Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Wicked Sister” as Want to Read:
The Wicked Sister
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Wicked Sister

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  2,229 ratings  ·  427 reviews
She thought she'd buried her past. But what if it's been hunting her this whole time?

From the bestselling and award-winning author of The Marsh King's Daughter comes a startling novel of psychological suspense as two generations of sisters try to unravel their tangled relationships between nature and nurture, guilt and betrayal, love and evil.

You have been cut off from
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 4th 2020 by Putnam
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,229 ratings  ·  427 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Wicked Sister
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)

Trigger warning: I deducted 1* for what I felt was overly descriptive animal cruelty

I definitely enjoyed this ride of a book. At times I liked it, loved it, then didn’t like it, but in the end it was a very good story.

We have two POV’s, Jenny, from the past. She is the mother of Diana and Rachel, they live in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and I loved the descriptive writing of the background and atmosphere of the book. An immense lodge built by Jenny’s great-great grandfather bec
Publication: August 4th 2020

The Wicked Sister, by Karen Dionne, had me captivated at first, but in the end, all the mutilation and death of animals and humans, young and old, was too much for me. I enjoy Dionne's way with words and her story but the details were too much, too vivid, too real. Having said that, this book has a fairy tale quality to it, not like the modern, sanitized fairy tales but the dark, brutal, gory versions of fairy tales. One character can even talk to animals and insects
Jul 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
After the brilliant The Marsh King's Daughter, Karen Dionne once again plunges the reader into another dysfunctional family drama, set in the remote and pristine woods of the Michigan Upper Peninsula wilderness, with its echoes of the darkest fairytales and the parallel echoes between two generations of sisters, Jenny and Charlotte, and Jenny's daughters, Diana and Rachel, and the emotionally fraught difficulties of being a parent. Since the age of 11, the 26 year old Rachel Cunningham has been ...more
Sep 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Grimms' fairytale taken to another level.
2 parents dead. One daughter who has believed for 15 years of her life, she killed them. She self commits only years later finds she couldn’t have killed them. She returns home to find out the truth which has been lost in the recesses of her mind.
Twisty, curvy just how I like my thrillers.
Dionne, in both The Marsh King's Daughterand now The Wicked Sister takes the reader into a new fairytale realm. And while it was gripping, it was a little too neatly
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
3.5 stars

"All will become known, the raven promised. Things are not as they seem, the spider warned. Remember, the Raven's mate urged."

She thought she buried her past....

Rachel locked herself away in a psychiatric facility as punishment for the crimes she believed she committed as a child. But what if she didn't commit them? What if she didn't accidentally shoot and kill her parents, then who did? She has gaps in her memory but when she is presented with evidence that she did not kill her pa
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
3 stars.

Rachel has just signed herself out of the mental institution she willingly committed herself to for the last 15 years. She remembers holding the gun when her parents were shot and killed 15 years ago. A local reporter has opened her eyes to the possibility that she may not be guilty of their deaths. She has no memory of the details surrounding her parents murders and she longs for answers. She travels back to the secluded log cabin her family lived in where her estranged sister now lives
Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
No hot diggity dang for this one from me! Lindsay and I have been trying to knock off some of those titles we requested and download awhile ago, and we were excited to read this one finally. However, that excitement fizzled out as the story did for us. Since downloading this one, I have discovered more about what I like in a story and what I don't. I have come to expect more from stories than I did before, so I find myself a little harder on them now. I disliked more about this one than I did li ...more
May 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
4-5 stars.
3.5 stars

This is one of those reviews that is tough to write & I think I may be an outlier here for purely subjective reasons. I’m not going to get into the story too much, the blurb will give you the gist. Instead, I’ll try to explain why this was just a case of book-reader mismatch.

When I rate a book, it’s usually a combination of points for technical ability & how much I enjoyed the read. The first was never in doubt. The author’s previous book (The Marsh King’s Daughter) was on my Top 10 lis
"We stopped checking for monsters under our bed when we realized they were inside us." (The Joker)

Hunka Munka......They walk amongst us day in and day out......Smiling faces with sunshine obliterating their deeply darkened souls. And some are blood of our blood.

Karen Dionne takes a lefthand turn down to Crazy Town. The Wicked Sister is not even on the map anywhere near her last book, The Marsh King's Daughter. This one simmers with foreboding throughout, and we as readers, have strapped on concr
Oct 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Be sure to check for my review, first posted on Mystery and Suspense, as well as a number of other insightful comments by other reviewers.

After thoroughly enjoying one of her previous novels, I was pleased to get my hands on the latest work by Karen Dionne, which proves to be just as eerie. Telling a family’s story in two time periods, Dionne keeps the reader enthralled as pieces of the larger narrative slowly fall into place. Those who have enjoyed Dionne
Sep 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rachel has been living voluntarily in a psychiatric hospital for 15 years. When she was 11 her parents died, although the police ruled their deaths as murder/suicide, she remembers standing over their dead bodies holding a gun!!

When Rachel is shown police evidence that she could not have shot her parents, she is keen to leave the hospital and discover the truth about their deaths.

Rachel returns to the family’s remote log cabin to see her sister and aunt, hoping that being back home will bring b
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, edelweiss-2020
*you can now get your hands on a copy of this one!

4 Gruesome Fairy Tale Stars

After reading and really liking “The Marsh King’s Daughter” about three years ago, I knew this was an author to follow! One of my favorite things is how Karen Dionne writes about the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I was lucky enough to visit Mackinac Island a few years ago and I would go back in a heartbeat to explore more of this beautiful state. The setting is beautiful, but the characters are tortured in this one.

☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
Flies aren’t the best conversationalists. For that matter, neither am I. (c)
“Our little family cemetery is much more crowded than you know.” (c)
It’s a tough world when you’re a bear. (c)
I could have spent my teenage years at the lodge, gone to a university, gotten a degree, carried on my mother’s research, fallen in love, gotten married...
The answers I need don’t lie in my future; they’re buried in my past. (c)
...there are a lot of neuroses and psychoses I can fake. Mood disorders a
Wendy Walker
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I feel like I won the lottery by getting a very early sneak peak at Karen Dionne's HIGHLY anticipated new novel, The Wicked Sister. It is exceptional in so many ways - from the writing to the plotting to the divine atmospheric setting - this is a MUST read in 2020. Two sisters. ...more
Louise Wilson
Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Set in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Two sisters have to confront their past when the youngest sister, Rachel's memories are not really as she remembers them. Rachel had locked herself away in a state facility as she believed that she had shot her parents. Now, an investigative journalist has reopened the case. When Rachel hears the evidence, she starts questioning everything that she believed to be true.

For fifteen years Rachel had chosen to stay in a psychiatric unit. She's just learned ne
Aug 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Wicked Sister is Karen Dionne’s latest psychological thriller after she rocketed to international success with The Marsh King’s Daughter back in 2017, and whilst not quite as gripping as that was, this is still a thoroughly enjoyable thriller. It's not immediately clear at the start of the story the depth and insight the fictional narrative is about to provide as it delves into some very dark and disturbing topics.

It follows 26-year-old Rachel Cunningham who since the age of 11 has been a vo
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Wicked Sister by Karen Dionne is a dark and distressing thriller which is going to have you feeling agitated whilst reading it and wanting to get to the conclusion fast and punching the air with a big THANK GOD FOR THAT!!!!
I never thought I'd want to kill a child as much as I did when reading this ( please forgive me but read it and you'd understand 🙏) but Diana is a psychopath (no really she is)
The twist and turns, up and downs in this book are just going to send you on an unbelievable rid
Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I loved this book! I really enjoyed the author's previous novel, The Marsh King's Daughter, so I was really excited to get the chance to read this book. Unfortunately, when this book was released, I was in the process of moving so I couldn't get to it right away but I never forgot about it and made sure to work it in just as soon as I could. I was hooked by this story right away and had a very hard time putting it down. This book was
Aug 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a captivating read!
Unique, informative and thrilling with never a dull moment.
After reading and loving Karen Dionne's "The Marsh King's Daughter" I could hardly wait to get my hands on "The Wicked Sister". It did not disappoint.
A family moves to Michigan's Upper Peninsula to remove their young psychopath daughter from other people. As the story progresses we read about murder, mental hospitals and unspeakable evil.
A gripping suspense-filled psychological thriller that is unputdownable!
Apr 22, 2020 rated it liked it
After falling in love with Karen Dionne's writing style in The Marsh King's Daughter, I couldn't wait to get my hands on her newest release. Unfortunately, despite the beautiful writing style and breathtaking descriptions of the wild, this book fell flat for me. It was rather like Dr. Doolittle meets the Joker. Meh.

The book begins with Rachel Cunningham, who has voluntarily locked herself away in a psychiatric facility for the last fifteen years following her parents' death, as she is tortured
Louise Wilson
Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Two sisters have to confront their past when the youngest sister, Rachel's memories are not really as she remembers them. Rachel had locked herself away in a state facility as she believed that she had shot her parents. Now, an investigative journalist has reopened the case. When Rachel hears the evidence, she starts questioning everything that she believed to be true.

For fifteen years Rachel had chosen to stay in a psychiatric unit. She's just learned ne
Ludwig Reads
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“...with a clarity that is almost frightening, suddenly, I remember everything.”

Boy was I mesmerized by this sinister, flawless and terrifying work of psychological suspense. Do you ever finish a book and think, “oh man, I wish I could’ve written this”? That’s how I felt about this book.

26-year-old Rachel had spent fifteen years in a psychiatric ward for thinking she killed her mother with a rifle when she was 11 years old, until...she stumbles upon new information that makes her question every
Ruthy lavin
Aug 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Another gripping, one-sit read from the author of the Marsh Kings daughter.
I loved it almost as much as the first book, i admittedly saw similarities between the 2, but this didn’t detract from how good the book was.
A 4 star read 🌟
3 no 7
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Rachel has spent fifteen years in a mental hospital suffering from complicated grief disorder because she thinks she killed her father and mother, even though the police ruled her parents’ deaths were a murder‑suicide perpetrated by her father. Trevor, a budding journalist, wants to interview her about her past. She decides that she has been serving a self‑imposed life sentence for a crime she did not commit, and desperately wants to know everything. The answers she needs are buried in her past, ...more
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Jul 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Rachel Cunningham was only eleven when she accidentally shot and killed her mom and caused her dad to kill himself. Or, at least she believes that's what happened. There are so many gaps in her memory from that time, including the three weeks afterward where no one knows where she was until she appeared on the side of the highway in Michigan’s remote Upper Peninsula.
Police believe it was a murder-suicide: Rachel’s dad killed her mom then turned the gun on himself in the hallway of their lodge.
Aug 21, 2020 rated it liked it
This is one of those books where I get what the author, the simply sublime Karen Dionne (who blew my damn mind with the gorgeous The Marsh King's Daughter) was going for. What would you do if you knew that the little girl you loved with your heart was a monster? How would you raise that child? How would you keep her safe? How would you keep other people safe from her?

Maybe part of my issue here is that while those questions are super interesting and I'd love to learn the answers in this case I n
I loved Karen Dionne’s previous novel, THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER, an atmospheric mystery that made it onto my favourites list in 2018, so I was very excited to read her latest one!

In THE WICKED SISTER, Dionne continues to share her knowledge and love of the Michigan UP wilderness areas with her readers. Rachel, our main protagonist, grew up in the forest, in an old hunting lodge that has been in her father’s family for generations. It made sense to her that her scientist parents should choose su
Tanja Berg
Oct 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: thriller, audio
I loved “the marsh king’s daughter”. However, when I read the blurb for this book I thought “no, too predictable, skip it”. Did I listen to my gut? NO! I came back to it.

It’s a fairly short book, but on audio this felt interminable. It was exactly as horrid and predictable as feared. I fail to see any point of this book at all. You know the gist of how it will end after you’ve read the blurb. All you get in addition is a mixture of naive and hateful characters, mingled with animal cruelty and a
Adele Shea
Oct 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
A modern day fairytale with an evil twist.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Nickel Boys
  • The Last House Guest
  • My Lovely Wife
  • The Other Mrs.
  • Such a Fun Age
  • The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires
  • The Other People
  • The Wife and the Widow
  • The Holdout
  • Dear Edward
  • Mr. Nobody
  • When I Was You
  • Red Hood
  • Hideaway
  • Happy & You Know It
  • Thin Girls
  • A Good Neighborhood
  • The Last Trial (Kindle County Book 11)
See similar books…
Karen Dionne is the USA Today and #1 internationally bestselling author of the award-winning psychological suspense novel The Marsh King’s Daughter published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons in the US and in 25 other languages, and The Wicked Sister (August 2020), also from G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

The Marsh King’s Daughter was named a 2018 Michigan Notable Book, took home the Barry and the Crimson Scribe Awards

Related Articles

We asked Alice Bolin, author of Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession, and journalist-turned-crime novelist Laura...
100 likes · 49 comments