Book review: The Sister in Law

The Sister in Law by Sue Watson

-> Genre: Psychological thriller, domestic

-> Plot overview: The definition of a holiday from hell. A close knit family are pulled in every direction (mostly apart) when a new addition joins. Clare, the wife, needs a break, and her and husband need to work on their marriage, so their annual family holiday to an Italian villa with her husband’s family seems to come at the right time. That is until her new sister-in-law shows up and drama starts. Secrets being held over the family slowly start to slip out, but the biggest of all is teetering on the edge and it’s close to breaking the whole family up.

-> Our rating: 4/10

-> Review: I’ve never read a book with more irritating characters. I was continually fuming at every single family member (even the children at some points!) and it made my reading time quite stressful, although annoyingly addictive. With a controlling mother-in-law, untrustworthy and cold husband and a wannabe Instagram-famous sister-in-law you’d want to throttle, it’s no wonder Clare went a little crazy. The problem was, although Clare was strong and independent inside her head, to everyone else she didn’t have much of a backbone, so the family walked all over her, and her weakness was uncomfortable to witness.

The story is stretched out over quite a few more pages than I felt was necessary, having said that, there were a lot of twists and turns that meant it was unputdownable. It was a game of who was outwitting who, and that was enjoyable to follow. Overall, it was a suspenseful novel but not a thrilling read.

-> What others say? Sue Watson, the author, is generally loved, her previous novels are best sellers. Of The Sister in Law, one review says: “It was exciting, sharp, exquisitely-paced and superbly written. A thriller with all of those much-desired qualities, a cast of brilliantly-crafted characters and so much tension, I felt like I was going to burst at the seams. This was a pressure-cooker of a story, ready to blow at any given minute.”

-> Recommend to a friend? For an easy gripping read, YES. For a solid crime thriller, NO.