If You Knew My Sister by Michelle Adams
St. Martin's Press: 10/3/17
eBook review copy; 384 pages
If You Knew My Sister by Michelle Adams is a highly recommended debut psychological thriller about a dysfunctional family.
Irini Harringford is in denial, but she has been scarred for life by
her abandonment at the age of three. At that time, her parents gave her
to her aunt and uncle to raise, but kept her seven-year-old sister,
Elle. Irini has spent her life wondering why her parents kept her sister
and never visited her. Why did her parents give her to an aunt and
uncle who didn't want her or lover her. And why did her parents and her
aunt and uncle try to keep her sister Elle from finding her?
Could she have been given away because she is is not perfect, but walks with a distinct limp from a dysplastic
hip and a leg that never developed properly. This caused Irini to
experience plenty of name calling and bullying as a child. In fact, the
first time Elle found and contacted Irini over the years,
it was when she protected her from a bully. Elle viciously attacked him.
Still, even though Elle has found her over the years, they are not
close. In fact any contact with Elle is mark with odd, sometimes
violent, behavior on Elle's part and Irini has tried to stay hidden from
Now Elle has found Irini after 6 years with no contact. She called in
the middle of the night, telling Irini that their mother has died and
that she must come to the funeral. Irini, frightened by what Elle might
do and still wanting some answers, goes home to Scotland for the
funeral. But once there things don't seem to quite add up and she is
still not getting any answers as to why she was given away and it seems
that there is another plot afoot that Irini hasn't a clue about and
might not figure out until it is too late.
If You Knew My Sister is a nail-biting, well-written, dark,
creepy, and twisty thriller with a Gothic vibe to it. Unsettling or
disturbing scenes abound in the narrative, enough that you would think
Irini would never have left for Scotland, or certainly should have run
home much sooner than she does, not that that would provide any comfort.
Obviously, Elle has issues and an agenda that no one might guess.
Actually, Irini herself might have some hidden issues that she needs to
Additionally, I had a a few minor thoughts about the plot. The reason
Irini was given away doesn't seem all that shocking or surprising, and I
would have thought she would have instinctively known the reason why
after she first met Elle. She does realize that she needs to avoid Elle.
Irini's boyfriend, Antonio, is unlikable right from the start. Finally,
the events at the end seemed a little forced and rushed to me, rather
than flowing naturally from the story. Setting all that aside, If You Knew My Sister is a satisfying thriller and I do highly recommend it for those who enjoy psychological thrillers with a Gothic feeling.
My review copy was courtesy of St. Martin's Press.