Blood Sisters by Vanessa Lillie

November 29th, 2023 Kimberly Guest Post, Review 11 Comments

29th Nov

Sophia Rose is here with a mystery thriller you won’t want to miss. Blood Sisters by Vanessa Lillie shares a compelling mystery while shedding light on the Native American struggles. Curl up with a hot cocoa and see why this pulled at Sophia.

Blood Sisters by Vanessa Lillie
Blood Sisters
by Vanessa Lillie
Genres: Thriller
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

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

There are secrets in the land.

As an archaeologist 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. Even though she swore she’d never go back, the past comes calling.

What happens to the land happens to the women.

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

But not everyone is glad to have Syd home. The search for Emma Lou puts Syd in the crosshairs of local drug dealers looking to build an empire and vengeful vigilantes policing the abandoned mines, while government officials silence tribal rights.

The truth will be unearthed.

The deeper Syd digs, the more she uncovers about a string of missing Indigenous women cases trailing back decades. To save her sister, she must expose a darkness in town that no one wants to face—not even Syd.

Sophia Rose’s Review

I’m not sure if I was most intrigued by her work as an archeologist, the conflicting idea of a Cherokee woman work for Indian Affairs, the fictional mystery plot mirroring real life of the missing Native American women, or, hey, why not all of it rolled into one.  Let’s just say when Blood Sisters was brought to my notice, I pounced on it.

Blood Sisters was never going to be a light and easy read with the sad history and present day circumstances of Syd’s Cherokee people which Vanessa Lillie handled deftly and carefully.  As this was fiction, I appreciated that she not only wrote a compelling backdrop for setting and characters, but the mystery was one that sucked me in completely and had me vested since it involved Syd’s own past, her good friend’s death, and current day situation with her sister.

Syd got a reprieve of sorts from the life she left behind with a life involving wife and work and place that allowed her to block out the past, but it is soon obvious when Syd returns home that the past was unsettled and merely waiting for her to resolve it.

It was an interesting juxtaposition and point of extra conflict that Syd chose to work for Bureau of Indian Affairs since her people have never had a good relationship with this government organization.  In a ‘change it from within’ campaign, Syd’s got an uphill battle that she was starting to make headway with out with the Narragansett tribe in Rhode Island, but this cuts no ice with her own folks back in Oklahoma when she goes home after years away when her sister goes missing and a skull is found on a past, familiar crime scene.  Her home folks see Syd as a sellout.

There is no gentle reunion for her and the situation is volatile with all the corruption within the local government and the flagrant drug movers, but also the people who had no love for Syd.  The tension was taunt and she had to work in a vicarious position.  I do love the setup of a small community roiling with secrets.

I won’t say this was a fun and entertaining book because it wasn’t and it rubbed my emotions and mind raw in places when it gets real about the Native American struggles, but it was compelling and I was vested in Syd’s story and investigation.  I have known some of the backdrop, but learned even more while appreciating a solid mystery with dark turns and a riveting resolution.

Amazon | Audible

Grab a cup of hot cocoa and check out Sophia Rose's #bookreview of Blood Sisters by Vanessa Lillie #mysterythriller Click To Tweet

About Vanessa Lillie

Vanessa Lillie

Vanessa is the author of the bestselling thrillers Little Voices (October 2019) and For the Best (September 2020). She also co-authored the instant bestselling and ITW award nominated Audible Original Young Rich Widows (April 2022), with 20,000 reviews the sequel forthcoming. Her next novel, Blood Sisters, launches October 31st, and begins a new series with #MMIW2S at the heart of the stories. With fifteen years of marketing and communications experience, Vanessa was a columnist for the Providence Journal and hosts an Instagram Live show with crime fiction authors. She is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma living on Narragansett land in Rhode Island.

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About Sophia Rose

Sophia Rose

Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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11 Responses to “Blood Sisters by Vanessa Lillie”

  1. Carla

    Excellent review, Sophia Rose. Whenever I read about the struggles and issues of Native People it rubs me the wrong way as well. But, we need to learn and acknowledge.

  2. Katherine

    I’m torn on what sounds the most interesting as well but I’m leaning towards everything wrapped into one. This definitely needs to go on my TBR!

    • Sophia Rose

      I was grumbling at her when she went in with no weapon and alone, not a law enforcement officer and she’s confronting those baddies more than once. Definitely made it more exciting than it had to be. 🙂