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?
So excited to be joining this blog tour today from gorgeous Press Castle in Coldingham. I absolutely love reading on holiday and The Other Twin was the perfect holiday read. I raced through it this week in the sunshine of the walled garden, with a large gin and a real feeling like I’d escaped from the world. Domestic Noir is my favourite holiday reading genre and once again, Anne Cater has sent me exactly the right book to lose myself in during my holiday.
The Other Twin is a really hard book to review without posting any spoilers – and I’d ABSOLUTELY hate anyone to have their reading experience diminished by knowing too much before embarking on this gripping and twisty debut novel. Hay’s writing is very accomplished for a debut novelist and definitely keeps you on your toes, dropping information in very gradually and leading you this way and that as you try and discern the tangled reasons behind India’s death and explore the mysteries of her sister’s online life looking for something which will unlock the mystery of her untimely demise.
I liked the way that Lucy Hay wove the LGBT and Social Media strands of the story in very lightly, making them seamlessly integrate into the way that Poppy’s tale unfolds for the reader, rather than a tokenistic ‘nod’ to something current and ‘edgy’ – I also enjoyed the way that we see things through Poppy’s eyes and are presented with each of the characters feeling the same sense of confusion, mistrust and curiosity that Poppy does. I love parallels and symmetry in novels and I also enjoyed the way that the two sets of siblings were presented. Matthew and Ana’s relationship provided a fascinating counterpoint to that of Poppy and her sister and I think this was one of the main factors in my wholehearted immersion in this novel. This was such an easy novel to immerse yourself in as all of the characters felt very ‘real’ – I particularly liked the way the twins were presented – but no spoilers – so if you want to know more about these intriguing relationships and interconnections then you’re just going to have to get a copy of The Other Twin for yourself.
This is a complex read that looks fab in my #OnTheShelfie and that I’ll definitely return to as I enjoyed it so much. This is a novel that refuses to spell things out for you and makes you focus hard on following all of the threads that Lucy Hay has cleverly woven in order to benefit fully from its satisfying conclusion. It’s one of the most compelling reads I’ve enjoyed this summer and would be a perfect holiday read whether you’re heading abroad or like me having a staycation in the UK. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more of L V Hay’s writing as I feel that her balance of subtle characterisation, a compelling narrative and great writing doesn’t come along too often. It’s another fantastic @OrendaBooks read and further evidence that Karen Sullivan can do no wrong in my bookshelf’s eyes.
A summer winner – grab a copy for yourself as soon as you can. The kindle version is currently available and the paperback will be available from Orenda Books on All Saints Day – November 1st, 2017
Writer On The Shelf
Lucy V. Hay is a novelist, script editor and blogger who helps writers via her Bang2write consultancy. She is the associate producer of Brit Thrillers Deviation (2012) and Assassin (2015), both starring Danny Dyer. Lucy is also head reader for the London Screenwriters’ Festival and has written two non-fiction books, Writing & Selling Thriller Screenplays, plus its follow-up Drama Screenplays. She lives in Devon with her husband, three children, six cats and five African Land Snails.