Cover Image: The Sister-in-Law

The Sister-in-Law

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

First, let me thank netgalley and the publishers for approving my request for an early release of this book.  All reviews of my netgalley books can be found on goodreads and youtube.  Please be sure to check out the links attached.
Was this review helpful?
A quick and twisty read!

It was easy to feel unsympathetic towards many of the characters - especially the sister-in-law - but of course, with a book like this, you know you're going to get more than a character study. Expect twists and unlikeable characters you'll love to hate - but you want to know what happens anyway. Who can you trust? The narrator? Or everyone else? 

This one kept me turning the pages.
Was this review helpful?
Clare along with her husband Dan  and her three young children is on a family vacation hoping to rekindle her marriage .Everything is going well till Dan’s brother Jamie arrives with his newly wedded wife Ella. At first Claire is excited to meet Ella but Ella is not interested and she makes it clear that she knows Clare’s secret which may end up tearing the whole family apart . 

The Sister-in-Law by Sue Watson  is a domestic psychological thriller .She has written another  well written plot  with some unexpected twists and turns that makes it a highly entertaining read . 

I would like to thank Bookouture & NetGalley for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest and fair review.
Was this review helpful?
First, thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this arc and provide feedback.  This is my first book by author Sue Watson, but it definitely won't be my last.  This book hooks you from the first page.  There's good backstory and character development in this story, and you can just fly right through it.  It didn't drag on, it wasn't necessarily predictable either.  It was a good story with a good story teller.  Will be recommending this book to friends and picking up more of this author's books.  Thanks!
Was this review helpful?
This book has a very interesting story. The complex relationships and interactions among the multiple characters makes for good reading. That said, the book had a lot more potential.

Clare & Dan commence a vacation at Dan’s parents’ place with their three kids. Clare hopes she can use the time to rebuild the relationship, after Dan gets over his affair with someone else. The entire family is taken aback when Dan’s younger brother Jamie joins them with his newly wed wife Ella.
There is instantly an air of tension between Clare & Ella. While it appears that Clare is jealous of Ella’s looks, Clare feels Ella cannot be trusted. Clare has her own secrets as well, which Ella seems to have somehow come to know about. The stress in their relationship wrecks the vacation for all practical purposes with a lot of nasty exchanges, as well as quite some pettiness. Almost all adults in the family have their own priorities and have things to hide.

The book has an overdose of the acrimony between Clare & Ella for much of the early & middle portions. Also, since the narration is from Clare’s point of view, Ella’s character is not as well developed. However, the last few sections of the book are very well written, and the story ties up beautifully at the end. For that, it is well worth a read.

My rating: 3.25 / 5.
Was this review helpful?
The Sister-in-Law is a psychological thriller by Sue Watson. 

Dan and Clare and their three children were on their way for a two- week holiday, to spend time together as a family in an Italian villa, for their annual holiday with Dan’s parents, Joy and Bob and younger brother, Jamie. The annual holiday is always paid for by Dan’s parents, who are now retiring from the family business, a small property company on the outskirts of Manchester, England. Dan had been part of the company for twenty years but now Jamie, “free-spirited” travelled around the world, had decided to come home and join Dan in running the company.

Clare is a full-time nurse and maintained the company website, as well as looking after their three children; Violet the oldest at nine years old, Alfie four years old and Freddie who was two years old. She had her hands full. She is ready for a break. It has been a tough year and now she wants to put her feet up. Dan had cheated on Clare, and this holiday was in ways a chance to repair the damage and start fresh.

Dan is a cheater, but vows to Clare that he wants their marriage to work. Time will tell. But can Clare trust him anymore?

Jamie is the prodigal child, back in the family fold again, after years of travelling abroad. But when he gets to the villa, he’s not alone. He’s brought a wife, someone none of them have met before. Her name is Ella.

Ella, THE SISTER-IN-LAW is everything Clare isn’t. Glamorous. Young. Influential. But she knows a secret about Clare. Something that has the power to break the whole family apart. Clare and Ella do not get on.

Joy, the mother-in-law is the boss of the family and holds the reins over her two sons. She enjoys her daily Gin and Tonics, and likes to be in charge. Her husband, Bob is quite and will do anything to please his wife.

“This is what life was all about-family, people you love, your children close by, everyone safe, warm and happy.”

So many secrets and lies… 

This is an excellent addictive psychological thriller/domestic drama told from Clare’s point of view. The characters and their actions come alive on the page, within the vivid imagery and intertwined plot. Twists and turns and volatile unexpected ending that I did not see coming. Highly recommended! 

Many thanks to the author, Bookouture and Netgalley for my digital copy.
Was this review helpful?
I devoured this book. Totally loved it. It is my first by this author but definitely not my last. The characters were so well developed and interesting I felt I knew each and everyone of them by the end of the book. When a family holiday turns in to a living hell for Claire when her husbands brother arrives with his new wife. Ella has it all, a glamorous lifestyle,  beautiful and everyone lives her except Claire.  Why can't everyone see Ella for what she is or is Claire being too harsh. Is the real issues in Claire's life closer to home.
Was this review helpful?
This was a fun book to read. The first page grabbed my attention. Lots of characters to connect to. I couldn't stop turning the pages and wanting to know more. Lots of twists to keep you on the ball. Lots of dramas with this dysfunctional family. This is my first Sue Watson book and it wont be my last.
Was this review helpful?
This twisty book will keep you up at night. You will actually feel all short of anger and dislike towards the sister in law, Ella. Definitely a 🌟🌟🌟🌟1/2 star rating from me! Thank you BookOuture, Susan Watson, and Netgalley for this book in exchange for an honest review!
Was this review helpful?
didn’t enjoy this book. It was very slow paced not develop enough. I wanted to dnf the book but I pushed through
Was this review helpful?
I've been a fan of Sue Watson since I read Ella's Ice Cream Summer. I've read all her books since then, whether it be contemporary romance or mystery thriller. I enjoyed reading both and so I expected for this one to be good as well. She never disappoint, I must say. Out of all the mystery titles though, The Sister-in-Law was by far my favorite. I was gripped by the story despite it having unlikeable characters. I don't think I sympathize to any one of them. And yet, I was deeply invested by the family drama while reading. Some twists can be easily guessed but that doesn't make it any less brilliant. Five solid stars!
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this book & all the twists & turns.  It flowed nicely & was well thought out.  I would recommend this to anyone.
Was this review helpful?
Oh this was a good book,  really well written and engrossing story with a very clever twist.  I couldn't put it down,  thank you for the great read!
Was this review helpful?
Where do I even begin?! My head is STILL spinning, and I finished this book yesterday! I needed some time to collect my thoughts as Sue Watson has most certainly one-upped herself this time! Definitely one of my top 5🌟 psychological thrillers of 2020! I started reading via ebook, listened to the audiobook when I couldn't read, and finished it all off with my very own paperback! I just knew that I had to experience The Sister-in-Law in every format, and boy, am I glad that I did!

I raced through those final 100 pages of this book as I just could not stop myself. The secrets were finally unfolding, and while I guessed part of Clare's secret - the full magnitude of the Taylor Family's deception was beyond me! Right about when I thought everything had been unveiled *whoosh*, there was more! The Sister-in-Law is an intricately woven narrative of deceit and blurred family values focussing primarily on Clare Taylor and all of the figurative bodies her new sister-in-law Ella digs up. This is precisely the type of book that makes my book blogging journey so much fun - the ones that keep you guessing, even when you think you've got it all figured out!

Sue Watson captures your interest immediately. No ifs, and or buts. She leaves you begging for more after your brief glimpse of the ultimate conclusion, as visited in the prologue. At first, I found a connection in Clare - a mum and wife, on the way to a much-needed vacation with her husband and kiddos. They were a presumably happy family facing day-to-day struggles and balance. However, as the story progressed, I began to pity Clare, I was rooting for her, sure - but how much people-pleasing and surrendering can one woman endure? Maybe it's because I am the exact opposite. I found Clare to be overly agreeable to her mother-in-law, to the point where I seriously considered that she'd been unknowingly trained into being the proper daughter-in-law.

...enter Ella Taylor. The newest member of the Taylor Family. Perfect in every way. Talk about a piece of work! She's the one you love to hate, making you all the more Team Clare! Considering we're only given Clare's narrative, we never truly see Ella or any other Taylor for that matter. At least, not until right when Sue Watson wants us to! This is the beauty of a psychological thriller; it drips with suspense from every page as it leads up to the final shocking turn of events. In the end, I found myself feeling rather sorry for Clare but proud of Ella and her character's development. I'm hesitant to say much more as this book is one that's best to experience for yourself!

I would recommend this book to fans of psychological thrillers everywhere. Seriously! Everyone should read Sue Watson's carefully crafted stories! I'm over-the-moon excited to see what she comes up with next!! Thank you to NetGalley, the publishers at Bookouture, and the author Sue Watson for providing me with a complimentary ebook copy of this title in exchange for my honest review.

*Review was also posted to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play and Kobo.*
Was this review helpful?
The book opens with Clare, her husband Dan and their three children heading to a villa on the Amalfi coast to stay with Dan’s parents. Clare is feeling very vulnerable as their marriage is floundering due to Dan’s affairs.  She is hoping that this holiday will give them a chance to get closer again.  Bob and Joy, Dan’s parents, own a small company.  Dan works in the company and as Bob is thinking of retiring he will take it over.  His brother Jamie, who has been travelling, has decided that he will join him in running the business.  When Jamie turns up at the villa he has a beautiful young woman with him, Ella, and stuns everyone when he introduces her as his wife as they have just got married.  It soon becomes clear that Ella has taken a dislike to Clare but everyone else seems fooled by her and seem unaware of the nasty cutting remarks she makes to Clare.  The conflict between them escalates with terrible consequences.  I was totally hooked by all the family secrets and personality clashes and raced through the book to reach the conclusion.  This was an excellent read, highly recommended.
Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.
Was this review helpful?
Clare's annual family holiday with her parents in law is thrown into disarray when her brother in law Jamie arrives with a new bride Ella. Clare is eager to be friendly towards the new woman in the family, but her efforts are rejected and Ella begins a campaign of undermining Clare at all times.
Clare's marriage is fragile due to her husband's multiple affairs and she too is hiding a secret. Meanwhile, she is having to negotiate family politics with her parents in law and now Jamie and his new wife as they seek to assert themselves within the family dynamic.
The Sister in Law is a clever psychological drama about the power of words and how damaging they can be. It isn't particularly pleasant to read much of the book as the snide remarks and disparaging comments are relentless. It is, however, fascinating to watch as the drama unfolds and Clare's reality begins to unravel completely.
The concept of family politics is very thought provoking. The mother of my first long term boyfriend really hated me and put me down whilst my current mother in law is wonderful and has welcomed me into her family despite me being a single mum. I fear for the women my sons will bring home...
I think most readers will be able to identify with Clare and her insecurities which are played upon to destroy her self esteem. As a mother, it is sometimes difficult to be a woman rather than a mum, and also to work while fulfilling the role of childcare. Women are often expected to be emotional negotiators within the family to ensure peace and love permeate the home, whlst their own emotional needs are ignored.
There are two twists at the end and I did consider both of them earlier but this did not spoil my enjoyment as it was still a surprise to see how events played out. The suspense and drama are maintained until the very end of the book.
Was this review helpful?
The Sister In Law

This book was interesting & tricky. I honestly don't know what I think of it as a whole.
I am conflicted because I hated the first half of the book but quite enjoyed the second half.

I found the descriptions & introductions to characters rather bloated.
For example... I felt like we met Joy several times & had the similar descriptions of her personality again & again.
I wanted to be shown rather than told...so we could see examples of this but instead we were just told & anything to back this up came much later & after we had already met new characters....There was plenty of opportunity to show us Joy...rather than just tell us about her & move on...which was a shame.

I also found Claire & Ella's relationship...strange...almost to the point of ridiculous. 
Why would anyone be this affected by someone else during a 2 week holiday? Just brush it off & get on with it?

Everyone has met people that you have an instant dislike for & people that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up...& yes, you do everything you can to stay away from them but anyone can cope for 2 weeks, on a gorgeous holiday can't they? It seemed very immature & almost playground that they couldn't....

With regards to the children- for goodness sake! As if you would let someone take over with your children? That blew my mind...just say absolutely not & that's the end of it.

I found all characters repugnant & that is something I need when reading, to connect on some level with at least one character...& I wasn't able to here at all.

I think this book struggled with flashbacks & the place where it started. To properly connect I think we needed to know them. &..the flashbacks didn't work for me & were jarring....

Claire's behaviour, throughout.. was odd. She was meant to be a nurse...an intelligent, strong woman...why she acted like a frightened rabbit in headlights I just didn't understand.
I understand she was clearly being moulded & manipulated...but how had it got to such a stage? & why? 

We needed more background of the characters to understand this. I understand trauma and abuse...but we do need to be allowed to see some of the problems that led us to this point....& none of the problems seemed that bad...to get to this point.

The story was so overly descriptive on some points & so lacking in other areas...I found this very frustrating.

As others have said...there were 3 big twists. I guessed 2 out of the 3 of them, I am sure others who read alot of thrillers will too.
They were still enjoyable though & once the story gathered pace it did turn into a decent thriller & these were the parts I enjoyed the most.

I can't say I ever understood Claire as a character...even when I became interested. Her choices, her guilt & her general reactions were alien to me & I could neither sympathise or empathise with her at all. I often found myself thinking "for goodness sake, get a grip woman" & to truly enjoy & love this book I think you need to feel something for Claire & I really didn't at all....which was a shame...as I wanted too...there just wasn't enough there for me to be able too.

Thanks to the author, publisher & Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
If you're looking for a host of unlikable characters, look no further than The Sister-in-Law; from an overbearing, territorial "boy mom," to a shallow, Instagram-obsessed millennial (barf). Having to suffer through the unappealing Taylor clan was worth it for that twist of an ending. *chef's kiss*
Was this review helpful?
An amazingly twisty, turny read. Very clever writing that makes you squirm at how awful one character is. Others are not much better but it makes for a great read. Some really unexpected scenarios and secrets. A stunning ending.
Was this review helpful?
Really enjoyed the sister in law.  Family secrets manipulating siblings and threats to the status quo.  A proper middle class thriller set in a gorgeous villa.  Glamour envy and infidelity what a great read.
Was this review helpful?