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The Good Sister

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  1,738 ratings  ·  383 reviews
An electrifying novel about the unyielding bond between two sisters, which is severely tested when one of them is accused of the worst imaginable crime.

Martha and Becky Blackwater are more than sisters--they're each other's lifelines. When Martha finds herself struggling to balance early motherhood and her growing business, Becky steps in to babysit her niece, Layla, witho
Paperback, 400 pages
Published June 11th 2019 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published July 1st 2018)
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Angela Street date is June 11, 2019. Often UK and other European counties have it out before the US. Welcome to publishing.

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4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,738 ratings  ·  383 reviews

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May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
Martha and Becky Blackwater, best friends and sisters see their relationship tested when Martha's infant daughter dies in Becky's care. Now they sit on opposite tables/sides in the courtroom. One a grieving mother, the other accused of a heinous crime. Their parents torn in the middle. Martha can't believe that her sister is guilty. She wants the truth. She needs answers. As the trial progresses, truths, and pain ooze out. This book has emotional depth and is thought provoking. It centers around ...more
Gillian McAllister is a writer who continues to impress as she proves in this, her latest wonderful psychological thriller. It is a superior courtroom drama that puts the spotlight on two sisters and their families. Martha and Becky are the sisters with very different lifestyles who love and trust each other. Becky has an ex-husband, Marc, and a son, Xander. Martha's husband is Scott and she had difficult birth with 8 week old baby, Layla, who has health issues. With Scott away working, Martha h ...more
Dorie  - Traveling Sister :)
In spite of this being a heartbreaker of a novel I’m glad that I read it. As the book opens, two sisters who have always been close and “there for each other” are in a courtroom, one in the galley and the other seated with her lawyer, being tried for murder.

Martha and Scott are the parents of an 8 week old daughter, Layla, who has lots of crying issues, as some newborns do. Martha is also the head of an ever growing charity that sometimes requires travel. When an issue arises that Martha needs t
Katie B
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I can't remember the last time I felt so tense when reading a book, and I'm saying that as a compliment. Really impressed with the author and what she managed to accomplish with the story.

There is nothing worse for a parent than the loss of a child. Martha is devastated at the death of her newborn baby, Layla. Martha's sister, Becky, was babysitting the child at the time of death and is now charged with murder. The trial is currently underway and Martha doesn't know what to think as she can't i
Theresa Alan
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
The novel begins with the trial of Becky for the death of her niece. Becky was watching her eight-week-old niece while her sister and brother-in-law were out of town. Martha was doing work for her nonprofit and Scott was at a conference.

Martha knows her daughter, Layla, was a difficult baby who cried loudly all the time, but she desperately hopes her sister didn’t smother the child as Martha’s own lawyer contends. There are flashbacks and the points of view of the witnesses—neighbors, nurses, t
Brenda - Traveling Sister
This was my first book by Gillian McAllister and I really wasn’t sure what to expect here with the premise to the story. I was pleasantly surprised with just how real, raw, brave, insightful and compelling this story was. Gillian McAllister is definitely an author I will be looking at to read more from.

The Good Sister is a gripping, riveting story that digs deep into the dynamics of two very different sisters, their relationships with their husbands and their conflicts with motherhood as the co
Rebecca Carter
The moment I received an email from NetGalley saying that a new book from Gillian McAllister was up for request, I hit that request button as quick as I could. I thoroughly enjoyed her debut book, "Everything but the Truth", it was such a fantastic thriller full of atmosphere and her twisty second book "Anything You Do Say". So while I had a week to waste before work, I cleared away an afternoon, made a large cup of tea and started reading "No Further Questions" full of anticipation.

Martha's ei
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
After reading her other book “Anything you do say” I was very excited to start this!!

It starts in a court room, was Martha’s baby Layla killed or was it cot death? Martha was busy setting up her charity in Kos, and had left Layla with her sister Becky,who was being paid to be their nanny. Sadly Layla dies and it seems Becky is to blame.

I’m not a fan of court room drama but I loved how it was written, very clever how when a witness is called to the stand to give evidence,we then get the witness f
4.5 Stars, rounded up!

An unimaginable crime. An aunt stands accused of smothering her baby niece. Sisters torn apart by a single moment of violence.

Martha thought she knew her sister, Becky, better than anyone – they were once as close as two sister’s could possibly be. How could she be capable of such a heinous act? Becky swears she didn’t do it, and Martha want to believe her, but as the trial progresses, she starts to doubt her sister’s innocence.

From the first page this story grabbed hold of
Julie (JuJu)
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
An emotionally charged courtroom drama that tugs at the heartstrings!

Two sisters who are complete opposites...yet best friends. One is now accused of murdering the other sister’s baby.

This has to be one of the worst situations for a family to be in. Your sister claims she’s innocent. The prosecutor says she’s guilty. Who do you believe?

You marry a nice the perfect flat. Realize your purpose in life is to help refugees, so you start your own charity. The charity is a lot of work, but y
Gillian McAllister never disappoints.
This was amazing.

This was my third read by this incredibly talented author. McAllister has this uncanny ability to write people the way they actually are. Just like with her first two books 'Anything You Do Say' and 'Everything But the Truth', none of the characters in this one are 100% good or 100% bad.

McAllister's stories never have an obvious, easy protagonist or a cliche antagonist. Everybody has good and not-so-good in them, everyone means well but is h
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh how I love the wonderful Gillian McAllister! She has done it again - written an incredible novel that has the right amount of all things good melted together into a superb amalgamation. This was an ideal read for me - as a law graduate I was intrigued by the premise and the fact that it includes a trial scenario obviously appealed to my legal background and as most friends know - mystery and thrillers are one of my most read genres - the two converged to create a not-to-be-missed title for me ...more
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
Martha a new mom hires her sister Becky as a nanny to take care of her 8 week old daughter Layla who suffers from health issues.With Martha and her husband out of town for work Becky is in charge of Layla for the night .The next morning though Becky calls emergency services because Layla stops breathing but evidence suggests that Layla died the evening before which leads to Becky’s arrest.Torn between the loss of her daughter and her love of her sister Martha does not know what to believe and is ...more
Liz Barnsley
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A perfectly plotted brilliantly addictive courtroom drama which puts two sisters at odds with each other and has a strong emotional core running through it that makes you quite teary, especially if you are a parent.

A strong mystery element is secondary really to the human drama playing out on the page it is beautifully insightful and stabs you in the heart for all the right reasons.

This author gets better with every passing book. Definitely in the top few writers doing clever, compelling and ori
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW - No Further Questions is one hell of an emotional roller coaster ride. I felt emotionally wrung out by the time I got to the end of this heart string pulling tale of families,relationships,misconceptions,mistakes,grief and forgiveness.

Because this is a story about a court case there is quite a number of diverse,vivid characters. You have the Judge,the solicitors,the witnesses for the prosecution and the defence but the main players in this gripping drama are Martha,her husband Scott and the
What was the last book that ripped out your heart, tore it into a million little pieces, threw then in the mud and stomped on them – but which still ended up in your favourites list? Yes, this one was that type of book for me. Visceral, gut wrenching, confronting and absolutely riveting are just a few words that some to mind when I am trying to recall the rollercoaster of emotions I lived through reading THE GOOD SISTER.

To be honest, I went into this one blindly and would probably never have pic
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
4.5 tear-stained stars rounded up

This is my first read from Gillian McAllister and I was simply stunned by the ending. I think my brain continued to process it while I was sleeping. I’ve found a new must-read author.

This book alternates between a tense and gripping courtroom setting with flashbacks. We have two sisters – Martha and Becky. Martha has a newborn and Becky is unhappy with her work situation, so the two sisters work out a deal that Becky will serve as nanny to baby Layla. The big wri
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘No Further Questions’ by Gillian Mcallister published by Penguin UK Michael Joseph on Oct 24th

A very interesting idea, and sad, where 2 sisters tell the narrative of events leading up to and then including the trial for murder of their 8 week old daughter/neice....Martha, the Mum has Becky, her Sister, nannying ( as she is running a refugee centre in Koz!!) ,and leaves her overnight, just the once, that night the baby is ruled as a possible murder by means of smothering...but is it?
Mandy White
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
I have recently become a fan of Gillian McAllisters books and could not wait to dive into this one. No Further Questions had an original story and I was hooked from the very start. It is an emotional roller coaster where the characters get under your skin and you really don't know the truth until the very end..

Becky is working for her sister Martha as a nanny for her 8 week old niece Layla. Becky has gone away for work as has her husband. Layla is not the easiest of babies, constantly crying. B
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If there has ever been a book in which I want to live, to feel its words as I read, to run down its sentences - it's this one. I read the book over 3 days because I wanted to savor the experience of it, where 2 sisters were battling it out in the court of law, one was accused of killing the other's 8 week old daughter by smothering. The premise was so chilling and yet so emotional. Love between the sisters was palpable, it rose from that place in the soul which was ever-binding.

My first book by
Adele Shea
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Gillian McAllister book and it most definitely will not be the last.
Talk about edge of your seat reading.
Two sisters, Martha and Becky, are so close but get torn apart by the death of Martha's 8 week old baby. The baby died in Becky's care.
Was the death intentional? If so, who done it?
Thank you Gillian for an unforgettable read.
Stephanie (Stephanie's Novel Fiction)
4.5 Stars

I do love a courtroom drama, and The Good Sister by Gillian McAllister is an extremely well-written, suspenseful one that examines the death of eight-week old baby Layla who was left overnight with her aunt, Becky when her parents were away on business. Was it infanticide or a terrible accident?

The discovery of that answer is quite distressing and very emotional at times as the author very realistically presents expert witness testimony of the baby's death and heartwrenching scenes tha
Lu Etchells
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Well, it’s safe to say that I’ve just found a new favourite author! Gillian McAllister is a bit of a genius, and I already can’t wait to read more of her work!

I’ve never read any court room drama’s before, but this had everything you could wish from any book, with a good helping of psychological thrills!

I confess it didn’t take me long to work out what had happened – however, I have to stress, that is in no way to McAllister’s detriment, and it didn’t hamper my enjoyment of the book. To be hone
Becky and Martha are incredibly close adult sisters until Becky is accused of smothering Martha’s baby to death. A court case ensues and all sorts of complicated family issues are revealed.

This book was the perfect blend of excellent writing, interesting, complex characters and heart pounding tension. The character development was outstanding and each character was realistic and relatable. On top of that, this was an absolute page-turner, wrought with suspense. Overall, the perfect formula for p
Joanne Robertson
No Further Questions is the third book by Gillian McAllister and in my (very humble!) opinion it’s her best book so far! Her in depth research and experience as a lawyer means that there is a realism throughout her narrative of such an exceptionally high standard that I am always immediately transported into her fictional world. This is a rather distressing story at times and I did find myself having to put it down on a couple of occasions when emotions threatened to get the better of me but the ...more
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5 fantastic stars!

This is a brilliant book, so well written, told from many different perspectives, piecing together a tragic story.

You get emotionally drawn to all the characters despite some of their behaviours, and I was so engaged with this book that I read it in 24 hours.

Highly recommended.
Cleopatra  Pullen
Well the fabulous Gillian McAllister is back with another book that will make you think. Whilst this isn’t quite such an obvious moral dilemma as in her first two books, it constantly begs the questions ‘What would I do?’ and just as importantly, ‘How would I feel?’

There’s a trial, oh how I love a fictional trial, all the drama and none of the boring bits. There are two sisters; Martha and Becky. Martha is married to Scott and they had a daughter Layla who died at just eight weeks old. When Layl
Kaisha (The Writing Garnet)
All reviews can be found on my blog at

Holllllyyyyyyyy schmollllyyyyy!!!!! I'm just going to lay my cards on the table now and admit this one, teeny tiny detail; my review won't do this book justice in the slightest. I know, I know - I wish it would do but I truly believe that there aren't enough positive words to describe just how mind-blowingly fabulous 'No Further Questions' is.

This goosebump inducing novel tells the story of two sisters and their chalk a
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! I do so love a great courtroom drama but this one has left me a complete and utter emotional wreck and I feel like I’ve gone through the wringer as much as these characters have.

Martha and Rebecca are sisters who find themselves on the opposite sides of a courtroom when Rebecca is charged with killing Martha’s baby. The truth of what happened that fateful night is slowly revealed throughout the trial. Was Layla’s death an accident or murder? Martha would quite obviously prefer her sister wa
Susan Johnson
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Layla is a difficult baby. She has health issues and cries almost non-stop. Martha enlists her sister, Becky, to babysit her as she starts a new business. Becky gratefully accepts and all seems to be going well. Then Layla ends up dead and Becky arrested for her murder.

As the trial proceeds, Martha doesn't want to believe her sister had anything to do with her baby's death but she's not sure. Their mother is torn. And the family unravels. As the truth slowly reveals itself, it makes a shockin
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