bet you get different opinions, especially on the ending. I'm still undecided! 

This was Lupton's debut novel which should establish her within the genre of psychological crime thrillers. 

Author Bio
Rosamund Lupton read English Literature at Cambridge University. After a variety of jobs in London, including copywriting and reviewing for the Literary Review, she was a winner of Carlton Television's new writers' competition and was selected by the BBC for a place on their new writers' course. She was also invited to join the Royal Court Theatre's writers group. Before becoming a novelist, she was a script-writer for television and film, writing original screenplays. She lives in London with her husband, two children and Tango, a large ginger cat.  (From the publisher.)