Robert Dugoni My Sister’s Grave

Last updated date: June 20, 2019

DWYM Score
8.8

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We looked at the top 1 Thriller Novels and dug through the reviews from 10 of the most popular review sites including Serious Reading, Kirkus Reviews, One Readers Thoughts, Bookworm Basics, Quiet Fury Books, I Heart Reading, Bibliophile Book Club, Patricia's Wisdom, First Impressions Reviews, Faith Fiction Friends and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Thriller Novel you should buy.

Overall Take

Robert Dugoni's "My Sister's Grave" features the best parts of a legal thriller and mystery, adding in elements of a police procedural. You'll find it unputdownable, with compelling writing and believable characters. The satisfying conclusion also won't let you down. In our analysis of 69 expert reviews, the Robert Dugoni Robert Dugoni My Sister's Grave placed 1st when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note July 2, 2019:
Checkout The Best Thriller Novel for a detailed review of all the top thriller novels.

Expert Summarized Score
8.4
10 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.8
15,304 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
The book is very interesting and captivates the mind of readers. The story flows very well and the language used is quite simple for all to understand.
- Serious Reading
Though the pace lags at times, the characters are richly detailed and true to life, and the ending is sure to please fans.
- Kirkus Reviews
It is well written, with a pace that builds, and Tracey is well-rounded, as are the secondary characters.
- One Readers Thoughts
July 14, 2016 | Full review
I found the woodsy rural setting to be a refreshing take on conventions of the genre and this book to be a much more convincing take on the genre of rural noir than other books
- Bookworm Basics
June 19, 2017 | Full review
My Sister’s Grave is a solid suspense story that held my interest from start to finish. The writing is smooth, carrying us along without any intrusion from the author.
- Quiet Fury Books
October 23, 2014 | Full review
And the plot itself was certainly refreshing. The flashbacks from past to present worked well too, and overall, this was just a really enjoyable read, and one I’d recommend to any thriller / mystery fan.
- I Heart Reading
July 8, 2015 | Full review
My Sister’s Grave reads like a crime thriller as well as a legal one, and it’s thoroughly enjoyable. Once I started reading, I was hooked and intrigued until the very last pages.
- Bibliophile Book Club
June 14, 2016 | Full review
Those secrets drive a good story and often produce an even scarier scenario – the melodramatic conclusion of the story just kept me glued to the very last drop in the bucket.
- Patricia's Wisdom
My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni had Fantastic pacing. It was slow but steady laying out all the information at hand.
- First Impressions Reviews
May 22, 2015 | Full review
Dugoni skillfully builds the tension, and the story’s crisis begins to happen sooner than expected. My Sister’s Grave is part mystery, part police procedural, part legal thriller – all combined into an extremely satisfying story.
- Faith Fiction Friends
January 30, 2015 | Full review
What experts didn't like
There were also many small characters with slightly similar names which may make the story confusing since one character can be mistaken for another.
- Serious Reading
Though the book is well-written and its classic premise is sure to absorb legal-thriller fans, it grows a bit plodding at times, with too many pages dedicated to House's retrial.
- Kirkus Reviews
The first few chapters, I have to say, didn’t help the nerves as I struggled to find the flow of the book and really get into it.
- One Readers Thoughts
July 14, 2016 | Full review
So I really did not like the first half of the book, including the trial.
- Bookworm Basics
June 19, 2017 | Full review
First, the ‘bad guy’ is too predictable and one-dimensional. Second, and more importantly, I didn’t believe the story’s outcome.
- Quiet Fury Books
October 23, 2014 | Full review
I felt this story was confusing at the start (maybe because of the spelling errors with an unproofed copy) but I could not find the life flow – the value – within the story except by the attacking the victim behavior, which was very unenlightened and protective of the sexual perpetrator.
- Patricia's Wisdom
Truthfully, I thought I had it figured out within the first half of the book. It stared me in the face and seemed painfully obvious.
- First Impressions Reviews
May 22, 2015 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

Robert Dugoni is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon Bestselling Author of the Tracy Crosswhite Series : My Sister's Grave, Her Final Breath (September 2015) and In the Woods (May 2016). He is also the author of the critically acclaimed, David Sloane series: The Jury Master, Wrongful Death, Bodily Harm, Murder One and The Conviction. Connect with him on Facebook @AuthorRobertDugoni and on Twitter @robertdugoni. Dugoni has twice been nominated for the Harper Lee Award for Legal Fiction, was a 2015 International Thriller Writer's finalist for thriller of the year, and the 2015 winner of the Nancy Pearl Award for Fiction. His books are sold world-wide in more than 20 countries and have been translated into a dozen languages including French, German, Italian and Spanish.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Robert Dugoni My Sister’s Grave
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 10
2. Robert Bryndza The Girl In the Ice
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 8
3. Mike Omer A Killer’s Mind
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 6
4. Michael Connelly The Wrong Side of Goodbye
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 9
5. Dustin Stevens The Boat Man
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 2
6. L.T. Vargus Dead End Girl
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 2
7. Allen Eskens The Life We Bury
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 9
8. Jeff Carson Foreign Deceit
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 2
9. Christopher Greyson The Girl Who Lived
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 7
10. Michael Crichton A Case of Need
Overall Score: 7.5
Expert Reviews: 4

An Overview On Thriller Novels

  • The thriller genre includes a wide range of subgenres, so it’s important to consider the type of thriller you like. Robert Dugoni’s “My Sister’s Grave” is a combination mystery, police procedural and legal thriller, with a strong emphasis on the crime and legal elements. Robert Bryndza’s “The Girl In the Ice” isn’t the right fit for police procedural lovers. It’s more of a suspenseful thriller, following a detective as she attempts to track down a serial killer. With Mike Omer’s “A Killer’s Mind,” you get another chase after a serial killer, with a mystery element that will catch even the most seasoned reader off guard. If you’re familiar with Michael Connelly’s Bosch series, you likely already know he writes mystery thrillers with a strong emphasis on the characters.
  • The goal of any thriller reader is to find a book they can’t quite put down. Robert Dugoni’s “My Sister’s Grave” is one of those books. You’ll get smooth writing that pulls you in from the start. Even though the book does feature some flashbacks, they don’t overwhelm the story. Robert Dugoni, a New York Times bestselling author, introduces us to Tracy Crosswhite, a homicide detective with the Seattle Police Department, who is motivated to track down serial killers due to her sister’s disappearance 20 years prior.
  • Robert Bryndza’s “The Girl In the Ice” features not only an attention-grabbing title and cover, but it also hooks you from page one. You’ll enter the world of Erika Foster, a detective who lost her husband during her last investigation. She’s on the trail of a serial killer possibly responsible for a series of murders in London. There are a few clichés, but you’ll probably be too caught up in the compelling storyline to notice.
  • With Mike Omer’s “A Killer’s Mind,” you get a plot full of twists as it follows Zoe Bentley, a forensic psychologist chasing down a serial killer. Three women have been found embalmed and posed and Zoe has to track down the culprit before he tracks her down.
  • The name Harry Bosch is no stranger to thriller fans, and Michael Connelly’s “The Wrong Side of Goodbye” introduces readers to the 19th book in the series. In this book, Bosch is hired to find the former lover of a dying reclusive billionaire. This book comes across as fresh, even though it’s part of a long-running series.
  • When a thriller fails, it’s often because it simply isn’t “thrilling” enough. That has a great deal to do with pacing. Robert Bryndza’s “The Girl In the Ice” features a relentless pace that keeps you turning the pages. Mike Omer’s “A Killer’s Mind” maintains a steady pace throughout, tossing in some humor where necessary to ease the tension. With Robert Dugoni’s “My Sister’s Grave,” the pace can tend to lag at various points. Be prepared to be patient at first, as the pace gradually builds, drawing you in more slowly than with other thrillers.
  • When it comes down to it, though, the most memorable books are those with characters you truly love. This is no more evident than with the success of the Harry Bosch series, which showcases a hero who is fearless but still very likable. In Robert Dugoni’s “My Sister’s Grave,” Tracy Crosswhite is a well-developed lead, and the secondary characters jump off the page as well. However, the antagonist is a bit one-dimensional, which takes away from the story. On the other hand, Mike Omer’s “A Killer’s Mind” excels with its bad guys, painting them as truly human, which adds to the believability of the plot.
  • Although you don’t want any spoilers, it is helpful to know if an ending is worth the hours you’re about to put into reading a book. You’ll find Robert Dugoni’s “My Sister’s Grave” has a very satisfying conclusion, as does Robert Bryndza’s “The Girl In the Ice.”

DYWM Fun Fact

Thrillers have a long history, dating all the way back to Homer’s “Odyssey,” which features a protagonist overcoming numerous obstacles to find his way home. You’ll also see thriller elements in fairy tales like “Little Red Robin Hood,” which has a young girl dealing with a stalker in the form of a “big, bad wolf.” Although contemporary experts often consider Alfred Hitchcock the master of thrillers, today’s authors often look to books like Robert Ludlum’s “The Bourne Identity” and Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code” for inspiration. The popularity of Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl” created a new trend of twist-filled mystery-thrillers with unreliable protagonists, many written by women.

The Thriller Novel Buying Guide

There’s nothing like a thriller that pulls you in from the start and won’t let you go. But finding that book you just can’t put down can be difficult, especially with the unlimited number of books available today. It can help to start with a New York Times bestseller, but even those can be hit or miss.

Before you choose a thriller novel, it can help to narrow down exactly the type of book that interests you. Do you prefer a book that goes in-depth into police work, or do you like a story told from the criminal’s perspective? There are crime thrillers, disaster thrillers, legal thrillers, medical thrillers, spy thrillers and more. As you begin to narrow the list of subgenres you enjoy most, the list of books to add to your to-read pile will shrink considerably.

Then there are the known names. Authors like Michael Connelly have become fan favorites due to their consistent delivery of compelling stories. Readers know exactly what they’re getting when they pick up a favorite author’s book, and unless the author lets them down, they’ll stay loyal. It also helps when an author’s books land a movie or TV deal, further helping readers know exactly what to expect.

But as with any genre of fiction, it’s all about the writing itself. It’s especially important for thriller novels to maintain a fast pace, prompting readers to turn the page to see what happens next. Many of today’s thrillers also pack in plenty of twists, thanks to the large group of readers who like to try to solve a mystery. But as valuable as those twists are, it won’t help if the reader is left disappointed at the end, so the payoff of those twists is essential.

In many cases, though, it all comes down to characters. If you look back at some of your favorite novels, chances are you think of the characters first. The ability to make the fictional people in a story jump off the page is what makes some authors more successful than others. When you’re reading book reviews, pay close attention to mention of characters since you’ll likely toss the book in the trash if they’re too unredeemable.