Monday, May 16, 2016

Review of 'Sister Dear' {by Laura McNeill}

'Sister Dear' is the first novel of Laura McNeill's I have read, and she is now an author to which I will turn when I'm wanting to read something dark, mysterious, and intriguing. The plot starts out simple enough--after spending 10 years in prison for a crime she didn't commit, Allie is gaining her freedom and returning home. But home is in a town where everyone still believes her guilty, her parents remain distant, her high school daughter Caroline considers her a stranger, and her sister Emma wrestles with helping her and staying away.

McNeill has layered the past & present with secrets. While the secrets have had the biggest toll on Allie's life, they mix and mingle and truly affect the entire town. Just when the reader begins to put the puzzle together, another secret is revealed and the reader finds himself or herself wondering once again, "who committed the murder"? Another dynamic of the book comes within the character development, as one character who appears to be a protagonist starts looking more and more like an antagonist, and minor characters begin to become complex major characters within the various storylines.

The novel did hit a point in the middle where the storyline to drag just a bit, but it could be that I was just getting more anxious to get to climax of the plot line and see not only who committed the murder 10 years ago, but also to see all the storylines come together and present a common resolution. While the ending chapter was just a tad rushed, overall I was very pleased with the pace of the novel and the final outcomes.

*Please note; if you are looking at this book because it is from Christian publisher Thomas Nelson and are searching for a Christian book, I do not feel this one qualifies. But if you want a murder mystery with suspense and some adult content, 'Sister Dear' is a good choice.*

*I received a complimentary copy per my honest review.*

Sister Dear
Sister Dear (Thomas Nelson, April 2016)
All Allie Marshall wants is a fresh start. But when dark secrets refuse to stay buried, will her chance at a new life be shattered forever?
Convicted of a crime she didn’t commit, Allie watched a decade of her life vanish – time that can never be recovered. Now, out on parole, Allie is determined to clear her name, rebuild her life, and reconnect with the daughter she barely knows.
But Allie’s return home shatters the quaint, coastal community of Brunswick, Georgia. Even her own daughter Caroline, now a teenager, bristles at Allie’s claims of innocence. Refusing defeat, a stronger, smarter Allie launches a battle for the truth, digging deeply into the past even if it threatens her parole status, personal safety, and the already-fragile bond with family.
As her commitment to finding the truth intensifies, what Allie ultimately uncovers is far worse than she imagined. Her own sister has been hiding a dark secret—one that holds the key to Allie’s freedom.

Laura McNeill is a writer, web geek, travel enthusiast, and coffee drinker. In her former life, she was a television news anchor for CBS News affiliates in New York and Alabama. Laura holds a master’s degree in journalism from The Ohio State University and is completing a graduate program in interactive technology at the University of Alabama. When she’s not writing and doing homework, she enjoys running, yoga, and spending time at the beach. She lives in Mobile, AL with her family.

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