The Niece by Georgina Cross

Tara and Beth have been estranged for over a decade when she’s notified of her older sister’s death in a suspicious fire at their childhood home. Tara is shocked to learn Beth named her as guardian of her sixteen-year-old daughter, Hannah, but is determined to make the best of it. Hannah has questions Tara is unable to answer, but of even greater concern are the threatening messages she started receiving shortly after her niece arrived. Someone seems to be targeting her family, and Tara is pretty sure she knows why. The question is… who? And why now?

Before I get into talking about the book, I want to talk about the description. As delightfully intriguing as it is, after reading the book, I’m extremely puzzled by it. It indicates that the book is told from Hannah’s perspective, but the entire story is told from Tara’s point of view. I kept expecting to see a perspective flip that never happened. It was a bit of a distraction, even though it didn’t prevent me from becoming fully invested in the story. It’s not important, ultimately, but I can’t help but wonder why this description was chosen, rather than one that focused on the story’s main protagonist.

Puzzling description notwithstanding, The Niece is an excellent book. We meet Tara as she’s being informed about her sister’s death, and her reaction immediately makes the reader take notice, as it’s not quite what you would expect it to be. It’s not wrong, per se, just… unusual, given the circumstances.

Readers are immediately given the knowledge that there is at least one long-kept secret (and possibly more) that caused the sisters estrangement, but Cross takes her time and lets the suspense build to a fever pitch before she finally reveals it through a flashback. Getting to experience everything that led up to the event enhanced the story in a major way, and allowed it to have an even greater impact, in this reader’s opinion.

As appreciative as I was of that, it was nothing compared to the shock I felt as the story neared its conclusion. We’re talking a MAJOR plot twist that left me absolutely stunned with disbelief. I had to reread that particular section a few times, just to make sure I’d read it correctly—and that’s when the emotional tidal wave washed over me, because that twist affected pretty much every major aspect of the story, and made me see many things much differently than before.

I can’t praise this book highly enough. With heavy doses of suspense and tension throughout the story, this is an extremely well-written book that you’ll want to devour in a single sitting. This is the first book I’ve read by this author, but it certainly won’t be the last!

Highly recommended!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I received an advance reading copy of this book courtesy of Bookouture via Netgalley.

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Author: Georgina Cross
Title: The Niece
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publication Date: September 2, 2022 by Bookouture

About the Book

I love my family. But can I trust them?

Walking down an airport corridor I see her. My mother’s sister. There is no mistaking we’re related; we have the same long, black hair and brown eyes. But my aunt is the one person in the world my mother told me never to trust.

Nothing feels real right now. My beloved mother was my whole world—she taught me everything and she said she would always be there for me. My last memory is of her screaming at me to get out. Then the flames took her, and she was gone.

Now I have to live with my aunt and I hope she’s changed after all these years. But when I secretly watch her speaking to her friends, she makes it sound like I’m a stranger in her home.

She leaves her bedroom door open and I hear her on the phone to the police late at night. I start to wonder if she had something to do with the terrible fire that ripped my life apart. And my blood turns to ice when the detective asks, what are you hiding?

Is my aunt trying to protect me, or is it time to teach her a lesson?

An utterly addictive psychological thriller about a family with a dark secret at its heart that will make you question everyone you trust. Perfect for fans of The Wife Between UsThe Woman in the Window and Gone Girl.

About the Author

GEORGINA CROSS has been writing since she was a kid, and she has the notebooks and floppy discs to prove it! After graduating from Louisiana State University, she founded a non-profit named Susie’s Wish, which sends people with life-threatening illnesses to the beach, and she currently works in workforce development and marketing & communications. She lives with her husband David and their combined family of four sons in Alabama. When everyone is sleeping, she gets to write: her fingertips hit the keyboard and her imagination can run wild.

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