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.
This was definitely more of an emotional gut punch than I was expecting for what was supposed to be a standard mystery / psychological thriller.
Hay did a great job with fleshing out the family dynamics that were full of drama, heartache and also love. At times it felt a little disorienting but that was more because of the world the characters found themselves embroiled in and the type of people they were than the author’s writing; it was very different from my own that’s for sure. Adding in blog posts and social media relevancy helped make how the story played out a little more realistic considering the age we live in.
It was a little hard to find a character that was redemptive enough I could care about. I felt for Poppy and her parents as they had just lost their sister / daughter but Poppy is extremely self-destructive and her parents have a multitude of problems so at times I felt myself getting irritated with them simply because I was tired of the choices they were making and the consequences that played out as a result. Essentially this entire story only occurred because of their horrific, self-serving choices. In all there was only two people I could feel any true sympathy for and care about; one of them died at the beginning which prompted this story and the other I didn’t begin to care about until the very end when I realized their full backstory.
Hay really likes her sex scenes too because there was a point I thought I was reading one of those steamy x-rated romance novels.
I also felt Hay did a good job of exploring the LGBTQ community within her story and showcasing a plight that far too many ignore or create. The ‘character’ of their people was probably the part of the book I could connect to the most which helped me want to keep reading and by the end I was very glad I did because how it gets wrapped up certainly pulled at the heartstrings.
If dark, complex, twisty, thought-provoking psychological thrillers are your thing you should give this a shot.
Thank you to Netgalley and Trafalgar Square Publishing for allowing me to review this!
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