It’s Thursday, so why not share two mini reviews – and I’m getting better at keeping them ‘mini!’ The first is my review of The Other Twin – I don’t think I’ve read a book published by Orenda Books that I have not enjoyed. Second up, Good Me Bad Me – Criminally Good Book Club’s July Pick.
The Other Twin by L. V. Hay
From the back cover:
When India falls to her death from a bridge over a railway, her sister Poppy returns home to Brighton for the first time in years. Unconvinced by official explanations, Poppy begins her own investigation into India’s death. But the deeper she digs, the closer she comes to uncovering deeply buried secrets. Could Matthew Temple, the boyfriend she abandoned, be involved? And what of his powerful and wealthy parents, and his twin sister, Ana? Enter the mysterious and ethereal Jenny: the girl Poppy discovers after hacking into India’s laptop. What is exactly is she hiding, and what did India find out about her? Taking the reader on a breathless ride through the winding lanes of Brighton, into its vibrant party scene and inside the homes of its well-heeled families, The Other Twin is a startling and up-to-the-minute thriller about the social-media world, where resentments and accusations are played out online, where identities are made and remade, and where there is no such thing as truth.
Firstly, I’d like to thank Hay for writing a novel that is so different from the crime/psychological thrillers that are currently flooding the market – the diversity was very much appreciated!
Poppy returns to Brighton to find out the mysterious circumstances surrounding her sister’s death; Poppy is a likeable and relatable character, flaws and all, she comes across as a real person and that’s important because it draws you into the story – alongside Poppy, you want to know if India’s death was accidental or intentional. Not only was Poppy portrayed as a real character but so was her family and the family dynamics – this element of realism kept me interested in the story because it felt so real, rather than written just to shock the reader.
But shock me, this novel did! Hay rooted suspense so deep in this novel, I just couldn’t figure out where the plot was going! The use of social media did indeed make this novel “up-to-the-minute” – it wasn’t overdone, instead cleverly done to build even more suspense. Hay also used vivid descriptions of Brighton to bring this book to life – a producer would have no problem turning this into a film. I was engaged throughout this novel, it featured a twist I haven’t come across before and that means a lot coming from someone has read approximately 92 books this year alone!
I have no reservation recommending The Other Twin.
*My thanks to Orenda Books for providing me with a copy of this book*
Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land
From the inside cover:
‘NEW NAME .
Annie’s mother is a serial killer.
The only way she can make it stop is to hand her in to the police.
But out of sight is not out of mind.
As her mother’s trial looms, the secrets of her past won’t let Annie sleep, even with a new foster family and name – Milly.
A fresh start. Now, surely, she can be whoever she wants to be.
But Milly’s mother is a serial killer. And blood is thicker than water.
Good me, bad me.
She is, after all, her mother’s daughter…
Good Me Bad Me doesn’t have the fasted moving plot, but it’s still reads quickly, it wasn’t as thrilling and twisted and I’d hoped but I think it will appeal to the majority of serial killer thriller fans because it’s an idea that hasn’t been overdone.
Land uses an unconventional sentence structure; some sentences are only one or two words:
“What I want to tell him. The truth. Is. I don’t find the idea of…”
This worked really well to build suspense as it sometimes makes Milly come across as cold, whereas other times, it makes it seem like she’s having an inner battle with herself – good me vs. bad me.
However, I saw the twist in this one coming a mile away, I actually thought it would happened a lot sooner. I’d have liked to have seen more of the aftermath. Had it happened sooner, I think I’d have enjoyed this book more because, although I predicted the twist, I couldn’t predict the fall out.
Overall, a good book, not one I’d hurry to recommend if you asked me to recommend a serial killer thriller/psychological thriller but nonetheless, a good book.
Reviews by other book club members: