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Forgotten Sisters

A novel by

A city’s haunted history and fairy-tale horrors converge for two women in an addictive novel of psychological suspense by a multiple Bram Stoker Award–nominated author.

Sisters Anna and Jennie live in a historic bungalow on the Chicago River. They’re tethered to a disquieting past, and with nowhere else to go, nothing can part them from their family home. Not the maddening creaks and disembodied voices that rattle the old walls. Not the inexplicable drownings in the area, or the increasing number of bodies that float by Anna’s window.

To stave off loneliness, Anna has a podcast, spinning ghostly tales of Chicago’s tragic history. But when Anna captures the attention of an ardent male listener, she awakens to the possibilities of a world outside.

As their relationship grows, so do Jennie’s fears. More and more people are going missing in the river. And then two detectives come calling.

They’re looking for a link between the mysteries of the river and what’s housed on the bank. Even Anna and Jennie don’t understand how dreadful it is—and still can be—when the truth about their unsettled lives begins to surface.

Genre: Horror

Praise for this book

"Cynthia Pelayo writes with an elegiacally forensic eye, equal parts poet and coroner. Her jaw-dropping autopsy Forgotten Sisters plays out like a true-crime Grey Gardens fantasia penned by Shirley Jackson and it's worth every lyrical incision." - Clay McLeod Chapman

"A dreamlike modern fairy tale full of grief, longing, and murder, Forgotten Sisters is Cynthia Pelayo's best yet. Like the best hauntings, this one will linger in my head for a long time." - Christopher Golden

"A gritty murder mystery about a house that drips with haunted histories and a river that carries dark secrets and dead bodies in its current, Forgotten Sisters is a mesmerizing, propulsive read that doesn't just bend genre, it transcends it." - Rachel Harrison

"Aspects of Forgotten Sisters glide past each other like ghosts as Cynthia Pelayo adroitly juggles past and present, reality and the supernatural, in this elegiac gothic novel. You'll be haunted long after you've finished turning the pages." - Alma Katsu

"Of bruised and tenderly worn hearts, of poor, bedeviled minds, of raw and open wounds that have never closed - these are merely some of the cruelties and passions revealed in Cynthia Pelayo's magnificent novel, Forgotten Sisters. A startling and totally immersive gem, Pelayo's prose is evocative and chilling. Told with such care and thoughtfulness, this masterfully woven story of generational trauma and loss will hold readers captive until the final page is turned, until their beating hearts are filled with black water drawn from a poisoned river - to be marked, to be transformed by a secret mythology." - Eric LaRocca

"Personal, historical, and heart-deep. Forgotten Sisters captures the complicated sense of being stifled by home yet lost without it. From the eerie start to the unforgettable ending, Pelayo brings the chill of crime stories, grim fairy tales, and the gothic into a haunting mystery that will drag you into dark waters and never let go." - Hailey Piper

"Forgotten Sisters is a mesmerizing novel that showcases Pelayo's sharp characterization - which pairs perfectly with a memorable setting and two unforgettable characters. The end result is a potent dose of psychological suspense that sits with you in unique and unsettling ways. This is the best kind of novel - vastly entertaining, unique, and impossible to shake. Pelayo's strongest work to date, which is saying a lot." - Alex Segura

"Forgotten Sisters is a haunting fairy tale, a haunted parable of loss and grief, a history of Chicago's tragedies, and a thrilling, page-turning, creepy who-done-it. Take me to the river..." - Paul Tremblay

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