Having seen lots of positive reviews for The Other Twin I was delighted to receive a copy for review. This is the debut novel from L V Hay and it promised a dark and gripping psychological thriller so I was excited to find out more…
In the opening chapters we learn of the death of a young woman named India who fell from a bridge over a railway. On hearing the news, India’s older sister Poppy returns to her home in Brighton to be with her family and to grieve for her sister. The official explanation of her death is one of suicide. There is evidence to this effect, and no-one else seems to be involved. However, Poppy remains unconvinced, and suspects that there is something untoward going on – and she is determined to get to the bottom of it. But as she delves deeper into her sister’s life via the remains of her online persona, she begins to uncover a tangled web of secrets and lies. Her investigations also lead her to become reunited with an old boyfriend, Matthew, and his mysterious twin sister, Ana. And as India’s story starts to take shape and the past begins to unravel, Poppy finds herself in some difficult situations, situations in which she begins to question who can be trusted and who holds the key to the mystery surrounding her sister’s untimely death.
The circumstances surrounding India’s death meant I was gripped from the offset and keen to find out more. And I found the story to be perfectly paced with short, precise chapters and plenty of twists and turns along the way. Hay keeps us guessing throughout with a cast of interesting characters who all have their own stories to tell and who all give the impression of having something to hide. The mystery surrounding each of these characters and how they fit into India’s life is helped along through the use of India’s final blog entries. When Poppy gains access to her sister’s online profile, she finds herself confronted with something of a code, storybook characters good and bad who represent those people close to her, and those who may know more than they are letting on. I liked the mystery element of this and also how the use of the blog and social media gives the story a contemporary feel. There were some interesting themes raised throughout surrounding family and relationships and there is also the presence of the LGBT community and the issues that they face. Hay has woven together an intricate plot with complex characters and dark and twisted secrets leading up to a conclusion I did not expect.
I was impressed with The Other Twin and found it to be an accomplished and well written debut which kept me gripped throughout. A story of love, loss and identity, it is also a tale of secrets and lies and the impact it has on a family, and on a community.
The Other Twin was published in paperback and ebook on 1st July 2017 by Orenda Books. Many thanks to Orenda Books for providing a copy for review.