The Ice Twins by S. K. Tremayne
Genre; Psychological crime
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?
This story starts in a solicitors office as Sarah and Angus are signing the papers for the property on the isolated island inherited from Angus’s grandmother. During this scene, we see how the death of their daughter has affected both of them and how it has affected their marriage, how they are fighting to keep it together. Scotland is a new start for them. A chance to leave everything behind.
Then, as it mentions in the blurb, Kirstie claims that she is in fact Lydia which means that fresh start they wanted doesn’t go quite as planned. Can you imagine how shocked you’d be hearing that?
I loved the concept of this novel and wondered where it would go, where the author would take me. I was not let down as throughout the reading you are constantly unsure exactly what is happening and who the child is. And because of this, there is a gradual breakdown of the family unit as each member struggles with the situation and the child struggles with her identity.
The Ice Twins is beautifully written and had me turning the pages quickly, just wanting to know what was happening and also enjoying the writing. The cold isolated setting was well drawn, especially the isolation of joining a new community when you have the very obvious “issues” as Kirstie had.
Eventually the story spirals down into it’s very bleak ending but it fits with the whole story. It’s about the death of a child, the mourning of the parents and sibling, so you have to be in the mood to read it, but it is really well done and worth a read. If you read crime anyway, bleak is a way of life for you, so this should easily be your cup of tea. It didn’t feel quite right to say I enjoyed this book, but it’s a well written, twisty, crime novel that I wanted to keep reading to the end.
With thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for my copy.