Title: Her Sister’s Killer
Author: Michelle S. Smith
Published on: 17 August 2021
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers | Police Procedural
Victoria Wharton is one of Chicago’s best detectives. She receives a call from her mother saying Rebecca is dead – she’s been murdered. Rebecca, or Becky, as she was known as, is Victoria’s twin. Victoria comes from a dysfunctional family. After complaining of abuse, her father ran away and was killed in a freak accident years later, Victoria’s mother blamed her for ruining the family – she’s also very controlling and manipulative. Unlike Vicky, Becky is innocent, naïve and caring. She chooses to stay with her toxic mother rather than pursuing her dream career.
Victoria decides to work with Hancock PD and find her sister’s killer. When she arrives at Hancock, she meets her childhood friends Janet and Steve. Janet is a housewife and mother of two while Steve is a detective at Hancock PD. As Vicky starts to investigate, she receives death threats from her sister’s killer.
Her Sister’s Killer is Michelle Smith’s debut novel. A domestic thriller with family drama sounded like an interesting combination. Unfortunately, this story did not work for me.
The first half of the story is good – if you keep the character introduction and development niggles aside. The second half gets a little confusing – the dialogues, plot and everything else.
As the story begins, it is quite obvious Victoria comes from a dysfunctional family – her mother is distant and blames her for Becky’s death. When Vicky arrives at Hancock, Becky’s funeral is done with and the mother refuses to receive Vicky’s phone calls. When Vicky finally goes to their childhood house to meet her mother, her mother starts to blame her for everything – from divorce to disability to Becky’s death. Vicky meets their childhood friend Steve. Steve, Becky and Vicky were close friends in school.
As Vicky starts to investigate her sister’s murder, she receives a threatening note from the murderer. A homeless war vet is accused of sending the note as well as murdering Becky. We also have the angle of Becky being accused of medical negligence by a wealthy family – did one of the family members kill her in a fit of rage?
The romance was too cheesy for my liking – also, a love ‘polygon’ (5 characters, 2-ish ‘love stories’) ugh! Too many lovers spoil the whatevs… The identity of the perp becomes clear in the second half of the story. The ending was not up to my liking – especially not the reason for Becky’s murder.
I received an ARC from Joffe Books in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.