Book Review / Reviews with Spoilers / Vanessa Lillie

Vanessa Lillie | Blood Sisters

The Book: 

Blood Sisters by Vanessa Lillie
Published October 31, 2023 by Berkley
Date read: October 31, 2023

The Characters: 


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Buy it on | Amazon

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The Plot (from Goodreads):

A visceral and compelling mystery about a Cherokee archeologist for the Bureau of Indian Affairs who is summoned to rural Oklahoma to investigate the disappearance of two women…one of them her sister.

There are secrets in the land.

As an archeologist for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Syd Walker spends her days in Rhode Island trying to protect the land’s indigenous past, even as she’s escaping her own.

While Syd is dedicated to her job, she’s haunted by a night of violence she barely escaped in her Oklahoma hometown fifteen years ago. Though she swore she’d never go back, the past comes calling.

When a skull is found near the crime scene of her youth, just as her sister, Emma Lou, vanishes, Syd knows she must return home. She refuses to let her sister’s disappearance, or the remains, go ignored—as so often happens in cases of missing Native women.

But not everyone is glad to have Syd home, and she can feel the crosshairs on her back. Still, the deeper Syd digs, the more she uncovers about a string of missing indigenous women cases going back decades. To save her sister, she must expose a darkness in the town that no one wants to face—not even Syd.

The truth will be unearthed.

How did Blood Sisters end?

Click here for book spoilers for Blood Sisters
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read Blood Sisters, I suggest you turn back now.

The Reveal:

When Syd got back to her hometown, she quickly learned that her sister Emma Lou had gone missing. While grappling with similarities from when their blood sister Luna had died as a child, Syd hunts for clues about her missing sister as well as juggling her job.

They were all connected. Pete Dawson, one of the “devils” who was responsible for Luna’s death, was still alive. He had been kidnapping and killing Cherokee girls and burying them on his property for years as well as running a drug trade from Mexico. Emma Lou had discovered what was happening and who was covering it up just before she disappeared.

Luna was still alive. She was Pete’s prisoner, and had even had a daughter of her own.

Syd found both sisters. Cody turned out to be good and got hurt helping Syd save them from Pete. He was the one that had left the skull to be found with Syd’s badge, in hopes she’d realize Pete was killing the girls.

The Review: 

I was so excited to be invited to read an ARC of Blood Sisters. This book is the start of a series by Vanessa Lillie, an indigenous author. The series will focus on MMIWG2S, which stands for Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two Spirit. This subject is not mentioned enough, and I’m looking forward to learning more about it through Lillie’s books.

Blood Sisters was a great thriller. First of all, Syd. She was such a great main character. She was strong and independent, and I enjoyed reading her thoughts about family as well. I loved how determined she was to bring justice to the girls who keep going missing on native land. Not just to find her sister, but to bring peace to other families as well.

The thriller story itself was so well written. Message aside, I couldn’t wait to put it all together and discover what happened to the girls. It’s heartbreaking to read a really good thriller like this and know it’s based on real life.

I’m looking forward to reading more books in this series and learning more about this topic. Thanks to Vanessa Lillie for finally writing the type of thriller I’ve been looking for!

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