This book is a debut novel by the author. That said, all I can say is I will definitely be reading more by her.
This book was a gripping page-turner, with some of the most heartfelt writing I have come across in a long time (I really can't say enough about her writing!). Phrases that made me catch my breath. For example: "being depressed would be so welcome compared with the pain of bereavement"; "I'd rather feel guilty for the rest of my life than for her to have felt a second's fear" (mother talking about her daughter); "grief is the ultimate unrequited love"; and finally, Bee talking about London which perhaps anyone who has moved away from there original home can understand: "I feel surprised, not just by the pride I feel for my city, but also by the word ‘my’. I’d opted to live in New York, an Atlantic Ocean away, but for no discernible reason I feel a sense of belonging here." (Since I am from Boston now living in LA, this phrase really struck a chord with me.)
The story is written in the voice of Bee, who is writing a letter to her sister, Tess. Bee returns home to London from New York when her mother phones to tell her that her younger sister, Tess, has gone missing. Very shortly into the story, Tess is found dead apparently by her own hand; however, Bee, knowing her sister so intimately, does not believe this is the case. We follow Bee through her often frustrating journey of trying to get to the bottom of what really happened to her sister, as she winds back and forth from past to present while relaying everything to the Crown Prosecution Service attorney, Mr. Wright.
The novel is written in a very clever style, and it took me a couple of chapters to figure get the jist of it. It's also a book that has lots to discuss, so be sure you have a friend or 2 that read it with you.