In Megan Collins’ Thicker Than Water, two sisters-in-law are at painful odds when the person who connects them—the brother of 1, the husband of the opposite—is accused of a brutal crime. Here is John Valeri’s overview!
Since making her debut with 2019’s The Winter Sister, Megan Collins has set herself aside from her contemporaries in crime by deftly mining the distinctive, and sometimes dysfunctional, relationships that exist inside households. An award-nominated poet and Managing Editor of 3Elements Literary Overview, she beforehand taught artistic writing on the Larger Hartford Academy of the Arts and Central Connecticut State College. Her novels embrace Behind the Pink Door and The Household Plot. This July, she returns together with her fourth standalone, Thicker Than Water—which options two sisters-in-law struggling to make sense of the thriller that threatens to destroy them.
Julia and Sienna will not be solely finest pals however enterprise companions, certain by the person that introduced them collectively: Jason Larkin, husband and brother, respectively. They’ve their very own language, usually maintain arms, and may learn one another’s ideas. Then, there’s the shared bond of sanctity in Jason as trusted protector and supplier. However a marital betrayal marks the primary fissure in a sequence of deceptions and secrets and techniques that threaten to shatter their seemingly unbreakable union when Jason comes below suspicion of murdering his boss. And never simply murdering him, however stabbing him, suffocating him, and stitching his mouth closed. It’s the stuff that nightmares (and Dateline episodes) are made from.
However Jason is oblivious to all of it; he’s been rendered comatose following an vehicle accident and may’t defend himself in opposition to the incriminating proof that retains turning up (a questionable alibi, a doable motive, the sufferer’s telephone in his automobile, and so on.). Decided to clear his title by no matter means needed, Julia and Sienna mount an investigation of their very own—however their findings depart Julia (already rendered weak by a previous transgression and a reticent son) unmoored, whilst Sienna doubles down in her perception of his innocence. As outdated grievances (re)emerge, one factor turns into clear: it’s not simply Jason’s life (and freedom) that hangs within the steadiness however the way forward for their household/friendship.
The story is advised via the ladies’s alternating viewpoints; it could appear the plain alternative, however it’s additionally skillfully finished and extremely efficient. This construction permits Collins to ascertain every character’s distinct character and voice, juxtaposing Julia’s meekness with Sienna’s boldness after which displaying how these, and different, complimentary traits start to trigger friction as misunderstandings abound. Additional, it invitations an exploration of every character’s previous trauma(s), the results of which not solely inform how they assume however the methods wherein they act. Consequently, each Julia and Sienna turn into disillusioned—and never simply with each other, however with Jason. Nonetheless, that doesn’t essentially make him a assassin … does it?
Megan Collins plumbs spectacular new depths in Thicker Than Water, which is deceptively immersive however carries a lethal undertow that threatens to tug you down, down, down. The whirlpool impact of the sisters-in-law dynamic, the sensational nature of the crime, and the delicate narrative construction leads to a narrative that’s as strongly crafted as it’s memorably advised. Like her earlier works, the e book is totally distinct but bears an unmistakable, and extremely addictive, contact. Put your floaties on as a result of this one may sweep you away …
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