REVIEW: The Other Twin by L V Hay

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Book Number: N/A

Read this book for: UK (non-London) mystery, psychological thriller, family conflict, character-driven story, younger characters, amateur detective

Quick Review: An atmospheric, well-paced and interesting read that blends psychological thriller with an old-fashioned whodunnit in a compelling way – read THE OTHER TWIN!


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? 

THE OTHER TWIN is a new novel from Lucy V Hay, who shows off her writing skills to great effect in creating a dark, tense and atmospheric thriller. The story of Poppy’s grief- and guilt-driven hunt for the truth of her sister’s death is an intensely gripping ride.

The characters were really the most compelling element in this, particularly Poppy. She is a great flawed narrator frazzled by her reaction to her sister’s death. This is no clichéd revenge novel. Her choices arise naturally out of her personality and sense of guilt, and her detective skills are well in line with her character. Mainly I was impressed with Poppy’s intense and palpable emotion that never strayed into melodrama. Even the psychological touches stop short of being heavy-handed so as to keep the novel actually believable. Hay carries her characters with subtlety, pushing them toward maximum dramatic impact but always keeping within the bounds of credulity.

The other factor that is really impressive is the way that the atmosphere in Brighton is built up. THE OTHER TWIN is a stunning and viscerally real trip through the young people’s party scene in Brighton – Hay’s descriptions of the people and places actually feel like you’re on a night out with Poppy, told with skill. The overall dark and somewhat brooding setting of winter nights in Brighton also dovetails nicely with Poppy’s emotional state, Brighton comes alive as its own character in this novel and it was a joy to be immersed so completely in the place the story takes place as well as the plot.

A few other nice touches to this novel: the diversity of the cast deserves commendation, and the nice (but again, not over-played so as to date the novel) use of some social media platforms keep this book feeling fresh, modern and young.

THE OTHER TWIN is a brilliant and unique psychological thriller that’s well worth picking up!

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