She should never have let her go.
That was her first mistake.
She trusted him.
That was her second...
The Stepsister is the latest book from Jenny O’ Brien and was published on 29th October 2018.
Described as a ‘gripping psychological thriller with a wicked twist’, it is a departure in genre for the author, having previously written, primarily, romantic novels. I do wish to apologise to Jenny O’ Brien as I did finish The Stepsister before Christmas…but my review got delayed due to the festive madness of the season!!
So without further ado, please do read on for my thoughts….
[ About the Book ]
When a stranger leaves stepsisters, Victoria and Ness, a half-share in a house in Holland, they think it must be a mistake.
But there’s no mistake when Ness goes missing.
Desperate for the truth, Victoria travels from Guernsey to Holland to find out what’s happened to her. Has she, as her texts show, embarked on a whirlwind romance? Has someone abducted her or even worse?
What she doesn’t know is there’s someone watching, and that person wants her dead.
Can Victoria find out the truth before it’s too late?
[ My Review ]
“I died yesterday, or so I’ve been told.
Yesterday is the day my life changed but how or why is still a mystery. There are things I know and there are things they’ve told me but I can’t seem to trust any of it
I know I’m a woman but I don’t know my age……somewhere along the way, someone cared enough to drill manners into me. Those are the things I know, the things I can trust but as for the rest….”
The very intriguing opening lines from The Stepsister.
Who is this person? What is her name? Where does she come from? What happened to her? All questions, as a reader, that you automatically ask yourself, as you read on, in an attempt to unravel the truth and the identity of this stranger.
Victoria and Ness, stepsisters, receive a very unexpected letter in the post. On opening it, they discover that they have been left a house in The Netherlands by a mysterious individual, unknown to either. Victoria is in the middle of a personal crisis, having just come out of a relationship with Robert, the man she thought was The One. An artist by profession, she has never achieved any great financial success but thought that Robert was all she needed to be happy, to live the life she hoped for. Victoria was abandoned in her early years and was taken in by Ness’s mother, a woman who never showed Victoria any love or affection of any kind. With Robert now gone, Victoria feels betrayed and forlorn, disheveled and quite despondent with the direction her life has taken. Victoria has no intention of chasing this inheritance in The Netherlands, wanting nothing to do with it. Ness, a lawyer, takes the lead and suggests she travel and sort out the necessary paperwork, in the hope of discovering who this mystery benefactor is.
After a short period of time, a message arrives for Victoria from Ness, explaining that Ness has met and fallen passionately for a local Dutchman, Manus van der Hooke, and that she will contact Victoria again in her own time. Victoria is frustrated and angry. Having been left with Nigel, Ness’s dog, to mind, aswell as having to visit her stepmother, Marilyn, in a nursing home, Victoria feels her world is closing in on her. When no further contact is possible with Ness, Victoria gets concerned and makes the decision to travel to Holland, bringing Nigel with her.
As Victoria soon discovers, all is not quite as it seems. A web of intrigue and danger awaits her. Never knowing what is real and what is a fabrication. Victoria begins to doubt her own self, as she finds herself in situations way outside of her comfort zone.
The Stepsister is a novel packed with plenty of twists and turns. It’s hard to believe that this is Jenny O’ Brien’s first foray into the thriller genre. It has suspense and a quite a complex plot-line, with that fantastic opener, the perfect hook, to draw the reader deeper into the story. An enjoyable read!!
Purchase Link ~ The Stepsister
[ Bio ]
Jenny O’Brien was born in Ireland and, after a brief sojourn in Wales, now resides in Guernsey.
She’s an avid reader and book reviewer for NetGalley in addition to being a 2016/2017 RoNA judge.
She writes for both children and adults with a new book coming out every six months or so. She’s also an avid collector of cats, broken laptops, dust and happy endings – two of which you’ll always find in her books.
In her spare time she can be found frowning at her wonky cakes and even wonkier breads. You’ll be pleased to note she won’t be entering Bake-Off.
Website ~ jennyo.bravesites.com
Twitter ~ @ScribblerJB