Title: The Ice Twins
Author: S.K. Tremayne
Genres: Horror | Mystery | Psychological Thriller
Length: 373 pages | locations
After losing one of their twin daughters, and the remaining one acting odd saying she is actually the one who died, a couple decides to move to a remote Scottish island, looking for a fresh new start.
However, instead of improving, Kirstie now claims she is actually Lydia. Could her parents really have made such a tragic mistake? What really happened on the day of the accident?
Having finished this book last night, I still don’t quite know how to feel about it because a lot of what I read seemed to be thrown out there as plot devices to drive the reader in a certain direction and not being properly explained.
Also, as much as I found it interesting to get in the mind of Sarah and Angus, I trudged a bit through the first half of the book. The long island descriptions lost me for a while and at some point I was pretty annoyed at Sarah constantly bringing up Angus’ masculinity, amongst other things.
I wanted to empathize with her. Most of the times I couldn’t because, even though I don’t have to like a character to enjoy a book, when there is a child involved that changes things for me. I thought Sarah put herself and her well-being above her child’s much too often and it was uncomfortable to read. It’s like she does all these nasty things to find out the truth but she doesn’t really want to know it? I don’t know. I suppose by the end I can see why that happened but it just wasn’t enough to placate the feeling I had while reading.
The book alternates between two voices: first person for Sarah and third person for Angus. I found that very engaging and easier to follow, as well as get to know what really was inside each mind – and boy, was it troubling. What started out as a couple fairly united by a tragedy, wanting to make a fresh start, devolved into something quite grotesque. The tension took its time to build but when it did and I finally got fed bits and pieces of what had actually happened, I was enthralled.
It was an eerie book, for sure. Even though I kept being told the island was beautiful, I only felt dismayed by its description and more particularly the house’s, which totally translated the characters’ disintegrated minds.
In conclusion, although the build up and writing were fantastic and I felt gripped watching these characters grow, a lot still felt out of place by the time I finished. I did not understand why Sarah would not properly talk to her daughter. The kid would say something totally creepy and she would go shhh. In the end, one of the things that bugged me the most was not knowing if this was a ghost story or not. There were plenty of big hints that it was (particularly Emily’s reaction to the mirror and Angus’ vision in the fog) but most of it made me think it was only a result of Sarah and Kirstie’s fragmented minds, so I truly don’t know.
I need to be able to finish a book and be sure about the resolution to the main mysteries. When that does not happen, no matter how brilliant the rest of the novel was, I am left feeling uncomfortable and even cheated when done. Hence the rating down of 3.5 stars, though it really is a solid 3.5 for me because it was very well written.
I am sure this book will please several psychological thriller fans, but it just did not deliver completely to me.
Note: If you have read this book, I would really like to know your take on it and the things I have mentioned, so please post below!
Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Read from Apr 12 to Apr 15, 2016