The Bad Sister (Family Secrets Book 2)
July 28th, 2020
The Bad Sister by Kevin O’Brien delves into lies, secrets, murders, and betrayals. This psychological suspense story tied into his last novel, The Betrayed Wife.
“This is my first sequel out of twenty-one books written. In the first book, Eden, a sixteen-year-old, comes to this Seattle’s wife door. She tells her she is the illegitimate daughter of her husband, and has just lost her mother. She ends up living with them. Although I wrapped up this story, I did leave open the big question, was there possibly a third sister? Since the husband roamed around it is possible there might be another child.”
The story literally starts off with a bang. Two brothers, Gil and Nate Bergquist, are traveling to a cabin getaway with their girlfriends. Then, all of a sudden, there is an explosion of the cabin they are staying in. The story fast forwards two years later. Half-sisters Hannah and Eden O’Rourke are traveling to Chicago. They have been offered a full scholarship in a small Catholic college. Although they only tolerate each other, they find friendship with the third roommate, Rachel, who is a society princess. Their arrival coincides with a rash of mysterious deaths. Word gets out that it has been fifty years since the Immaculate Conception Murders where three students and a teacher were killed. How could there be another serial killer working the same area in the same way fifty years after the first? That’s the question Ellie, a journalism professor, hopes to answer. Because neither the police nor the school will accept the horrific truth of a copycat killer, Ellie tries to discover a connection between the current and past murders.
“I wrote each character for a reason. In the first book, Hannah was a typical teen patterned after the oldest girl in “Modern Family.” She is on the phone all the time and cares about her status. I call her the “Teen Queen.” In this book, she has matured and is now a nice kid. Eden was competitive, with friction that affected how they got along. Because of this crisis, they bond and attempt to save each other. Ellie is a thirty-year-old who is escaping from a tough time in her life. Ellie lost her job and has ended a bad marriage. She moves the story forward as the amateur sleuth.”
What is interesting is how texts can also be used as someone’s fingerprint. “I put this book quote, ““I keep thinking she didn’t send that text. I mean, she’s texted me a lot, and I know her style. She never uses ‘D’ for the word ‘the.’ That was just one thing that was off. She also told me not to worry about her. Eden doesn’t think that way.” Or “Listen, I know you think I’m in denial about this whole thing,” Ellie said. “But I keep coming back to the text Diana supposedly sent. It just didn’t seem like her. It had all these abbreviations that Diana never used— like the number two.” Even though I am not a big texter, I do like my characters speaking through texts. People can tell someone’s text by how they say things.”
This is a complex and creepy thriller. Readers find the clues that link each piece with the other. Although a bit too long, the story does captivate the reader.