2023 Reviews · contemporary fiction · new release · thriller

New Release Book Review: The Half Brother by Christine Keighery

Title: The Half Brother

Author: Christine Keighery

Published: April 6th 2023

Publisher: Ultimo Press

Pages: 352

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Thriller

RRP: $34.99

Rating: 4 stars

The bonds of sisterhood were unbreakable. Until him.

Hannah and Stef have always been there for each other. Growing up in a loving family, they’re stunned to discover their mother adopted out a child before their parents met.
When Alex walks into their lives, the sisters are seduced by his charm, wealth and social status. But as they rush to make up for lost time, it soon becomes apparent their new brother’s agenda is more complicated and sinister than the sisters could have imagined.
A novel about loyalty, secrets and the insidious effects of narcissism and gaslighting, The Half Brother asks, do we ever really know those we love the most?


Ultimo Press presents the debut work of adult contemporary fiction from accomplished young adult and children’s fiction author Christine Keighery. The Half Brother is a theatric work of fiction that is taut, nervy and perplexing. It was great to introduced to a new author on the block in the suburban noir field.

Sisters Hannah and Stef have always had each other’s backs. As part of a loving and supportive family these sisters are shocked when their learn that they have a sibling, a brother who was adopted as a young child. When Alex comes into their lives, Hannah and Stef are soon taken by his handsome charms and high-profile personality.  But after the initial excitement of connecting with their new brother wears off, Hannah and Stef realise that Alex has a hidden agenda for connecting with his family. What dark plans does Alex have for his family? Can we really trust our blood relations?

When I was contacted by Ultimo Press the publishers of The Half Brother to read and review Christine Keighery’s debut adult fiction release I was very intrigued. I absolutely love the domestic and suburban noir genre, so to see a new book pop up in this category of fiction was quite exciting. I’m really pleased I gave The Half Brother a big push up my review pile, it was a fascinating read.

Families are always great subject lines for fiction and one that is changed or impacted by the influx of a new member is always an intriguing narrative direction. In The Half Brother we hear from two sisters Hannah and Stef via Keighery’s narrative standpoint direction. It was good to hear from these women as the impact of Alex’s entrance into their lives bears down on them. Hannah and Stef are quite complex, but Alex is that step above, in terms of how his presence impacts this family unit. Initially, Alex seems almost too good to be true. This new brother is charming, handsome and wealthy, but as the story unfolds, our impression of Alex begins to alter. Questions of loyalty, jealousy, trust, suspicion and evil plans begin to direct the novel, allowing the story at large to take on quite the weather change.

Keighery ramps up the tension and suspense, ensuring that The Half Brother is not viewed as a laid-back breezy read. There are moments of darkness, twists, heavy moments and lots of chilly feelings as this story unfolds. With questions of nature versus nature, family values, adoption, reconnection, kinship bonds and sisterhood defining this story, Keighery has hatched a solid suburban family noir tale.

If you love a coiled family suspense tale, comb through the bookstores for this release, you won’t regret it!

The Half Brother by Christine Keighery is published on 6th April 2023 by Ultimo Press. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of The Half Brother,  Christine Keighery visit here.

*Thanks is extended to Ultimo Press for providing a free copy of this book for review purposes.


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