“It’s not so much my own death that is intolerable, it’s the death of those around me. Because I love them. And part of me dies with them. Therefore all love, if you like, is a form of suicide.”
The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne is like someone took the genres of thriller and horror, put them together and peppered it with hints of nature writing.
The book begins in London and take us to a desolate island of Scotland’s Isle of Skye: The Torran. There is a primitive sort of desolation that constantly gives some serious The Shining vibes. The story is about Kirstie and Lydia, the identical twins of Sarah and Angus Moorcroft. Born on the coldest day of the year and being beautifully identical, they make with their parents what is repeatedly mentioned as the ‘perfect family’. Perfect, well, until the accident.
Sarah’s world comes crashing down as she hears the words: “Mummy Mummy come quickly, Lydie-lo has fallen!” from her other daughter. Lydia fell off the balcony and died. However, 13 months later, she participates in a conversation with her surviving daughter that goes as follows:
“Mummy, why do you keep calling me Kirstie?”
I say nothing. The silence is ringing. I speak:
“Sorry, sweetheart. What?”
“Why do you keep calling me Kirstie, Mummy? Kirstie is dead. It was Kirstie that died. I’m Lydia.”
While the lack of prospects and a rising debt drive the Moorcrofts out of London to their ‘inherited island’, the story takes some quick whodunit turns, just as theories ranging from murder to pedophilia march around. The story is primarily told by Sarah, whose unreliable narration reminds me of The Girl on the Train.
Just as Sarah struggles to find out the specifics of her daughter’s accident, the behavior of Kirstie (Lydia?) gives a lot of creepy vibes, making me go back and forth between feelings of sympathy for her and fear from her!
The bottomline is that this book has a fast-paced narrative with well-crafted reveals to keep you on the edge of your seat right till the end. Happy Reading!
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