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Thomas & Mercer

Forgotten Sisters by Cynthia Pelayo (Paperback)

Forgotten Sisters by Cynthia Pelayo (Paperback)

Regular price $16.99 USD
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Fiction - Thrillers - Suspense - Ghost - Horror 


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.


Cynthia Pelayo is a Bram Stoker Award-winning author. Her novels include Children of Chicago and The Shoemaker's Magician. In addition to writing genre-blending novels that incorporate elements of fairy tales, mystery, detective, crime, and horror, Pelayo has written numerous short stories and the poetry collection Crime Scene. The recipient of the 2021 International Latino Book Award, she holds a master of fine arts in writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She lives in Chicago with her family. For more information, visit

“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, New York Times bestselling author of Road of Bones and The House of Last Resort

“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, author of The Fervor

“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, national bestselling author of Cackle and Black Sheep

“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, Bram Stoker Award–winning author of Queen of Teeth and A Light Most Hateful

“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, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and The Cabin at the End of the World

“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, author of What Kind of Mother and Ghost Eaters

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