The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon

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Genre: Horror


A derelict motel, haunting childhood memories, hidden rooms, two sisters and family secrets–a supernatural tale that will thrill and chill in equal measure.

Once a thriving attraction on the well-traveled roads of rural Vermont, the Tower Motel now stands in disrepair, an eerie, abandoned place. Amy, her best friend, Piper, and Piper’s younger sister, Margot, played there as kids, exploring everywhere, even the forbidden tower itself–where they uncovered a secret one summer that ended their friendship.

Twenty years later, Piper has left all of that behind, until she gets a call from Margot telling her that Amy’s been accused of a horrific crime. Piper and Margot will have to confront what truly happened that long-ago summer and all that led up to it–a hidden room, a family drowning in secrets, another pair of sisters each believing the other to be something truly monstrous–in order to understand, and survive, what is happening now.


The Night Sister was my first Jennifer McMahon novel. I found it extremely well-written and difficult to put down. There is an essence of The Shining interwoven through the pages, escalating in that same heart-pounding suspense that King managed to capture in Jack Torrence’s showdown at the Overlook Hotel.

McMahon elegantly travelled through time, connecting the 1960’s, 1980’s, and present day with poise. Readers can expect to piece together clues from the three timeframes in a race to solve the mystery before the end of the book.

Throughout the book are confessional style letters written to Alfred Hitchcock, which give us glimpses into the mind of the long-since missing Silvie- Amy’s aunt. These letters feed the mystery of the story, while adding the perfect throwback to classic horror films. With that in mind, this is one of those rare books that would translate well to the big screen. Though it’s against my core beliefs to say so, the movie would likely be better if the director chose to tweak the ending. Did I just lose you? Stay with me here.

Unfortunately, The Night Sister came in like a lion and went out like a lamb. The book ended rather softly after such a strong build up. Regardless, it was worth the time spent to read and I fully intend to check out McMahon’s The Winter People as soon as possible.

Click here to purchase The Night Sister