The Other Twin by LV Hay
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 …
The story focuses on the relationship between two sisters, after one’s untimely death at just 24 years old. There are distinct themes, of the ripples of resentments and accusations. Social media and personal identity also play a key part in the plots development. So I could see the huge appeal to readers in the crime fiction/mystery genre.
The novel opens with Poppy, who lives a chaotic lifestyle away from her hometown of Brighton. Upon receiving a phone call from her mother she is made aware her sister has died and she must return home as soon as possible. Her journey home is riddled with so many questions. How did India die and why?
There is an unnamed male character who’s point of view comes across rather narcissistic at times. But I felt this added to an unknown element in the plot and couldn’t wait to discover what it actually meant and who it was.
When Poppy returns to the family home she is disturbed and dumbfounded to discover that her sister allegedly leapt from a railway bridge to her death and the police are ruling it initially as a suicide. This sends Poppy on the course of her own investigation. She discovers that the police found a suicide note, a letter written to Jenny and yet she can discover no close friends of India’s named Jenny. Who is Jenny? Does she hold the key to India’s suicide?
Poppy hacks into India’s various social media accounts and phone attempting to discover who this mysterious Jenny is. She eventually discovers a message sent from Jenny on the day of India’s suicide that states “you shouldn’t have waited for me”. Which only leads to more questions. India’s suicide is proving to be a complex mystery!
Overall, there are themes where I think the author has taken huge risks. Yet it’s modern, edgy and unique. I can see the huge appeal to the younger generation of readers and those who long to see a wide-ranging demographic in the characterisation. I congratulate the author on being daring to take those risks with her debut novel. She has created a methodically, fresh and inclusive mystery! 4*
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.