The Night Sister: A Novel - Jennifer McMahon

 Arg! So disappointing! The sad thing was that I had a feeling it wouldn't get better but I kept with it in hopes that it would! It never did. This the second book from her that I felt so disappointing. I'm really surprised to see all the five star reviews of this book. While it kept my attention, that's really all it did.

My problem with The Night Sister is that it played the same old tricks and jumps. The scares weren't all that scary. The subsequent crimes, brushed over. What about the other murders? Who cares. I sure didn't and that's not good. The whole book was a mess. It was obvious that the author couldn't make up her mind which direction she wanted to go so it all felt unsupported. And it all felt way to contrived and convenient, especially toward the end.

Oh, the characters, McMahon drags out the same tired tropes. The weak and pregnant woman, the tough and beautiful woman, the disbelieving lawman. She works to bring these tropes to life with a bit of back story, and the moodiness of an aging motel, but I just wasn't sold. The author needed a reason for the fact that there was no body there so she just burped up the first one she thought of. That's how this book all felt. Half formed ideas and half ass ways getting out of them.

And this book all hinged on one of my greatest story pet peeves: that is, not telling the major characters important family history that could have direct relevance on them. The excuse why they didn't is generally 'well, I was watching them to make certain no one got hurt...' I'm so sick of this. This is not a valid excuse.
McMahon tries to supercharge a weak plot by making it in to something else entirely. I couldn't buy into it. The dialogue felt forced and sanitized for the general public. The supernatural elements come too late to fully accept. I found myself reediting the novel, adding realistic dialog, and backing off of the supernatural.

I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone. Over all, this book is bad but not bad to get one star rating.