When her mother calls to tell her that her younger sister, Tess, has been missing for a few days, Beatrice doesn’t hesitate to find the first flight available from New York to London. She immediately settles in to Tess’s meager apartment and tries to figure out where her sister could have gone. Unfortunately, soon after her arrival, police find Tess dead in a public park, and they rule the death a suicide. But Beatrice and Tess were very close, and despite the logical evidence pointing to her sister taking her own life, Bee is positive it was actually murder.
So Bee sets to work becoming the only detective trying to solve a case of murder. There are plenty of suspects, including her sister’s older, married lover, who denies adamantly impregnating Tess; a male friend whose devotion to Tess may very well have turned into stalking; and then the medical professionals involved in the genetic trial for which Tess volunteered.
As the story goes on, Bee looks back on all the events that led to where she is now, writing an imaginary letter to her dead sister. She knows who killed Tess, and that knowledge has put her in danger as well.
Sister is on the one hand a murder mystery, but it is just as much an ode to the love that can exist between sisters. Rosamund Lupton writes beautifully as she captures the tenderness that Bee feels for her younger, free-spirited sister and the grief that Bee feels over the huge loss. The book is satisfying on both levels, as a mystery that unravels at just the right pace, and as a work of literature that captures human emotions.
Rated: High, primarily for language. There are between 15 and 20 uses of strong language in the book. There are also a few fairly tame sexual references and a sex scene that offers no details, and some mild violence.