I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, thanks to Avon Books UK and NetGalley for approving me!
You can trust your family, can’t you…?
Tess Piper was fourteen when her adored twin sister Edie disappeared.
She has spent the last twenty years building a life away from her fractured family, desperate to escape the shadow of the past.
Only now she needs to confront the huge hole her sister’s disappearance left in her life, because a body has been found. The police are shining a spotlight on the Piper family. And secrets are about to surface.
After all, it’s common knowledge that more often than not, these crimes are committed by someone close to the victim. Someone they trust. Someone they know…
What really happened to Edie Piper?
I’m a sucker for a good thriller or crime novel so when I read the synopsis for this novel, I knew I had to take a read. I’ve read a fair few so I’m familiar with the different plots as well as the numerous tropes and twists, some of which I enjoy and others which I tend to stay away from. Keeping that in mind this novel provided some familiar features of a good thriller as well as some room for changes.
- Perspectives – The story is split between the perspective of Tess and Edie. I liked the symmetry there – seeing as they’re twins, it makes sense in more ways than one. The plot moves between the events of the past, prior to Edies disappearance and in the present day when the investigation resurfaces once her body is found. This was effective in establishing how different the sisters are as well as heightening the tension and dramatic irony. SO MUCH DRAMATIC IRONY, which I personally quite enjoyed.
- Protagonist – Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve had enough of main characters who just drink copious amounts of alcohol and smoke in exchange for having any sort of complexity or personality. It was okay in The Girl on The Train but in this novel it just became jarring. Tess has always lived in the shadows of her more popular and beautiful twin, and is a deeply insecure person. She always thinks that people are comparing her to Edie and while I realise that sometimes this could be the case, eventually it just feels a bit redundant. You can only blame others up to a certain point to be honest, Tess just makes terrible decisions, is too self pitying and it was frustrating by the end.
- Characters – I’m not a reader who needs or even wants characters in a novel to be likeable or relatable but I have to say that the characterisation in this novel was the weakest point for me. I didn’t find myself rooting for any of them except for Edie as she obviously didn’t deserve the hand she was dealt. Tess and Edies parents were bizarre and just basically pretty terrible at parenting. Their Uncle Ray was a womaniser who was uncomfortably fond of Edie – like majorly creepy and had me questioning him at every turn. The neighbours Valentina and Tom didn’t provide much in terms of substance and they had way too much air time for so little contribution to the actual mystery.
- Twists + Ending – This is the saving grace of the novel in my opinion, the way the plot unfolds is fun to read and the ending was good. While some readers may find it predictable it is still decent enough and takes you on a journey for sure. The bones of the story was good but lacking in execution.
Overall, while I was intrigued by the synopsis and found some positives in the story – I think there’s definite room for improvement. This novel had such great potential so with some more practice and finesse, I’m sure Olivia Isaac- Henry will be on her way to some great work in the future and I would be happy to read any other novels.
★★ – 2 Star Rating
Until next time,