I’m delighted to be on the blog tour for L V Hay’s The Other Twin today and to be sharing my thoughts on Hay’s debut psychological thriller.
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 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 the truth…
This is going to be a very difficult review to write as there is so much I want to say but I’m fearful of giving away the plot. With The Other Twin Hay has written a topical thriller that is written with great skill and understanding.
When Poppy Wade’s half-sister India falls to her death from a railway bridge, Poppy returns to her home town of Brighton to be with her family. Poppy questions the initial verdict of suicide and sets out to find out the truth behind her sister’s death. Poppy has that underlying feeling that something isn’t right regarding the death and the more she looks into it the more she discovers that she barely knows those she grew up with.
The Other Twin uses social media to great effect. Hay plays on all my likes and dislikes of social media – the way in which you never really know who is behind the keyboard, the way in which grudges and arguments can be played out in public, but also the support it can give to people who would otherwise feel alone. This is a book ultimately about identity and the use of social media works perfectly with this. As Poppy discovers things about her sister she didn’t know via her laptop, the reader is constantly left guessing as to what the truth is.
This is also a book about the secrets that hide within families and the lengths they will go to to keep them concealed. The question is raised as to how much we ever really know anyone. I always enjoy secrets and lies within a book and I adored this aspect of The Other Twin. I was gripped from the start and raced through the book to the ending.
The tone sits perfectly with the subject matter and the sense of grief that is displayed by the protagonist. It has a subtle grittiness to it that leaves you feeling unnerved throughout. Hay’s writing makes you feel unsettled as you take the journey with Poppy to discover the truth about India.
Hay weaves a twisting, turning tale in which the sense of unease never leaves you. The ending pretty much blew me away with events that I didn’t see coming at all! It will probably be the book of 2017 that delivers the ultimate shock factor, and any books that come after are going to be hard pushed to surprise me as much as The Other Twin did. A cracking debut novel!
About L V Hay
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.
A huge thank you to L V Hay, Karen Sullivan and Anne Cater for the advance copy and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour. Follow the rest of the tour…