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The acclaimed author of Under the Harrow returns with her most riveting novel to date: the story of two sisters who become entangled with the IRA
A producer at the BBC and mother to a new baby, Tessa is at work in Belfast one day when the news of another raid comes on the air. The IRA may have gone underground in the two decades since the Good Friday Agreement, but they never really went away, and lately bomb threats, security checkpoints, and helicopters floating ominously over the city have become features of everyday life. As the news reporter requests the public's help in locating those responsible for the robbery, security footage reveals Tessa's sister, Marian, pulling a black ski mask over her face.
The police believe Marian has joined the IRA, but Tessa is convinced she must have been abducted or coerced; the sisters have always opposed the violence enacted in the name of uniting Ireland. And besides, Marian is vacationing on the north coast. Tessa just spoke to her yesterday.
When the truth about Marian comes to light, Tessa is faced with impossible choices that will test the limits of her ideals, the bonds of her family, her notions of right and wrong, and her identity as a sister and a mother. Walking an increasingly perilous road, she wants nothing more than to protect the one person she loves more fiercely than her sister: her infant son, Finn.
Riveting, atmospheric, and exquisitely written, Northern Spy is at once a heart-pounding story of the contemporary IRA and a moving portrait of sister- and motherhood, and of life in a deeply divided society.
Flynn Berry is a graduate of the Michener Center for Writers and the recipient of a Yaddo fellowship. Her first novel, Under the Harrow, won the 2017 Edgar Award for Best First Novel and was named a best book of the year by The Washington Post and The Atlantic. Her second novel, A Double Life, was a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice.
"Hepworth's latest further solidifies her place among the top domestic suspense authors...Fern is drawn as smart, capable, and probably on the spectrum, and she is multilayered and relatable, illustrating Hepworth's talent for page-turners with depth." - Booklist
"It's a warped tale of twisted memories and skewed perceptions that will make fans of psychological thrillers say, 'Wow, I didn't see that coming.'" - Library Journal
"Punchy prose helps propel the twisty plot to a creepy but satisfying conclusion. For fans of domestic dramas, this is a treat." - Publishers Weekly
"Fans of Hepworth's The Mother-in-Law will quickly be drawn into this family-based mystery surrounding twin sisters Fern and Rose. " - CNN.com
"Sally Hepworth's The Good Sister achieves the impossible trio of creepy, tender, and funny.... Hepworth is an author poised to break out." - Business Insider
"[A] compelling, assured psychological twister...The book has a wicked sting of an ending, giving its title a dark second meaning. But where The Good Sister really shines is in its convincing, fascinating portrait of Fern's sensory-processing disorder -- both its blessings and its curses." - Seattle Times