MrsK's Seasoned Reader Picks

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sister Dear by Laura McNeill

Sister Dear
ISBN: 9780718030926
Publisher's Synopsis:
Convicted of a crime she didn’t commit, Allie watched a decade of her life vanish. Now, out on parole, Allie is determined to clear her name and reconnect with the daughter she barely knows. But Allie’s return to Brunswick, Georgia, sends earthquakes through the small, coastal community. Even her daughter Caroline, now a teenager, challenges Allie’s claims of innocence. Refusing defeat, a stronger, smarter Allie launches a campaign for the truth, digging deep into the past. Her investigation threatens her parole status, her own safety, and the already-fragile bond with her family. What Allie uncovers is far worse than she imagined. Her own sister has been hiding a dark secret—one that holds the key to Allie’s freedom.

MrsK's Review:
"At first, the concept of liberty seemed impossible--
a hand trying to catch and hold vapor."
After a decade in the Arrendale State Prison, Allie will begin the long journey back into society. Instead of a "continuous loop" of a life in prison trying to envision all the firsts of her daughter's life, Allie will be reconstructing a relationship with her daughter. Being convicted of a manslaughter that she did not commit was life-shattering. Now that she has the chance to live free, she must bring an end to the shadowing of her conviction. Images of her daughter "choking back a sob," tears welling up in her little eyes and the forever promise that they would find the killer was firing through Allie's mind when she heard the words, "You're free to go." Once on a path to med school and becoming a surgeon, Allie will once again enter her father's veterinarian business only this time it will be a new doctor who believes in second chances. Her next step of freedom will be asking Ben to help re-open her case. 

"The catcalls and gossip floated in streams above her head.
Words bounced off lockers, twisting in midair...
Words could kill."
Caroline was the daughter of a convict. Given her love for her Aunt Emma, Caroline's only friendship came from Maddie. With the news of her mother's release, her world felt as if everything was exploding. Nothing could be worse than having your mom released from prison, other than the news that she was returning to Brunswick. With odd situations happening at school, even Maddie was keeping her distance. Can she trust her mom to prove her innocence? What is wrong with the old lady at the nursing home? Why is she always confusing her with her Aunt? What will she do now that Maddie is no longer in school?

"She couldn't lose Caroline. She wouldn't let it happen."
As dawn was breaking, Emma silently watched Caroline as she slept. What would happen now that Allie was coming home? Her dreams of an athletic scholarship had disappeared due to the "party" life style while at college. With Allie in jail, Emma had a chance at living a dream. Caroline was her life, she was all that mattered. Some how Emma must wipe out all connections to Allie!

"Allison Marshall was out. It was one heck of a way to start his week."
When a shoulder injury ended his quarterback dreams at Georgia State, Sheriff Gaines studied criminal justice and entered the Glynn County Sheriff's Department. For now, his life was about discipline and his wife June. A decade ago, the new coach had just come to town. When the coach was found dead, everything changed. Allie's return would not be good for him, the town, nor the secret.

"You don't have to worry... I will spend every day... making you happy.
I don't care about the past, I love you, and that's for always."
Ben has been in love with Allie forever. He was the boy next door. All those years ago, when she turned him down. When Allie returns and asks him to help her investigate what Coach had been giving his team, Ben wasn't sure he was willing to re-open the wounds. Yet, as a journalist he could pressure for the case to be re-opened.

As this mystery gains depth, secrets begin falling into place like a puzzle of deceit. Not everyone will be as "bad" as they seem. Not everyone is hiding the truth. Unfortunately, red-herrings will keep you guessing until the end.

Be willing to spend a day of non-stop reading,

An uniquely "twisted" mystery!
Meet the Author:
Laura McNeill  After six years behind the anchor desk at two CBS affiliates, Laura moved to the Alabama Gulf Coast to raise her family. Her accolades in broadcasting include awards from the Associated Press, including Best News Anchor and Best Specialized Reporter.
Laura’s writing awards include those from William Faulkner-Wisdom Writing Competition, Writer’s Digest, RWA, and the Eric Hoffer award. Center of Gravity was published in July 2015. Sister Dear will be released April 19, 2016 by HarperCollins. She currently resides in Birmingham, Alabama.
"I received this book for free from the Fiction Guild for this review."
Thomas Nelson

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