- Book: Little Sister
- Location: Isle of Wight
- Author: Isabel Ashdown
Excellently put together, this is a slow burning thriller that makes for an enthralling an multi-layered read.
Emily and James have a small child, Daisy, who is left in the care of Emily’s younger sister Jess. It’s New Year’s Eve. The parents come back after their night out to find Daisy missing and that Jess has suffered one of her “episodes” or “fainting thing” – a medical condition that means she can pass out at the drop of a hat.
The police naturally become involved and as they tease apart the case, the family dynamics come under scrutiny. Just as one potential suspect comes to the fore, another is waiting in the wings. The author deftly slides in new pieces of information for the reader to consider, until one person is more clearly in the frame. And then of course the frantic search is on to find little Daisy.
This is a blended family. James was married once before and brings Emily his 15 year old daughter Chloe to his new relationship. Jess left the fold of her first family and has now been brought back in. Emily is quite understandably cracking up under the pressure of her daughter’s disappearance, but there is a hint of mental instability. Jess, the younger sister maybe isn’t all she seems. And Chloe has her own secret which launches into the family like a grenade opening up the possibility of more suspects.
It is on occasions a slow and involving read, sometimes a little on the languorous side, unhurried maybe. It was just on the cusp of being a little ponderous.
The title is absolutely pertinent for this novel, but you know, I have read so many books of late that have sister in the title, that the books are in danger of blurring. And it would be a shame in this instance if this book gets lost in the sister mêlée.
The Isle of Wight makes a recognisable backdrop to the book from Carisbrooke to Yarmouth, it could only be set on the island.