Monday, 24 October 2011

Book review: Bad Sisters by Rebecca Chance

My edition: Paperback, published in 2011 by Simon & Schuster, 389 pages.

Description: Three ambitious, rivalrous sisters. And a deadly secret, which one of them is determined to keep buried at any cost.

Deeley is the fake wife of a Hollywood TV hunk, who is secretly gay. But Deeley’s five-year contract is up, and his cut-throat publicist wants Deeley out. So, dejected and penniless, Deeley wends her way home to London, hoping to re-establish links with her two estranged elder sisters.

Devon is married to the nation’s-favourite-rugby-hunk Matt, and has her own highly successful TV career, as the sexy hostess of her own cookery show. But behind her buxom facade, Devon is lonely and frustrated, and when a live celebrity cook-off shows her up as a fraud, she leaves sweet Matt and runs off to Tuscany, to learn a few lessons – not just in cookery – from an Italian master.

Lastly, there’s Maxie: a politician’s wife, Maxie is fiercely ambitious. She’s furious when Deeley, hard on her luck, sells the sisters’ childhood story to a tabloid newspaper, revealing their impoverished roots and unsavoury parentage. The story undermines Maxie’s carefully cultivated image, and the fallout threatens to be devastating. But Maxie is only too aware that there is much more Deeley could yet reveal. What murderous secret lies in the sisters’ past? And just how far will Maxie go to keep it buried?

Rating:


 

I don't generally give a book I assume to be a chick-lit 5 stars (unless it includes cupcake recipes - as I have a weak spot for cupcakes!) as I see them as mindless reading fun rather than something that makes me think beyond the inevitable romantic conclusion.

However, I don't think Bad Sisters is an ordinary chick-lit, if it falls into that category at all. While it certainly contains romantic relationships (and very sexy scenes) it's also filled with suspense, intrigue, drama and a generous dose of mystery that puts the reader's brain cells at work.

The novel tells the story of three sisters: Deeley, Devon and Maxie. Despite having come from a very poor and rather dubious background each of the sisters has worked their way up in life (although Deeley didn't do an awful lot of work to get where she is) and made something of themselves. They seem to lead perfect and glamorous lives, but they each have been carrying a heavy burden since they were little more than children in the shape of a big secret.

The three main characters have very different personalities and author Rebecca Chance manages to make all three of them believable and intriguing. Even if you don't feel fond of a character per se, you still want to know what happens in her life next as there seems to be a twist around every corner.

Maxie is the ambitious one that studied at Oxford and is the real reason that her intelligence lacking husband is working his way up in parliament.

Devon is a celebrity cook married to a celebrity sportsman and finds more comfort in her food than she does in her marriage.

And Deeley is the young and (more or less) free spirited sister that after having lived in Los Angeles for five years returns to London and tries to reconnect with her estranged sisters which, while unintended, sets the wheels of the story into motion.

The novel is well put together, laced with secrets that makes the reader want to turn the next page as fast as possible. Add to that the glamour and glitz descriptions of clothes, food and very steamy scenes and you have yourself a fabulous read.

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