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  • Writer's picturePaul Burston

The Other Twin

For some strange reason this book lay buried in my reading pile for months. Was it worth the wait? Hell, yes. This is Lucy V Hay’s first thriller – and on the strength of this, I can’t wait for her second.

‘The Other Twin’ is the story of Poppy, whose sister India falls to her death from a railway bridge near Brighton, an apparent suicide. But Poppy isn’t convinced. Estranged from her sister at the time of her death, and riddled with guilt that she might somehow have been able to prevent it from happening, Poppy turns detective, heading to Brighton and following leads found on her sister’s blog and social media.

She meets up with ex boyfriend Matthew and his twin sister Ana and becomes suspicious about their wealthy, powerful parents. Then she meets the mysterious Jenny and the plot takes several unexpected twists and turns.

There’s a lot of running to and fro, and times where I wished things would slow down a bit. But Hay’s writing is sharp and smart, filled with insights about sibling rivalry, sisterly love and the lies that bind families together.

There’s also a portrait of Brighton I found instantly recognizable – the Brighton of hen parties, stag weekends and queers of every description. Much of the plot revolves around questions of identity, which makes a refreshing change from the many contemporary thrillers where we’re asked to wonder if the perfect new husband/boyfriend is all he seems (clue – he usually isn’t).

This is an exceptional debut – original, daring, well written and emotionally truthful.

Orenda Books, £8.99

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