Brother, Where Art Thou?: Mysteries About Missing Siblings

Emily Martin

Contributing Editor

Emily has a PhD in English from the University of Southern Mississippi, MS, and she has an MFA in Creative Writing from GCSU in Milledgeville, GA, home of Flannery O’Connor. She spends her free time reading, watching horror movies and musicals, cuddling cats, Instagramming pictures of cats, and blogging/podcasting about books with the ladies over at #BookSquadGoals ( She can be reached at

Forge Books

A Thousand Steps is a beguiling thriller and a vivid portrait of a turbulent time by New York Times bestselling author T. Jefferson Parker.

Laguna Beach, 1968. Matt Anthony is sixteen and his sister Jazz has just gone missing. The cops figure she’s just another runaway hippie chick, but Matt doesn’t believe it. Not after another missing girl turns up dead.

In a town where the cops don’t trust the hippies and the hippies don’t trust the cops, uncovering what’s really happened to Jazz is going to force him to grow up fast.

If it’s not already too late.

Mysteries and thrillers about siblings get to the heart of a deep fear that many of us have: someone or something threatening to take our family away from us. Take it from someone who has a sibling: the bond between siblings is something special. And if anything threatens that bond or threatens to hurt my sibling? I would do just about anything to keep that from happening. While each sibling relationship is different, all of the character in these mysteries and thrillers share one thing in common: they will stop at nothing to find their missing siblings.

The eight mysteries and thrillers on this list include young adult novels, middle grade novels, realistic stories, and stories with a bit of magic. They cover stories of siblings who have always been close to one another, estranged siblings, and even friends so close they feel more like siblings than friends. Every story is different, and yet if you’ve ever felt that fear that something might take your sibling away from you forever, there’s something in each of these stories that you’ll recognize. A desperation, a determination, and a drive to get to the truth and protect the one person in this world that is closest to you. Will everything work out in the end? You’ll have to read to find out!

cover of When You Look Like Us by Pamela N. Harris, featuring a collage of a young Black man with a baseball cap and a brick wall

When You Look Like Us by Pamela N. Harris

When Jay Murphy’s sister Nicole goes missing, no one thinks much of it. After all, when you’re a Black girl from the projects, people just assume you’re up to no good. Even Jay himself at first thinks his sister has just gotten caught up with her drug dealer boyfriend when she first goes missing. But then she’s been missing for far too long, and Jay starts to worry that something has happened to her. When the Newport News police refuse to do anything to find her, Jay becomes determined to bring Nicole home himself.

of scars and stardust cover

Of Scars and Stardust by Andrea Hannah

After a traumatizing event that nearly kills her little sister, Ella, Claire is sent to live with her aunt in Manhattan. But the fear and trauma surrounding what happened to Ella still haunts Claire, and she can’t let go of the idea that something terrible is coming for her sister. Then two years later, Ella disappears, and Claire is left with no choice but to return to her small hometown in Ohio to deal with everything she’s tried so hard to leave behind. The one clue Claire has to what might have happened to her sister? A diary filled with cryptic entries that could uncover the truth behind Ella’s disappearance.

cover of Last House on Needless by Cationa Ward

The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward

The Last House on Needless Street is a combination of horror and psychological thriller that includes narrations from several different perspectives. Yes, one of those first person narrations comes from a black cat. But another one of those narrations is from the perspective of a girl named Dee who is searching for her sister Lulu, who disappeared during a trip to the lake 11 years ago. Everyone else tells Dee to move on, but she can’t let it go. She’ll stop at nothing until she gets to the bottom of what happened all those years back.

Amari and the Night Brothers cover

Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston

Amari and the Night Brothers is a middle grade novel filled with magic and mystery. Amari’s brother Quinton is missing. And despite the fact that everyone else tells her he’s dead, Amari is convinced Quinton’s still alive. So when Amari comes across a strange briefcase in her brother’s closet, containing a nomination for a summer tryout at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she’s certain this will be the key to finding her brother.

the paris apartment cover

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

Jess isn’t super close with her half-brother Ben. When Jess asks if she can stay with Ben in his apartment in Paris, her half-brother don’t seem very excited about hosting her. Nevertheless, Jess heads to Paris looking for a fresh start. When she gets there, she’s surprised to find Ben’s apartment is nicer than anything she’d imagined he’d be able to afford. And also, he’s not there. The longer her half-brother stays missing, the more Jess becomes suspicious that something is amiss. So, she begins investigating Ben’s life in Paris, most specifically his neighbors, who all seem suspicious.

we are all the same in the dark cover

We Are All the Same in the Dark by Julia Heaberlin

Wyatt Branson’s sister Trumanell disappeared a decade ago. Her disappearance was mysterious and has become somewhat of a legend in Wyatt’s small town. Now, Wyatt has found a lost girl in a field of dandelions, and he sees it as a sign. The town’s youngest cop, Odette Tucker, is desperate to solve both cases, both the mystery of this lost girl and the mystery of Wyatt’s sister who was lost long ago. This twisty and surprising psychological thriller is told through three perspectives: Wyatt, Odette, and Angel, the girl Wyatt found.

after shes gone book cover

After She’s Gone by Lisa Jackson

Cassie and Allie Kramer are two sisters who move to Los Angeles with in search of stardom. But of the two, the younger sister Allie turned out to be more talented, and more driven. Cassie was able to land a few bit parts, but it was Allie who rose to stardom. But now Allie’s body double has been shot, and Allie is missing. After the police see that Cassie was the last one to call Allie (a phone call Cassie can’t remember), she is starting to look like a suspect.

the cover of Monday's Not Coming, featuring a photo of black teen girl sitting down with her knees to her chest washed in the color red

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson

While this book might not technically be a story of two people who are related by blood, Tiffany D. Jackson’s Monday’s Not Coming is a story about two girls so close they are practically sisters. Claudia and Monday are inseparable, so when Monday doesn’t show up for school, Claudia notices her absence right away. The next day, Monday still isn’t there. Then a week goes by, and Claudia is worried. There’s no way Monday would just leave without saying anything to Claudia, not after everything they’ve been through together. But Monday’s family refuses to help or offer up any answers, and no one seems to be able to remember the last time they saw her. How could Monday just disappear without anyone noticing she was gone?

If you’re looking for even more mysteries and thrillers about siblings, check out these 9 thrillers about siblings you won’t be able to put down. And if you want more thriller books covering a wide range of topics to add to your TBR, we here at Book Riot have plenty of suggestions for you.