As always, it’s a real pleasure to be joining the blog tour for another book from Orenda – this time The Other Twin by L.V. Hay, available for kindle, in paperback and audio format. Everything I read about this book told me I would love it…
A stunning, dark and sexy debut thriller set in the winding lanes and underbelly of Brighton, centring around the social media world, where resentments and accusations are played out, identities made and remade, and there is no such thing as the truth.
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 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…
However, it is a truth universally acknowledged – or if it isn’t, it most certainly should be! – that you really can’t love every single book you read. And just sometimes it can be rather your own fault. I read this book in fits and starts, a short section here and there, the balance on two train journeys to and from the launch party – and I think I did it a grave disservice. It’s a book that asked a lot of the reader, and I just didn’t have it to give. But just because I wasn’t able to add it to my favourites list, it doesn’t mean I can’t praise it to the hilt – a quick glance at the other reviews on this tour will quickly show you that I’m very out-of-step with everyone else who read it, and I really wouldn’t argue with a single one of them.
Despite my personal reaction, the writing – the pace, the characterisation, the vivid sense of place, the dialogue – was superb, and I’ll certainly look forward to reading the author again. The book’s construction is so very clever – it’s very disorientating and uncomfortable to have no idea who characters are, how they relate, with no opportunity to take stock and catch up, instead having to unpeel the layers together with the book’s protagonists. The book is fresh, wholly original, and very current, with characters who are stunning in their complexity. The narrative is sometimes raw and uncomfortable – but that works well too.
For all kinds of reasons, this book just wasn’t one for me. But, if you’re as attracted by the description as I was and are able to invest a little more of yourself in the reading, I’d have no hesitation at all in recommending it to others.
My thanks to Anne Cater and Karen Sullivan for providing my e-copy for review, for including me in the tour, and for their ongoing support.
About the author
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.