Book Review: The Sister-In-Law by Sue Watson

“He’d hurt me so much, I couldn’t tell the difference between love and pain any more.”

― Sue Watson, The Sister-in-Law

A shockingly surprising, suspenseful thriller about Clare, a woman with a secret that might potentially ruin her family and all she values. Twisted, irresistibly readable, and another winner from a writer who belongs on the list of authors we really must read. An absolutely compelling psychological thriller with twists and turns that will appeal to fans of Before I Go To Sleep, The Girl on the Train, and Date Night.

Synopsis from Goodreads...

‘You don’t think Jamie and I have secrets, do you? No, we tell each other everything.’ She smiled. ‘Including your dirty little secret. So, thinking about it, maybe it’s time to start being nice to me?’

THE WIFE: Clare is ready for a break. It’s been a tough year and now she wants to put her feet up. Arriving at the Italian villa for their summer holiday, she decides it’s high time her husband and his family did some of the work. After all, her husband owes her…

THE HUSBAND: Even though Dan had his head turned by someone else, he’s realised the error of his ways. He’s here now, and he says it’s for keeps. Clare can trust him, can’t she? At least he’ll have his brother there, to keep him in line…

THE BROTHER: Jamie is the prodigal child, back in the family fold again, after years of travelling abroad. But when he gets to the villa, he’s not alone. He’s brought a wife, someone none of them have met before.

THE SISTER-IN-LAW: Ella is everything Clare isn’t. Glamorous. Young. Influential. But she knows a secret about Clare. Something that has the power to break the whole family apart.

And there’s someone who will do whatever it takes to make sure that this deep secret never comes to the surface.

My reaction to this novel...

I've thought about reading this book before, but I've always ended up reading something else instead. After finishing the book I was reading at the time, I picked this one up off my shelf and started reading it right away. I couldn't put it down and had a great time reading it. Every page of this book was filled with drama. I gave practically all the characters a lot of emotions in this, notably being annoyed all at once. In actuality, I adore the narration of the story, and I believe the author did it in order to anger and perhaps convey to her readers the injustice of the tale of those two distinct ladies residing in the same home. And it's really kind of a blast.

Additionally, I saw that the author's writing style was really pleasant and simple to follow, which immediately drew me in. I had the impression that I was in the villa, witnessing the proceedings from an appropriate distance. I had a lot of questions about how the narrative will develop while reading this book. Even though I properly predicted the outcome of the narrative around halfway through the book, I was still a bit surprised when it was revealed. Since it's summertime here, reading this novel made me long for those warm summer evenings spent with loved ones—although not the same plot as in this book.

Anyhow, I could definitely feel the depth of my annoyance at Ella while reading the novel. I become irritated and truly want to fight her as if I were Clare every time she appears in the narrative. Her attitude is very nasty, and I firmly believe that she ultimately received what she deserved. Even if some of her arguments are reasonable, I simply don't like her as a whole. Ella is an arrogant, self-centered girl who is cruel to Clare; if I had been Clare, I would have cut short my vacation and gone back home. I truly did not like Ella at all. Actually, it did give me the impression that it would be a simple choice. Even if I am there with my family, I could forget about the lovely villa and consider returning home rather than spending my summer evenings battling with a nasty woman like her. In fact, I hoped that her tale would be different and that it would have a more terrible conclusion. In this author's thinking, it doesn't work that way, yet after she was gone, I felt incredibly satisfied.

While I don't like Ella, the same goes for the main character, Clare. She doesn't appeal to me as much as the others do. She recently revealed something that showed how brittle and changeable her mind can be since she plots something but exposes it suddenly. She resembles a toddler whose toy has been snatched. She struggles with clear thinking, which causes many difficulties in her life. Her portrayal of purity belies the filth that will never be erased, and I am very disappointed in her character. Furthermore, I dislike the way she constantly criticizes what she sees when she looks in the mirror.

I really do think that there is an aura of danger there in that lovely place. It is quickly clear that something is wrong. As I read it, I occasionally noticed that my heart was pounding frantically. As the narrative progressed, I sensed the chain around my own body straining in typical psychological thriller fashion. I couldn't put it down despite how cramped and tense it was. The Sister-in-Law is ideal for individuals who enjoy a slow-burning place that entices you with its splendor until closing the door behind you. By the time it was ended, my emotions were all over the place, and that is all due to the skillful writing. I heartily urge everyone who appreciates thriller books to read it.

My Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐✨(4.5/5)

Where to buy this book...


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