I am thrilled to be sharing my review of this fantastic books alongside the fabulous Kate at The Quiet Knitter so please also check out Kate’s post.
Published: 18th May 2017 (Orenda Books)
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…
Firstly, lets talk about that fabulous cover – I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but lets be honest, we all do when browsing books online or in a shop! Doesn’t this one just draw you in, most intriguing and begging to be picked up,for the blurb to be read.
Poppy is drawn back to Brighton after four (nearly five) years following the apparent suicide of her younger sister, India, from which she has been estranged from since she left their family home. It is unclear as to why the sisters have fallen out, but the tension (and Poppy’s subsequent guilt that there will be no reconciliation) is plain to see. However, Poppy is not convinced that her bright, beautiful and ballsy younger sibling would throw herself from a notorious Brighton bridge into the path of an oncoming train so she starts looking into what happened leading up to that fateful night. Poppy discovers that India had a blog so has her computer hacked into to get more information and read through the blog posts – however this starts to unearth some well buried secrets, especially when Poppy discovers the elusive Jenny.
I really enjoyed this book, its story line was current in respect of the influence and integration of social media within day-to-day life – this is brought to life by the blog posts featured which are formatted with social media badges, likes and comments from readers. Lucy V. Hay has tackled some extremely sensitive topics wonderfully, this is a book that will stay with me for some time because aside from the fictional brilliance, there are strong messages to be taken away. The Other Twin also a dark side that starts from the first chapter as an unknown male narrator refers to someone as ‘She Who Must Be Obeyed’ and the control that this person has over him is clear and chilling.
Hay has brought Brighton to life through this book, sharing the picturesque Brighton as well as the less desirable elements of the seaside town – Brighton is as much of a main character as Poppy. Poppy herself is a great character, she is real, flawed and haunted by her past but very much out to find out the truth for her sister – no matter what the consequences are.
The writing in this book is fantastic, it is gripping from the very first chapter and smoothly moves between Poppy, the unknown male character as well as the voice of India through her blog posts. It was great to have differing perspectives and this gave the book brilliant layers of story lines which were slowly peeled away.
The Other Twin is a gripping, fast-paced and breathtaking book about fighting for the truth – in more ways than one. When I wasn’t reading, I was thinking about it and looking forward to being able to pick it back up and find out what was happening. It is a fabulous debut thriller from Lucy V. Hay and I look forward to more.
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