A year after one of their identical twin daughters, Lydia, dies in an accident, Angus and Sarah Moorcraft move to the tiny Scottish island Angus inherited from his grandmother, hoping to put together the pieces of their shattered lives.
But when their surviving daughter, Kirstie, claims they have mistaken her identity—that she, in fact, is Lydia—their world comes crashing down once again.
As winter encroaches, Angus is forced to travel away from the island for work, Sarah is feeling isolated, and Kirstie (or is it Lydia?) is growing more disturbed. When a violent storm leaves Sarah and her daughter stranded, Sarah finds herself tortured by the past—what really happened on that fateful day one of her daughters died?
I’ve been hearing about this one for a while, so when faced with a 9 hour wait stuck at Gatwick airport on Sunday, a dying Kindle battery and a very limited choice of books before Departures, this seemed a fairly easy choice to make.
The general premise definitely piqued my curiosity: one identical twin dies, and a year later, the surviving twin says they’ve mistaken her identity. Questions are instantly raised, mainly: what the F*CK?! How can parents possibly make this error? Why did the remaining twin wait so long to say so? Just HOW? WHAT IS GOING ON?!
Now, I’m struggling to rate this fairly, because this book really did keep me enraptured. It was filled with mystery, intrigue and false clues. Every time you thought you had a hold on what was happening, something that happened to complete question what you thought you knew.
Likewise, my feelings towards each main character – Sarah, Angus and Lydia/Kirstie – flipped 180 about ten times each throughout the book. You never quite knew who to trust, and they all seemed to play dual roles and be hiding secrets. Sarah was both infuriatingly neurotic and also impressively tough. Angus was doting father and moody, fearsome husband. As for Lydia/Kirstie/DEVIL CHILD, she could be the sweet little darling blonde angel and quickly transform into the creepiest mother-f*cking child ever known. She may haunt my dreams. I was driving my self mad trying to work her out. Then you are questioning if it’s just the child or more at play – is there a supernatural element here? Again: what the HELL is happening?
The setting of Torren Island set a perfectly morbid and desolate surrounding for the eerie and melancholy vibe.
So, as you can tell, there were a lot of positives about this story. The problem is thus: it all built up real nicely, suspense is high, I’m desperate to know what the hell actually happened/is happening, and as I’m nearing the end of the book, where I’m expecting it all to really build up and all fall into place, it just fell flat.
I honestly got to the end of the book and all I could actually say was ‘huh?!‘ The resolution was totally lacking, and I felt really disappointed by it. So much so I almost gave it two stars, but the suspense was enough earlier in the book that I thought it deserved the third star – but, ultimately, what good is a great build up if it just builds up to nothing?! A difficult one to rate indeed, but for an overall score, a three stars seem fitting. I just wish the ending had been as thrilling as the rest of the book – I’m still not even sure what happened!!